So here’s our overview of the strategy phase, which is the first phase of ultimate web design, and here I’m going to start explaining to you how you actually do this for yourself. So the goal of the strategy phase is actually very simple. The goal is to get to the point where we know that we’ve really got something to take to market.
We know we’ve got something to take to market. So how do we know when we’ve got something to take to market? Well, what we’ve done in ultimate web design is created. This thing called the circuit and the circuit is made up of five elements when the circuit is good. We know that we’re good to go to market. That’s that’s how they the whole idea works. You may find that one or more of the elements that comprise the circuit are not great and not ideal or not aligned with the others, and it’s important to remember that any of these five elements may be revised, so the strategy phase starts with this is got Two parts: it starts with the circuit interview where we ask a bunch of questions so that we completely fully understand the reality.
The truth, the situation as it actually is right now, and we do that by looking at all of those five key circuit elements, and we also want to understand the context of the business, but in particular, where does the business want to go? What does it want to achieve? There’s no point saying to somebody: well, you could make a lot of money doing this thing if they don’t want to do that thing, if it’s not part of their passion, so we have to take all all the the true facts into account and then the second Part is the circuit review and what we do in the circuit review is we examine and ask some some more questions? Looking at the the data, the facts, the information that we gathered in the first part of the interview – and we ask the question: do we have a circuit that is complete and strong and integrated? Because if we don’t, then we’ll need to do what we just talked about make changes to one or more of the five elements until we do have a complete and strong and integrated circuit.
Now it’s worth mentioning at this point that they, the strategy method, is very much organic. I started doing this a few months ago. I’ve started building up these questions and I’m still doing it. The circuit questions are not 100 %, perfect and comprehensive, and they never will be, and ultimate web design takes a scientific approach. So what we’re doing is we’re constantly aiming to improve the process and in fact I just used this method.
I did these the circuit to circuit interviews this week on Tuesday, and I added at least two questions to the questionnaire when I did that so the circuit is made up of. As you said, five elements and these elements are logical and and true. This is not some kind of academic idea about how businesses can work. They are the true elements that make up a potential business. It starts with the brand that is the center of everything and that the brand is who you are.
Who is selling this? Who is making this promise? The brand then has multiple products, and/or services and there’s an important distinction here between products and services, and that the the next element, which is propositions, products and services, is what you actually do, what you actually deliver. So if I order a book from Amazon the thing that arrives through the post, the package with a book in it, that is the product all, let’s say that I have a client or several clients and I’m delivering say, marketing, consulting write, marketing, consulting is a service And an hour of marketing consulting is an hour of marketing consulting, but there’s a distinction here, because the proposition, what a client actually buys may be a combination of products or services packaged in a certain way priced a certain way and also promising to solve a particular Kind of problem, so I could deliver what I do as a workshop for 20 small local businesses, and I could do it for free right.
That’s a proposition that workshop is what I do packaged a certain way and pitched a certain way, or I could sit with a client for three days for very high fee and say I’m going to analyze your business and tell you exactly what to do for the Next, 12 months in your marketing, the interesting thing is I’m using the same skills, it’s still at marketing consulting by the hour, but they’re packaged slightly differently.
The fourth element is problems, because propositions are promises to solve a problem. Problems are what motivate people and opportunities also come into this. You know missing an opportunity is also a problem, so we buy, we enter into deals trades transactions when we are motivated to solve a problem, there’s something that we need, there’s something that we want. There’s something. That’s wrong that we want to put right, there’s something that we can capitalize on and that’s what motivates us.
So we need to understand the problem without a problem: there isn’t the sale and then the fifth of final element is the market. What is the group of people that shares that problem? What do we know about them? Because if we don’t know who we’re going to sell to, how can we sell to them? So those are your five elements: brand product and service, propositions problems and markets. Now it’s possible and in fact quite common for businesses to have multiple propositions and it may be helpful for you to to picture it in this way.
So you’ve got the brand at the center right now. The brand should always be the same. So when we actually get around to to doing the circuit interview and when we’re looking at the brand, then we asking questions about what does it represent? What does it stand for? What does it stand against? Why does it exist? What is its overall promise to the world, so my vote for my business. My brand is about let’s make things better.
Let’s do web designer marketing the right way right and within that. As part of that, I am expressing that brand through this course, which is a proposition. But I can also Express the same thing through my blog and through other products and books and speaking engagements right. But the important thing is that the core of the brand is always there. It’s always the same. Outside the brand we’ve got the second element, which is products and services and, of course, a brand, as we’ve seen can have multiple products and services.
