Reading: The Mission Statement

A Mission Statement Explains Why an Organization Exists

The Market Planning Process: vertical Flowchart with 7 layers. From top, Layer 1 “Corporate Mission” [highlighted in gold] points to Layer 2 “Situational Analysis” [blue], points Layer 3 “Internal Factors: Strengths & Weaknesses” and “External Factors: Opportunities & Threats” [blue], points to Layer 4 “Corporate Strategy: Objectives & Tactics” [blue]. Layers 2-4 are connected with gray lines, as one sub-unit. This points to Layer 5 “Marketing Strategy: Objectives & Tactics” [blue], to Layer 6, a graphic showing “Target Market” as the central piece of the 4 Ps surrounding it: Product, Price, Promotion, Place [all blue]. The final layer is “Implementation & Evaluation” [blue]. Layers 5-7 are connected with gray lines, as a second sub-unit.

The mission statement guides the corporate strategy, which, in turn, guides the marketing strategy and planning. All marketing activities should relate to and support the company’s mission. 

In the marketing planning process diagram at the right, the planning begins with the mission statement. The mission statement doesn’t change. The strategy and tactics might shift—and, indeed, after an implementation and evaluation process, they often do—but the company’s mission remains fixed. For instance, if a company discovered that its product design were creating new opportunities in an adjacent market, that might spur development of a new corporate-level strategy to expand into the new market, but it wouldn’t change the fundamental mission of the company.

Google’s Mission Statement

Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.[1]

The mission statement is clear and direct, and it gives the company enormous opportunity to make an impact.

How does Google’s mission statement drive the company’s strategies? Let’s look at it from several different angles.

Google’s Target Market

Google logo with a magnifying glass superimposed.

Google’s target market is the world. For most companies that would seem overly ambitious, right? In effect, the company has chosen not to target and not to segment. Why does such a decision make sense for Google? The company’s mission demands a comprehensive, global focus, and therefore so does its targeting.

Google’s Strategy

Google has defined a set of strategies that support its mission, one of which is the product strategy. There are two core components of Google’s product strategy: its search engine and the advertising platform that is fed by the search engine. Both of these products are not only designed to serve the world but they become more and more powerful as they gain users. If Google were to narrow its focus to a segment of Internet users, it would hamper the company’s ability to achieve its mission—and, at the same time, make Google less successful and profitable.

Google’s Tactics

Google uses a range of tactics to execute its strategy. One tactic is to create promotional videos, such as the one below, that convey the power of Google’s mission and align the mission with the specific benefits of the Google search engine.

Through the course of the ad, Google suggests that its search engine connects us to

  • Hope more than fear
  • Science more than fiction
  • Things we love
  • Greatness
  • Hope
  • Memories
  • Inspiration

In what ways does this promotional tactic align with the company mission and support the product strategy?

From this example you can begin to see that

  • The mission statement functions as an important guide for all aspects of company strategy.
  • When the strategy and tactics support the mission statement, they are more effective because they reinforce one another.