Crafting the perfect capability statement – why it matters and how to do it

Here at Sketch. Corp, it never ceases to amaze us just how much interest our 2019 blog on capability statement design receives – it’s still one of our most-visited posts. With that in mind, and given the fast-paced nature of our industry, we wanted to take another look at this crucial area of business – one that’s developing rapidly.

In short, a rock-solid capability statement can play a key role in your collateral – for many, it’s the number one document to pull out when meeting potential customers and throwing a hat in the ring for work. Why should you have one? Well, it’s often the go-to request for clients who want a clear and detailed snapshot of your business – plus, you can bet your bottom dollar your competitors have a capability statement, as it’s rare we work with a client who doesn’t.

Whilst a capability statement used to be a short, two-page (think double-sided A4) document listing competencies and achievements (usually in bullet points), it’s now industry standard for it to be a longer brochure – showcasing everything from your values, mission, services and experience to your team and your company USPs. Not just a two-pager now, eh!

So how does one go about creating the perfect capability statement for your business? To help you make sure yours stands out, we’ve put together a handy list of what it should include.

  1. Tell your story. Customers don’t just want to know what your business can do – they want to know how it started, how it’s grown and where you plan to take it in the future. A personal and compelling background story can be a great way of engaging your potential customer from the get-go – so concisely write down the outline of your journey so far.
  2. Articulate your values and your mission. What drives your company? What unites your team and makes sure you’re all moving in the same direction, towards one common goal? Whatever you prioritise – be it outstanding customer service, a family-friendly focus or honesty and transparency in everything you do, here’s the place to wear your heart on your sleeve – your future customers will respect you for it. 
  3. Get down to the nitty-gritty. It’s no longer enough to briefly cover off what you do – to catch the eye of the right people, you need to detail all the things your company is capable of. Your potential new clients know their own needs, and they’re looking to see if you can meet them. Having said that, you don’t want to send them to sleep – so this is where you should fall back on bullet points to get the right information across in the shortest time. 
  4. Embrace infographics. Nothing’s more likely to turn readers off than monotonous, fact-heavy copy that’s never broken up. That’s why the best capability statements contain a mixture of copy, original imagery (not stock photography) and everyone’s favourite – infographics. Making stats and figures digestible since time immemorial, infographics have the added bonus of looking both eye-catching and professional – we recommend they make an appearance in any capability statement that needs to present workflows, timelines or a multitude of facts and figures. 
  5. Show-off. OK, so it might not come naturally, but this is your place to really tell people what sets you apart. What’s your USP? What sets you apart from your competitors? Whatever it is, shout it loud and proud – this is your time to shine. 
  6. Introduce your team. People love to see the face behind the company, and your capability statement is a great place to do this. Even if it’s only the leadership team, make sure you put some faces to names – it makes your company memorable and it builds brand loyalty.
  7. End with a simple CTA. Once they’ve read your capability statement, what do you want people to do? We’re guessing it’s get in touch – so make sure you include all your up-to-date contact details, and the relevant contact name, if required. Then sit back and watch the enquiries roll in – all thanks to the shiny new capability statement that knocked your competitors out of the park.

GA4: what the new version of Google Analytics will do for you

The latest iteration of Google Analytics, dubbed Google Analytics 4 (GA4), is live and – as you’d hope from a new analytics product – it’s giving users deeper insights than ever before.

Since 2005, Google Analytics has provided essential insights that influence how businesses worldwide develop their online strategy. With GA4, Google’s raising the game – including powerful new features that give business owners and marketing teams a much deeper delve into their website traffic. Offering a multitude of new insights, here’s a summary of some of the key ones:

  1. Smarter insights that use machine learning to identify trends
    Thanks to super-smart machine learning, Google Analytics is now capable of alerting you to important data trends (think increased or decreasing online enquiry). Predictive metrics will be also added over time – allowing for potential revenue estimates to be taken from a defined group of customers. 

  2. Deeper integration with Google Ads
    GA4 provides a more encompassing view of Google Ads results across web and apps – including the ability to see conversions from YouTube video views, Google and non-Google paid channels, Google search, social media and email.
  3. Customer-centric data measurement
    Instead of reporting how your visitors are interacting with a device or platform, GA4 now uses multiple identity spaces to give you a customer-centric measurement.

  4. Increasingly granular data controls
    GA4 includes more options to make sure advertisers comply with data regulations such as GDPR and CCPA. Consent mode has been designed for sites that have to obtain end-user consent to collect analytics data – providing separate consent opt-ins for analytics and ads.

  5. Reporting
    GA4’s reporting has been extended to include advanced reporting, analysis and customisation tools, with templates that let you analyse behaviour with a better user experience and visibility.

Impressive, right? So what does all of this mean for you – and how will you use it? 

In our August blog we highlighted the increasingly important role customer retention is now playing in business marketing strategies – in 2020 and beyond, the challenge is keeping customers happy and loyal. The changes in GA4 are very much aligned with that goal – they’re focused on getting to know your customer better, understanding that they’ll evolve and having the data to know when and how that’s happening.

In a post-COVID world the way we work has changed, and a new normal has emerged. As more and more of us work remotely and online, the spotlight has shone once again on a business’ website and digital channels. With that in mind, every business should be using GA4 to know how customers are interacting with their site and make informed decisions on how to continuously improve these interactions. If you’re not going to, someone else will – so get on the GA4 train, stat.

How to write a Christmas message for a year like 2020…

We can all agree 2020 was a year like no other. With most companies experiencing rapid and unpredictable change, many of our clients have asked us how to approach this year’s customer Christmas message.

How does a business even begin to address everything that’s happened in the last twelve months? We know it’s a lot, and – with that in mind – we’ve put together these handy tips for how to sum-up a year everyone’s keen to forget.

  1. Be honest. It’s a cliche but it’s true – we’re all in this together. No one escaped the pandemic scot-free – whether in our careers, families, education or travel plans, we were all affected in some way. There’s no hiding it was a tough year for everyone, and your customers won’t expect you to. Without going into the gritty detail, it’s fine to admit this year was a challenging one for your business – pretty much everyone can say the same.
  2. Be personal. At the best of times, customers love to see the people behind the company. In a year when we’ve all felt more vulnerable, it’s especially good to show the people who make your business what it is. Show your customers exactly who they’re supporting when they choose to take their business to you – it’ll give them the kind of warm and fuzzies that’ll see them stick with you through thick and thin.
  3. Be grateful. No one *has* to spend their money with you, but they choose to – and that’s an excellent thing. Make sure you thank your customers for their business and loyalty, at a time when you’ve needed it most.
  4. Be future-focused. This year, and indeed the pandemic itself, can’t last forever (thank goodness!), and you should end by turning your attention to better things to come. We’re all hoping for a better 2021 – one where we once again find our feet and go on to achieve bigger and brighter things. Make sure you articulate that, voice it and invite your customers along for the ride – because hoping for a better year really is something we all agree on.