Web design from scratch is my blog tutorial site. That’s one of my products right ultimate web design is one of my products and I can also provide services as well, so one brand can have multiple products and services the next element. The third element is the proposition as we’ve seen. This is how a product or a service can be packaged for the market. Okay and, of course, a product or service may have multiple propositions.
So, as we’ve seen, you can provide one service as a web doctor report or as a positioning day or whatever you like, and when you take a product or service and say this solves that problem, then it becomes something else and that’s that’s really. What a proposition is it’s that meeting point between this is how this thing this product or this service will solve your problem. So the problem is the next phase, and so normally, when we’re talking about your propositions out out to the market, a proposition should really address.
One major problem and then on the outside as well: we’ve got the market and the market, of course, is the group of people who who share that problem. So we don’t want to get too theoretical about this, because that’s not what all this is about. But it may just be helpful to to hold in your mind that the brand is at the center of all this and that you can have multiple circuits that are reaching out like arms like spokes, reaching out to the market in different ways.
But each one of them needs to have integrity. Each one needs to have products and service that matches the brand. The proposition that says this is how this product or service solves that problem. The problem needs to be good. It needs to be something that’s going to motivate people and there has to be a market, and you have to know who that market is and if you haven’t, got all of those elements, contrasts and aligned.
Then you’ve got work to do because if you go to market, this is the important thing. If you go to market with an incomplete circuit, you’re going to be pushing uphill you’re going to have challenges, and it you may find yourself tempted to to get into things manipulations like sales and discounts or maybe exaggerating the truth, because you, if you’re fighting an uphill Battle, you need to know what all these things are before you start.
So let’s look at step one. So we start. As I said, with this circuit interview, we ask a lot of important questions and I mean a lot. It’s it’s quite radical, quite a a break away from the norm to to deal with clients. In this way, I’ve got over a hundred questions right now in the questionnaire and that list this is going to keep growing, and we ask those questions because we have to get a complete picture of all of those five elements.
In fact, when I sit with a client, I quite often find that, for example, but this week I’ve done this twice already this week. I’ve got another one today and with one of the clients right, she she’s running a social enterprise to do with them, birth, pregnancy and birthing advice, and she actually had. I think we counted eight different propositions. She was delivering the knowledge and to help that she can deliver in eight different ways, so she was really split.
Eight different ways with classes for this and advice for that and hands-on help with the other and they’re. Also, looking at a an online product for delivering information right, so there’s this five elements, but in fact you cannot you can that can mean in a way multiple circuits within that. So to help us do that, we’ve got this extensive questionnaire. That’s made up of core questions and they’re organized by the five elements, but you do not have to work through those questions.
All the elements in order and in actual fact, what we’re finding is, that it’s good to start with a brand good to start with then follow on with what you do, but then address it from from the other end who’s the market. What’s the problem that they’ve got and then finally join those two in the middle by looking at the propositions? That’s what we’re finding tends to work really well. So the second step, then, once we’ve got gathered all that information asked loads of questions spent hours talking about it is a circuit review.
We are reviewing the circuit, so we then look at that big picture and we say: okay, does this? Give us a picture of a circuit that is complete. That is clear. That is strong and also is it aligned. Are these five elements aligned with each other? If you imagine it’s like an electrical circuit so that if any of the components aren’t lined up and joined together, the circuit doesn’t flow, the energy can’t flow around it, and I cannot cannot overstate the importance of alignment, because if what you’re about and your passion and Your belief in your experience and your love that you put into what you do, if that isn’t appropriately expressed in the services and the products that you actually create and deliver, and the the promises that you make to solve particular people’s problems.
If all of that doesn’t actually line up, then either people aren’t going to get it or you’re not going to get it if you’ve ever experienced, maybe being in a job or taking on a project that you just don’t want to do. That is probably because it is just not in alignment with who you are and what you’re about in the world and what you want to mean to the world. So what we’re looking for is a circuit.
That’s got all those elements there and each one of those elements is is present it’s clear: we understand it it’s powerful and that it is properly in alignment with the other elements around it. So why is all of this so important? Well, it’s what we’ve been talking about integrity, integrity means in the context of of our strategy when what you are and what you do and what you promise to do, what you solve and who you solve it for all of that is true, I mean really true Marketing is not about pretending, because we we recognize pretending right.
