OASIS – Understand a client’s objectives, targets and strategies

Posted by Laura Wells

OASIS is the tool Bulletin uses as the structure to understand what makes a client’s business distinctive and what it is trying to achieve.

Bulletin starts every client relationship by understanding what makes the business distinctive and what it is trying to achieve. Asking these questions invariably leads to greater clarity on the answers for the client and provides us with an accurate starting point for the work we do next. 

We have a well-established process for finding the answers to these questions and then managing the projects that arise from the answers. It is represented by the acronym OASIS.

Objectives

What are the objectives of the business? 

Understanding these ensures that everyone is aligned. Do key members of the clients’ team agree? If not, conflicting messages, that confuse their customers and business partners, will be given out. A set of clearly articulated objectives provides the client and Bulletin with a robust idea of the goals the business wants to achieve. 

Audiences

Who is the business targeting? 

There are usually several audiences, with different parts of the organisation focusing on different groups. Defining and prioritising the audience segments helps set priorities and influences the strategies used to target them.

Strategies

What strategies is the business using to achieve its objectives? 

Defining the commercial strategies of the organisation enables us to focus on how we can develop specific marketing, PR and social media tactics and strategies.

Implementation

With the fundamental thinking done, Bulletin works with the client to implement the plans.

Scoring

We agree with the client how to measure the success of the plans we have agreed. Marketing and PR activities are important elements of a commercial plan but their impact can be a ‘slow burn’. They are also difficult to measure in absolute terms. We work with the client to implement a ‘do more of what works and stop doing what doesn’t’ philosophy.

Let’s workshop this..

We derive the input on the objectives, audiences and strategies (the OAS of OASIS) in a half-day, in-person, workshop on the client’s premises. We recommend representation from a mix of departments, job roles, seniorities and a gender balance. Usually there is plenty of discussion and a fair amount of disagreement as different groups across the organisation answer the questions in their own way. However, by the end of the workshop there is broad agreement. The report that Bulletin produces subsequently provides an excellent reference for other projects.

Here is an example of the way that a workshop might be structured. The exact format depends on the client and the brief they give us.

  • We use a mix of individual and group work to explore audiences, objectives and strategies. Extensive use is made of stimulus materials, sticky notes, flip charts within an informal ‘all opinions are equally important’ environment. We might ask questions such as:
    • What do you want to be famous for?
      • What makes your business / fund / service unique?
    • Why do you need to be famous?
      • What are your commercial (or other) objectives?
      • Which audiences (such as client groups) are most important to ensure you achieve your objectives (e.g. future growth).
  • We often ‘step into the clients’ shoes’ to check the efficacy of existing materials or processes.  For instance, we may explore how easy it is to find information on the website. Or the readability of a white paper or blog post.

The outcome

The formal result of the workshop is a reference document that summarises the output and conclusions of the session. It also provides a ‘source of truth’ for subsequent work. 

In addition, the Bulletin team has worked collaboratively with key staff from the client, getting to know them and starting to build relationships. Often, the workshop provides ideas for content that is later developed as a thought leadership piece. Sometimes a PR story emerges.

Equally importantly, the client team get to know each other better while discussing and challenging ideas in a non-threatening environment. 

As the first stage of a bigger project (rebrand or website redesign), an OASIS workshop acts as a way of ensuring that everyone attending understands it (and is ‘on-board’ with it). They are also likely to be ambassadors for the change within the wider organisation.

Bulletin uses OASIS to help us understand what makes a client’s business distinctive and what it is trying to achieve. Just like the real thing, OASIS provides fertile ground that underpins the development of high-quality fruits (in the shape of our work for the client).

At Bulletin we have extensive experience in working with clients to articulate their business proposition in language that is clear and concise.

Contact Chris Bridges to find out how we can help you.

Some of our clients

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