How to Write Your Company’s Mission Statement
Write a company mission statement that resonates with people
Mission statements are the worst! Not to write, but to read. There are so many awful ones out there. How do you write one that doesn’t suck?
Forget Your Audience
That’s right. I said to forget your audience—at least for a little while. Focus solely on your mission. Ask yourself two questions:
1. What do we, as a company, do?
2. What is it that we aim to do?
At Philly Marketing Labs, our mission is to help traditional marketers at mid-sized companies adapt, engage and thrive in the digital world.
When we began creating our mission statement, we threw out all sorts of ideas. The key is to create a list that answers questions one and two above. Don’t start trying to write the mission statement yet. That comes later.
What Do You Do?
Not sure where to begin? If you’re a marketing agency, start with “marketing.” Then break it down to types of marketing like online marketing, direct mail, strategy, etc. Keep segmenting further and further until you have a complete list that anyone could look at and instantly know what they would get from your company.
Once you have your list, it’s time to move to your goals.
What Do You Aim to Do?
Look at the list you’ve created so far. Does that match up with the company you thought you’d be or still want to be? What can you do better? Expand on some of those items in list one. What are the goals associated with those skills and tasks you’ve listed?
For example, let’s use “online marketing” from the example above. For us, at Philly Marketing Labs, among other services, we offer search engine optimization, paid search and conversion optimization. Those are our skills (and would be on list one). We asked ourselves what our skills do for our clients. Online marketing that we do brings more traffic and more leads to their websites.
Item #1 on list two: Bring more traffic and leads to our clients’ websites.
Why do we get excited by this? Because it helps our clients grow their business. So, that answer goes on list two as well.
Item #2 on list two: Help our clients grow their business.
As we kept discussing this, many more goals arose. We want to help our clients understand digital marketing so they can see clearly how what we do impacts their bottom line, and so they can be an integral part of the marketing strategy and process. We want their business to grow so much that they have to hire more employees.
Now Think about Your Audience
At this point, after creating these lists (and you can choose whether to do so formally or informally), we brought the clients and potential clients into the conversation.
Here’s where you ask:
• Who is our target client?
• What type of client/business do we serve best?
• How do clients view our services?
• Do clients understand our mission? Why or why not?
• How do we make our mission resonate with our audience?
Leave the Jargon Behind
Jargon doesn’t resonate. Don’t say, “We strive to assist you in synergizing mission-critical marketing strategies and tactics by leveraging impactful methodologies and thinking outside the box to provide actionable turnkey solutions for your enterprise.”
Boil down all your thoughts and answers into a simple statement. For us, simple was three words:
1. Adapt – Traditional marketers aren’t yet used to the ever-changing online marketing world. We want to help them understand it and be able to roll with the changes.
2. Engage – The customer is closer than ever before. Many marketers aren’t used to that. We want to show these marketers how to interact with customers and non-customer commenters in social media, websites and the entire digital marketing space.
3. Thrive – Traditional marketers have to evolve, and we’re here to guide them through digital marketing methods in a consultative approach that helps them learn. We want to help their business grow so they hire more people, gain more profits and truly thrive.
Companies often try to say too much in their mission statement. Your mission statement should answer two things: What do you want to do? Who do you want to do it for?
Imagine if what you see in those three adapt/engage/thrive paragraphs above was our written mission statement—blech! Think of it this way:
• What’s an environmentalist’s mission? To save the planet.
• What’s the mission of a charity that focuses on hunger? To feed the world.
• What’s the mission of an eye doctor? To help you see clearly.
What’s your mission? To ______. It really can (and should) be that simple. Need help crafting yours? Contact us or leave a comment below. We’re here to help.