We’ve got we’ve developed filters. We get so many messages thrown at us every day that we’ve got highly tuned filters to help us to screen out stuff that isn’t credible, so ultimate Web Design says we are not pretending, we’re not going to lie. We’re not going to exaggerate what we’re going to do is we’re going to dig deep we’re going to explore going to discover the stuff that really matters, and then we’re going to be really disciplined so that we get all this stuff right and in alignment so that, When we go to market guess what it’s actually so much easier when you know who you’re talking to you know what they care about the problem that they want to solve in.
You know that you’ve got the thing that will solve it and that that is what you’re about you get the connection you get the circuit connection and what that really means is that what you’re about as a brand – and this applies to your clients and everything right. What you’re about your? Why connects with theirs? And that’s when the energy flows, when there’s a heart-to-heart connection from one end of the circuit to the other? You might imagine it like a bicycle wheel and the spokes on a bicycle wheel are all important, because together they make the wheel incredibly strong.
If you remove any one of those spokes, then the wheels integrity is compromised and the wheel, the whole wheel could then buckle and fail if one of those things is not present or not in alignment plus. Looking ahead, if we’re going to create a great campaign for any business or for any particular product, we don’t only need to know these things all right, but we’re going to have to express all of that.
All of these things that I’ve been talking about this is how this thing uniquely solves your problem. This is why you need this, and you need to put your hand in your pocket and buy this now. We need to express that and expressing all of this stuff fully means that we are reaching out to our perfect target customer that we know intimately and we’re letting them know clearly why they really need what they’re offering and why they can believe in.
You belief and Trust are amazingly important. We need the full story. Story is important, because a sale actually is not a logical thing. We we’re told that you know you can be weighing up of pros and cons and we like to sometimes believe that that’s the way that we buy, but it’s not really true – we’ve known for a long time that the decision to buy is fundamentally made emotionally and The primary medium of making that decision is story story communicates so much so.
We’ve got to get the full story to many. Businesses fail to communicate the full story and not just small businesses. They promote the thing that they want to promote and they assume that the customer is equipped to qualify herself to identify the problem and realize that the business can be trusted. It’s actually very lazy and that just doesn’t happen. So we need to spell it out, but we can only do that when we have the full story ourselves and the circuit is so powerful and so helpful for that, because it gets all of that stuff.
The full story that full big picture gets it out, expressed and communicated and written down. It reveals any weaknesses or gaps or areas where we’ve got incomplete. Understanding and remember. All of this isn’t theoretical in of these five elements are real elements, they’re logical, and this is what makes up a a business or, if you like, a platform to sell, have we got a business, because if we haven’t, if we don’t really know what problem we’re Solving – and we really don’t know who that you know the market is that it has that problem – you shouldn’t be going to market simple, as that, so we’ve got to get it right first and here’s a little image that might help.
You remember why it’s so important to get it right. First, imagine that your business is one of these enormous tankers or ships that this that sails the ocean and that to change direction takes about 50 miles right. So it’s not easy to steer and remember this as well, if anything’s wrong, right fix it, if you’re not pointing the right direction, now change direction now – and this might help you to understand it.
Let’s say you’re at Point a and you want to get to point B right. This is the goal. This is the business’s goal all right. This is the businesses vision right. There are a now and they want to go to B. So clearly, the most efficient way to get from A to B is a straight line. Now, what happens if the business is actually not heading towards B? Right now like that tanker now, the tanker is not going in the right direction.
Now, what do? What should we do? Well, don’t want to end up at a place that is further on down this direction, where you’re going because then you know, if you change direction, then and start heading towards B, you’ve had to travel further, it’s going to take longer it’s going to be more expensive. It’s going to drain your resources, so that’s why it’s so important to get your direction right. First, we start with the end in mind.
We know where we’re going. We have all the facts and, if there’s anything that we’re missing anything that’s wrong, we fix it before we carry on so that really, fundamentally, is the purpose of the circuit interview that we do, and you know you can do this for your own business. I do it for any campaign that I want to do. I will do a circuit review now, and so you do the the interview you get all the questions out.
You ask all those questions. You probe you make sure that you are disciplined and diligent and that you don’t accept a fuzzy answer, because your priority is important. Then you review. Have we got a complete circuit right and I’m going to be walking you through the entire circuit questionnaire, and I’m also going to give you techniques and methods that you can do to review that questionnaire so that when we come to to move on and we we Plan and execute our campaigns.
We can do that with incredible ease and confidence.