Strategy Manifesto; Road to Market Domination and Growth Philosophy

Updated: Sep 3, 2021

It is absolutely essential for business leaders to hold themselves accountable to their own principles and values. This is why, I drafted Strategy Manifesto, to outline world-class principles and my vision on how growth should look like.





The 2020 coronavirus pandemic showed us how businesses are fragile. Many businesses are not prepared to react fast enough to market fluctuations.


UK economy* shrank by 20% as the result of the crisis and many businesses wiped out. As a result, many people lost their jobs and now are dependent on government help and stimulus packages.


The idea of this document is to stop this once and for all. I am not talking about stopping the crisis from happening. Now, we are confident that every 10 years we will have a crisis that can hit the world economy.



My goal is to help businesses become bulletproof.



Making sure that all the businesses around the world are able to deal with the economic crises and even thrive when it comes to external forces like the current pandemic.


This manifesto will act as a bible to drive predictable growth for businesses that are applying these principles to make their mark in the industry even during crisis.


Up until 2016, “Change” was the new constant.


Now the era of “Uncertainty” has begun and CIOs need to figure a way to deal with this new dilemma. I have lot of conversations with technology leaders and when I start asking questions around where they want to go, or what areas they want to improve, or when they want to achieve their goals and targets, I hear one answer all the time:”I do not know!” It is no wonder that even technology leaders do not know what solutions and what capabilities they need to have now so they can support and enable the business in the coming years.



The world of business and technology is so complicated that simply putting a flat and simple strategy together can not guarantee the success of the business.


The issue is when the business cannot identify what value they need, how technology can satisfy those unknown needs?


The world of business is becoming more and more complicated.


Businesses are no longer able to mark their territories and competition.


They no longer can identify who will be their competition in the coming years and how startups will challenge them in what way. Mergers and Acquisitions still not working and many of them fail to deliver the value that was anticipated.


New products and services are coming to the market just as a response to competition and not as the result of a comprehensive market research or target market value proposition. Emerging market response to business investment in addition to political complexity in the middle east will increase the risk of any investment with a high level of uncertainty around what will be the best set of decisions to exploit new markets.


Now the business expects from their technology arm (IT) to play a strategic role in accordance with the business outcomes and help the business make better decisions. The issue is when the business cannot identify what value they need, how technology can satisfy those unknown needs?


Startups are disrupting the market faster than ever.



Digital forces are coming from each side of the market; All of these forces are making dramatic changes in the market positioning and brand of an organization and guess what happens if your company does not respond fast enough?


You die.


Startups are disrupting the market faster than ever. Digital forces are coming from each side of the market; customer demands for fully integrated digital services and products, partners that are trying to reinvent themselves, direct competitors that are realigning their messaging and strategy, indirect companies that are expanding their footprint into other industries and targeting new segments which traditionally they always avoid.



All of these forces are making dramatic changes in the market positioning and brand of an organization and guess what happens if your company does not respond fast enough? You die. You grow or die. Frank Knight, Nike’s founder said it well: “You grow or die.”


In his book, Shoe Dog which is his biography, he explains how he could manage to double his sales revenue each year and how he struggled with the growth challenges in the early days of Nike. Guess what happened if he was not making all those changes?


There was no Nike. As a matter of fact, there was no brand to change people’s lives and bring running as a healthy activity to the mass market. The world was different. Technology is another force that is evolving very fast and now we can think of all those unthinkable applications and use cases that seemed impossible in the past. Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, Big Data and Analytics, Blockchain, and Business Intelligence are enabling us to rethink all the tasks that we have done in a different way. This means now customers have even more demands.


There are 3 pillars of a successful business strategy which all great businesses are relying on and will try hard to excel at: — Branding Marketing Sales If you as a business leader, founder or CEO, can aggregate all your resources, and push hard to improve on these 3 pillars correctly, you will build a successful company. Note that my focus is on top-line revenue. My definition of success is how to build up a strong pipeline and build a predictable revenue stream for your business.



I do not care about your bottom-line and cost savings that you can make to your business. That is not my job and I have no plan to help you with that. If you are looking for ways to cut costs and improve profitability, you should talk to your CFO or an Enterprise Architect. My mission is to help businesses, either startups or established, to build a strong predictable revenue stream and improve their top-line performance.



Let’s dive deep into each pillar.


If You Don’t Give the Market the Story to Talk About, They Will Define Your Brand Story for You. This is actually a quote from David Brier on branding. Branding is such an important concept in business, especially for tech startups and first-time founders which is normally underrated.



This is one of the most important aspects of the business and need deeper attention. Let’s dive in. Branding is one of the main pillars of business and normally it has been underrated by tech businesses, including startups.



What branding does for you and your business is the very foundation of your relationship with your target market and also existing customers. Branding is the promise that you make to your customers.


Please note that I am not talking about your slogan.



That is not branding. Of course, slogan is only one small element of your brand identity. However, everything you do and do not do, identify your brand and brand positioning among your competitors.



This is including your logo, slogan, colors that you are using, website design, marketing messaging and materials, sales team and your sales language, how to treat your employees and customers, your office arrangements, and so on.



You always need to be aware of what brand message your competitors are using and how their branding is evolving. Let’s remember that it is absolutely Ok for brands to evolve and even reinvent themselves.



However, the frequency of changes is very important. You simply cannot change your brand every month!! I have seen companies that evolve their brand every 6 months or every year, as long as the changes are incremental. As a tech startup, you should work on your brand voice and message.



Use as few words as possible. Express your big vision. Do not be scared of sharing your ambitions with your target market. Tell your customers who you are, what you do and how you do it. Of course in a few words.



