Now that we’ve seen why you need a marketing system, let’s have a look how such a system would serve as a “marketing umbrella” in order to touch all aspects of running your business.
I guess that when you get on a plane, you’re happy that pilots run through their checklists. Because although they ARE experienced, running through that checklist ensures everything is properly addressed and nothing falls through the cracks. Checklists are proven to work.
And this checklist is part of their umbrella system.
Photo Credit: .craig
Think of a system as a more heavy-armed and complete checklist. Whereas the pilot uses his checklist for pre-flight testing, the total system would be the mechanism in which the entire airline company adheres to from end to end.
As an aside, there are essentially three ways to grow your business:
- You acquire more clients.
- You get your existing clients to spend more cash with you.
- You get your existing clients to buy more often.
Reactivating old clients that no longer buy from you can be considered a new or existing client, so they would also fall into the above described methods.
Therefore our marketing system deals with the end-to-end system of marketing, profit centers, and ROI. Everything that can potentially affect the three methods to grow your business mentioned above (and the opposite: preventing your business from shrinking) is part of the marketing system.
Let’s do a quick simple exercise to illustrate what I mean. Put a check next to each role below, if you believe marketing influences that role.
- Product fulfillment
- Product packaging
- Managing dissatisfied and inactive clients
- Issuing refunds
- Human resources (the hiring, firing and promotions of employees)
- Customer service
- The layout of your business: your store, waiting room, etc.
- Appointments and follow up
Ok, I guess you were smart enough to know that marketing influences ALL of those roles.
Among other things, customer service implies the opportunity to ask for up-sells, cross-sells and drastically reduces refunds. The same applies to support.
And you may not realize that the handling of dissatisfied and inactive clients is not the exclusive obligation of operations. As a matter of fact, they are chances to increase your sales and promote referrals. Therefore it’s crucial to keep your front line service employees up to date with your latest marketing campaigns to capitalize on these chances.
For instance, when a department store, using full-page newspaper ads, ran a holiday promotion showcasing their price reductions for increased holiday inventory while offering easy to phone orders, the telephone operators weren’t aware of any of their special offers.
As a result, clients were unhappy and just because a manager forgot to tell the operators about the promotion, lots of sales were lost.
Fulfilling orders looks like a job for shipping. True, but you have extra chances to sell even more by simply putting package inserts in with the shipment. Think of it, your clients just bought from you. They’re delighted with their purchase. They feel good about doing business with you. Therefore it’s a great moment to ask for another sale!
How about your waiting room design and your store layout? Plaster your waiting room with photos and testimonials of past clients, instead of boring magazines and pictures from Sears. This tactic is always used by smart car salespeople. You’ll see innumerable pics of euphoric clients posing with their spic-and-span automobiles in their offices. That’s how they are able to put their prospects mentally in that picture!
And here’s a product packaging example.
Where conventional food markets would sell upwards of twenty or thirty thousand items, one specific store concentrated on one of their specialty niches: freshness and only carried two-thousand items.
Each and every day they brought in fresh fish, cleaned it up and proudly displayed it in their freezer cases, labeled “FRESH FISH” after nicely packaging it.
When sales of the fish weren’t as great as desired, they turned to their clients to find out why and what they wanted.
It soon turned out that it was a perception problem. Their clients wanted them to carry genuine fresh fish, like the ones at the farmers’ market on slabs of ice. Therefore the store began packaging the fish in two different ways:
1) the usual way they always had, and
2) loose in a small display unit on a slab of ice with a sign reading “Fresh Fish Market.”
As a result thereof, their sales of fresh fish more than doubled, proving that the packaging of their products at least as important as the other factors involved.
What about issuing refunds, appointments and follow-up? These are all chances to sell even more. No opportunity should go untapped, which your marketing system should reflect.
Even Human Resources should not be limited to all the hiring and firing decisions. Even a busboy or a dishwasher plays an built-in role in the restaurant business. It’s irrelevant whether or not they interact directly with clients. Your clients still experience the outcomes of their actions.
Here’s an old story.
One day, somewhere in the seventies, government officials who were evaluating the funding that NASA needed, were given a tour by top management of NASA. They stopped and asked a janitor what he did for NASA.
The janitor replied: “I helped put a man on the moon!”
If you want to ensure your business is well positioned for growth, this is exactly that kind of mentality that you absolutely must instill into your employees.
In the end, every single road must lead back to marketing. Because that is the only way your business will grow. Your “marketing umbrella” needs to touch all facets of your business.
How is your marketing system?
Does it work like an umbrella?
Post your comments below.
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