Mission, vision. This rapid-fire delivery of this messaging duo happens so often that it sounds like “mission-vision” is one unit instead of two distinct statements.
It’s strange, but true. Even stranger is how these two totally different messaging statements are used interchangeably in the business world.
Because mission and vision statements influence the essence and direction of your organization, it’s important to understand these unique pieces of your messaging strategy and the power they have to unite your organization’s marketing efforts.
What’s the Difference Between a Mission and a Vision?
Your mission statement focuses on today and what your solution does. Your vision statement focuses on tomorrow and what your organization wants to become.
One doesn’t work without the other. You need both a mission and a vision statement because your organization needs to have both purpose and meaning.
Organizations have a bad habit of combining the two into a “mission-vision” statement, where the mission and vision are casually rolled into one catchphrase. Or, they just have a mission or a vision because one of these foundational statements was simply easier to create, so they skipped the other statement entirely.
Of the two messaging statements, the one I almost always see teams get wrong—or don’t bother with—is the vision statement.
It’s a hell of a lot easier for busy teams to create a mission. Saying “what you do” is more straightforward when you’re living and breathing your solution all day, every day.
With a vision, you have to step back and understand “where you’re going.” When teams are underwater, it’s almost unthinkable to look ahead at the organization’s future or near future. So the vision statement frequently gets pushed down the priority list.
What Is a Mission Statement?
A mission statement explains your organization’s purpose and how you plan to achieve it. The mission informs the work you do on a day-to-day basis. Also known as: How your solution helps your customers.
A strong mission has a unifying effect on your team, as it provides clarity when making everyday decisions or setting goals. A weak mission statement—or no mission at all—causes internal silos and confusion both inside and outside the organization.
When developing a mission statement as a team, here are some questions to ponder:
- What do we do?
- How do we help organizations with our solution?
- Why was our organization founded?
What Is a Vision Statement?
A vision statement conveys your organization’s meaning and how you plan to make an impact. The vision inspires the work you do for the business’s future. Said another way: How your organization will innovate in your industry.
A strong vision has a motivational effect on your team, as it provides guidance when making long-term decisions or planning goals. Just like the mission statement, a weak or absent vision statement causes silos inside the organization and confusion (both internally and externally).
When creating a vision statement as a team, dig into these questions:
- What matters most to our organization?
- Who and what are we inspiring to change?
- What will our organization be known for in five years?
Vision vs. Mission: What Comes First?
So which should you create first…your vision statement or mission statement?
Many organizations start with a vision statement, as it’s a broader, more aspirational look at their future plans and goals. Once you’ve painted the big picture of what you want to achieve, you can then specify how you will achieve that vision through a well-crafted mission statement.
In the other camp, some organizations find it impossible to define what a long-term vision will look like. This often happens with early-stage companies that are growing and/or changing at a rapid pace. Fluctuations in the economy and rapid technological innovation also make it difficult to predict where an organization will land in 3, 5, or 10 years.
If this is the case for your team, it may be more efficient to start with something more concrete, the mission statement, and use that as a springboard for a vision statement. “Here’s what we do. Now, how do we make a lasting impact on the market with our solution?”
Why Do a Mission and Vision Matter in Content Marketing?
Mission and vision statements often get stuck collecting dust in some forgotten brand guide rather than informing your content marketing strategy. But, they shouldn’t.
Your mission statement is the “how” that helps your content have a purpose. Your vision statement is the “why” that helps your content have meaning.
Your mission and vision should be the compass that guides all content creation. Integrating these core messaging statements into your content strategy ensures the content is:
- Rooted – To reflect the organization’s values and objectives.
- Consistent – To share a unified voice across marketing channels.
- Relevant – To speak to the audience your solution serves and impacts.
- Unique – To illustrate what makes your solution distinctive from the competition.
- Strategic – To align any and all content marketing initiatives with the bigger picture.
What Is a Mission and Vision Example?
Rather than sharing a bunch of mainstream brand examples of mission and vision statements, we’ll take a look at a couple of mission and vision examples from our Superneat clients in the B2B space.
We typically create two versions of each messaging statement—a punchy one-liner that’s easy for the team to remember and rattle off, along with a more descriptive version that provides more context.
Bring People and Data Together
We bring people and data together by making information more accessible, reliable, valuable, and tangible.
Fulfill Our Promise of Transformation
We’ll be known as the data solutions partner that delivers the transformative approach of connecting and productizing data to help data teams achieve their highest potential and future-proof their organizations.
Why It Works
SkyPoint Cloud solves a growing challenge for data-driven organizations: data unification. Their mission statement says how they solve this problem every day with their solution. Their vision statement takes a hopeful look at future possibilities for organizations that will transform when they successfully unify their data analytics.
A complete, connected, and compassionate service for seniors
We’re raising the standard for senior care by building tech-enabled communities centered around a complete, connected, and compassionate service to senior patients.
Revolutionizing Care for Millions of Seniors
We will build a future where immediate access to high-quality care is the standard for every senior in the United States.
Why It Works
Centered Care puts senior care in a much-needed spotlight. The mission statement shows how their organization is using technology to help fix a very broken industry and improve outcomes for senior patients. Their vision statement succinctly declares how they plan to go beyond their current market reach and improve the quality of senior care as a whole.
Know What You Do and What You Want to Become
Your mission statement focuses on understanding what you’re doing now, and your vision statement focuses on understanding what you want to become.
By articulating your mission and vision clearly, your team will have a greater sense of direction and know how to work well together to achieve shared goals. As a bonus, your content marketing will be stronger and more aligned, which will only improve the results of your marketing campaigns.