Show your true passion through your content, marketing campaigns, and sales language. Establish your relationship with your customers very clearly. Are you going to be a trusted advisor, high-end luxury service provider, cost-effective alternative in the market, 24 x 7 consultant, disruptor, innovator, etc. Brands should show emotions and at the same time, show why you are doing what you are doing backed up by data. craft your story in a way that both right and left-brainers can communicate with your message.



Left brainers understand the world through details, logic, and numbers.



On the other hand, right-brainers perceive the world through emotions. Your story should consist of both sides of the coin.



Craft your vision and what is the end game for your target market, and then back it up with numbers and data. Do not pitch! Not now!!


Do not use your branding story to pitch your products and services. People hate pitching. Simply tell them the truth about your back story, why you exist, and what is the end game. This is not a copy write. This is not an advertising platform. There will be times that you will do that . . . a lot! But not when you are trying to catch the eyes of the customers. Build a relationship with them first and then and only then you can sell. Articulate why and how you are different. Explain your point of differentiation.



Why your way of doing things is superior to the competition. Do not use or overuse buzz words (better, faster, cheaper, etc). These words mean nothing and everyone is using them in their marketing materials. Talk about use cases and case studies. You can use different social media platforms to tell your brand story.



Focus on one or two that your target persona and target market are heavily using. Show them the backstage and how you actually run your business. Share day to day challenges of operating the business (boring stuff) and share your wins and losses. This should not take you more than 15 min per day. Plus, it is fun to talk about yourself!! Ask people outside of your business (customers, prospects, clients, strangers, competitors) how they perceive you. That is your brand. Period.



It does not matter what you say about yourself. How you have been perceived is your brand. If you want to change your brand, change people’s perception. Focus on those activities that you want to be known for. This is both for personal and company brand. There are some cases that the founder of the business decides to build the company brand around himself. This is a risky strategy.



You can easily test that idea. Go to the market place or series of companies and ask them how much money they are willing to pay you, so they can have you in their firm.


Or, simply how much they pay you if they hire you. If the number is anything less than $200k (in the Australian market) then it is highly likely that you are relatively unknown. If it is between $200k to $600k (AUD), then it means that you have a minimum level of value.


If it is between $600k to $1 Million (again in AUD), it means that you have a good reputation in the market, but of course, you are not a celebrity yet. If your salary is more than $1 Million per year, this means that your name alone + your skills can generate at least $25 Million in revenue for the next year. Guaranteed!



As the COVID-19 pandemic has developed from a health concern to an economic crisis to a recession that’s going to be hard to recover from, the focus of reporting on the economic impact has been on B2B tech startups.



Already, we’re hearing concerns of startups pulling the plug on investment rounds, and also Venture Capitals suddenly a lot less confident that they will be able to make the returns they had hoped for their startup portfolio.



There is no doubt that it is a hard time for everybody as people are thinking all about their survival and get through this crisis. On the other hand, if you are thinking like an investor, the rule of thumb will be to start think differently. In general, you need to make it clear for yourself and your team that what is the target.



Normally for a tech startup in B2B space, these targets can be qualified as tangible targets for startup marketing: — Generate qualified leads — Drive website traffic — Building brand awareness.


As the COVID-19 pandemic has developed from a health concern to an economic crisis to a recession that’s going to be hard to recover from, the focus of reporting on the economic impact has been on B2B tech startups.



Already, we’re hearing concerns of startups pulling the plug on investment rounds, and also Venture Capitals suddenly a lot less confident that they will be able to make the returns they had hoped for their startup portfolio.


There is no doubt that it is a hard time for everybody as people are thinking all about their survival and get through this crisis. On the other hand, if you are thinking like an investor, the rule of thumb will be to start think differently. In general, you need to make it clear for yourself and your team that what is the target. Normally for a tech startup in B2B space, these targets can be qualified as tangible targets for startup marketing: — Generate qualified leads — Drive website traffic — Building brand awareness.



These 3 pillars of marketing strategy can be quantified as well so everybody in your startup has a clear understanding of what to achieve. For each of the above targets, you should have an activity plan in terms of the tasks with the deadline and owner.



This way, in your weekly meetings everybody can track each other’s work and get more understanding of the big picture: 1. Define your target segment and vertical 2. Draft a clear and concise message 3.



Create free content to consume by target market 4. Send emails 5. Set up a landing page to generate leads 6. Setup sales incentives and SPIFF 7. Monitor your progress with each project 8. Learn, change your approach and go to 1.


Meanwhile, you must understand what your competition is doing and how they deliver their message to their or your target market. Always improve on that. Always be better at your competition.


Not only from a price perspective, but also from a brand perspective. Generate qualified leads I cannot stress out on how important and simple this is. I have worked with many established organizations and startups and saw how many organizations are struggling with this.


Companies make it very hard for themselves to generate high quality leads for different reasons. It is either lack of experience, fear of failure, lack of authority when it comes to making decisions, or trying to do everything themselves. This is a trap that many first time founders fall into. You do not need to do everything by yourself.




However, you must come up with marketing ideas yourself. From an execution perspective, things can be outsourced.



As a founder and entrepreneur, you must start thinking about how you can get the attention of your target market and how to segment your market properly. What plans and activities should be done and how to measure the success rate.


Then, when it comes to execution, you can outsource it to a marketing agency or a subcontractor to actually do the job for you. The key here is to become a world-class marketer.


Drive website traffic There are many different things you can do to increase your website traffic. Google Ad is one of the most basic and indeed effective way of moving traffic to your landing page or website. The key here is to make sure your website is optimized for those relevant keywords and also your website has a funnel behind it. Note that it will not be enough to just have a website that explains how your product works. You need more than that.



You have to have a clear understanding of the buyer’s journey and how your buyers make a decision. Then, based on this info, you can start thinking about the content that guides the buyer towards making a decision to buy and down the bottom of the funnel.