What does a business model have in common with a strategic marketing plan?
- It’s goals-based
- Who is more important than how
- It has a basic profit & loss cost structure
- It responds to a specific problem(s) experienced by some type(s) of person
They have a lot in common. But there are some important differences, especially when it comes to execution activities.
A marketing plan can be executed by anybody – business owners, employees, contractors, consultants, or even software. It can last one day or one month. And it can be executed in a variety of methods, styles, and tempos. One common theme, for example, is iterative campaign work on one or two-week cycles. You leave the fishing line in the water for two weeks before adjusting it.
Those adjustments are the tasks that comprise the execution of a marketing plan.
But tasks like those aren’t part of a business model. So what is? What activities are part of a business model?
Core practices are essential activities executed by you, the company leader, and your cohorts, based on your business beliefs.
For example, if you believe that it’s important to frequently speak one-on-one with each of your employees at your 20-person organization, then you might have a daily core practice of 4 15-minute Zoom calls with employees.
Unlike menial tasks and to-do items, you get better and better at your practices. Those 15-minute Zoom calls become more and more effective.
A business model accounts for core practices because they are (part of) where value is created. They should be focused foremost on creating long-term value for customers. Keeping customers first, getting customers second.
The B2B expertise business model says, this business works because the key people have these daily practices which, over time, make the value proposition stronger and stronger.
Contrast that with the urgent, routine, or short-term activities – even the ones you do frequently, like checking email, paying bills, typing in passwords, or creating calendar events. Those are business activities but they aren’t part of your business model.
Marketing campaign activities are less mundane. They’re interesting and creative. And they help you acquire new customers. But that doesn’t make them part of your business model – because they don’t create long-term value for customers.
Take action. Identify your core practices. Keep three that best pass this test:
Do you get better at them over time and do they let you create more long-term value for customers?
Et voila, now you have documented an important part of your expertise-services business model.
Feel free to hit reply and let me see what you came up with; I’m happy to offer some my thoughts.