Monday, October 01, 2007

Week 47 - Systematizing the Marketing Function to Keep You Running at Peak Performance

You know you need a system for greeting your clients and you also need one for capturing their details, but don’t forget that the most important systems of all are the ones related to your marketing. Why so? Because marketing activity is the primary source of new business leads. If you approach it haphazardly you will jeopardize all of your other efforts.

Imagine for a minute that you walk into a new job as a marketing manager and the boss hands you a folder titled “Our Marketing System”. Inside the folder you find an in-depth description of all the campaigns that have been run in the past and everything that is planned for the next six months. In addition to this, you find a summary of success and failures to date as well as a list of “ideas and marketing methods” still to be tested.

As a new employee you would feel empowered and very glad that you are not starting from the beginning. The owner of the business is even happier because there is a good chance you can simply pick up where the previous employee left off. Think of your marketing manual as an “operations manual” all of its own. You should be setting aside 1 hour per week to review the results of your test campaigns and feeding that data into decisions regarding your next move. You must commit this time to this exercise. Book 1 hour in your diary each week, for the next three months. You should get into the habit by then. If you don’t do this, your marketing will get stale, your testing and measurement will become non-existent. Basically you will be back to square one!

Frequently review the key marketing concepts:

Testing – what else can you test? Look for new ways to present your offer, new formats or new mediums. For example, try a print ad, then try it in color, then try it in a different magazine or web site. You are looking for the best return for your hard earned dollars.

Measurement – make sure you are measuring the right aspects of your campaigns and spending time thinking about what the data actually means. Feed the findings back into your next campaign and aim to increase your results.

USP – is this still appropriate for your business or have other ME TOO companies diluted the value of your proposition? Keep it fresh and relevant, it may never have to change, but be aware of what is going on around you.

Advertising – are you following the rules when it comes to writing your ads? Use the advertising checklist (Week 20) against EVERY advertisement that you run. Ignore the rules and you can expect your results to drop.

Innovation – it is hard to keep your marketing fresh if you do not have any new products or services to tell the world about. Use your time wisely and commit to a certain number of new products or services per quarter. This will feed straight into your marketing machine and create a snowball effect of new business.

Referrals and repeat purchase programs – never forget that if you rely on one or two income streams, your business is ALWAYS at serious risk. By being on the lookout for new distribution opportunities, you will create a valuable stream of pre-sold prospects that do not cost your business anywhere near as much as cold prospects in time or money.

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