A holistic approach to strategy – or why you should take a closer look at how a company works.
Holistic approach to projects is one of the most important elements of our activity. Before we start creating a marketing strategy, we carry out a number of different activities that help us understand the customer’s business, its goals and team. We do it using in-depth interviews, team workshops, data analysis, and other methods. Very often it turns out that when creating a strategy, we deal with additional challenges the customer is struggling with. That was also a scenario of our cooperation with Humeo.
Humeo is a boutique IT recruitment agency based in Kraków. Mateusz, the founder of the company, approached us regarding the creation of a marketing strategy thanks to which they would get more customers. Creating such strategies is at the moment the basic activity of Project: People, so the need on the part of Mateusz perfectly matched what we do.
We started… from the beginning
When starting cooperation, many agencies throw at their customers various applications and recommendations, without getting to know in detail this particular business and team. We act differently. We started with… conversations. With honest conversations, first with the owner, and later with all the team members. Such interviews lasted about 1-1.5h. We focused on:
- processes that are taking place in the company;
- company’s strengths and weaknesses (as seen through the eyes of the boss and employees!).
We also got to know each person in the team: what motivates them in their work, what tasks they feel best with, what are their skills.
In the process of developing a strategy, we also talk with customers of a given company (or with potential users if the project has no customers yet). In the case of Humeo, there were 10 telephone interviews, during which we learned what are the brand’s distinguishing features, how customers assess the cooperation with the team, and what are the strengths and weaknesses of the company. During interviews we are looking for a pattern, we focus on points common in the statements. We take every sentence into account, but we are very careful about the so-called “anecdotal evidence”, i.e. a one-time event that does not affect all cooperation with customers.
Such 360 interview (bosses, employees, clients, sometimes partners) allowed us to draw UVP (Unique Value Proposition) and KSP (Key Selling Points, specific activities through which the company realizes UVP and sells its services). By means of interviews and workshops, we have distinguished the markers of the brand that we have later implemented in the marketing strategy.
On the occasion of conversations with the team, we are able to see various dependencies. This is not a part of the marketing strategy, but in the case of Humeo, we also conducted a team analysis, in terms of personality types (Discovery Insights methodology) and team roles (Belbin and Disney method). Such an analysis facilitates looking at the team as a whole. The perfect team (e.g. marketing one, about which Beata wrote recently on the New Marketing website), should consist of people with complementary skills, but also complementary characters and personality types. Projects should be composed of people who care for relationships, who are analytical, creative and focused on the goal. Thanks to such a set of features, we not only have the opportunity to look at the project from different perspectives, but can also better cooperate with customers. We work better with people we like and to whom (at least in part! :)) we are similar, right?
Team Humeo turned out to be a group of great people who understand each other well, speak one mind, and – what is very important – create UVP Humeo! In their case it is “geekiness”, and thus:
- Speaking the language of programmers;
- Great knowledge of the IT market;
- Industry jokes, but combined with a serious business approach to every project;
- Efficient communication;
- Impressive efficiency when it comes to recruiting IT specialists.
Personal reflection – there is nothing better than working with a customer whose quality of work is at the highest level. It’s a pleasure 🙂 If you need help recruiting programmers, I would heartily recommend Humeo!
Strategy… in 4 weeks!
In addition to the above, we also made:
- analysis of: market, competition, SWOT;
- team workshops, thanks to which we have identified specific Humeo features;
- brand communication style based on UVP;
We closed all research, analyzes, workshops, interviews, meetings and recommendations in… 4 weeks. When talking to customers we often hear that this is a remarkably short time.
How is it that we are able to develop an effective strategy in a month?
- We have a very well-structured strategy creation process. One that we tested many times. We do not act blindly;
- We operate lean – we test a lot, draw conclusions and implement what works best.
- We work fast and don’create unnecessary documentation. This is best visible in the example of conducting telephone interviews: we try not to create extensive conversation scenarios. We start off with a couple of non-insinuating questions thanks to which we can later adjust the course of conversation to the purpose of our interviews. The lack of formalization at the beginning allows us to start much faster and adjust our actions to the results we want to achieve.
Many of our customers are technology companies, often innovative and operating in emerging industries. For such enterprises, the period of several months is sometimes “to be or not to be” on the market, which is why the time of strategy creation and its implementation are particularly important.
Recommendations for Humeo
We recommended a competitive strategy, based on the elimination of weaknesses and emphasis on strengths. We have proposed a number of specific activities related to:
- content marketing;
- social media.
We recommended the reconstruction of the website, which will be matched to UVP and KSP Humeo.
Finally, we continue cooperation: we created a website for Humeo and help the company in everyday marketing activities.
Develop your customer’s business
The holistic approach allows first of all to find real “blockers” in the company’s development. We always focus on the problems with which the customer comes to us, but we try to find not only what the customer has a problem with, but what needs improvement. Thanks to this, the whole company moves forward, and thus: it sells more, has fewer changes in the team (as we know, it is extremely expensive) and gives more satisfaction. And that’s what we want for all our customers 🙂
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