Scholars, Start Your Business—A Marketing Process Worthy of Champagne

Scholars, Start Your Business—A Marketing Process Worthy of Champagne

When starting a new business, do you feel like celebrating?  Or maybe you’re young and have never faced the work-life grind.  Either way, when starting up a company or entering the workforce, shoot for a quick win.  A quick win is as fun as a party.

I heard a quote that said something like “Think big.  Start small.  Scale fast.” Breaking things down into small bits can catapult you to success—if you measure your wins.  But to measure wins, whether quick or big, you need a process.

The following five-stage process is designed for marketers, but applies to most other roles.  And if you’re a business owner, the five-stage process applies to your bottom line.  They’re five stages worthy of champagne.

So, let’s party.

First, crack the champagne for your initial assessment.

Stage 1: INITIAL ASSESSMENT: “defining a clear game plan.  At this stage, an initial assessment of the current state is useful.  Ask what metrics do you currently use.  How do you use data for decision making?” (Jeffery, 2010, 20%).

Mull over a game plan.  It’s best to have access to all the corporate analytics, but sometimes, starting out, you don’t have data.  So, what do you do?

Start off by putting Google Analytics on your website.  If you’re a brick and mortar store, get a digitized point of sale system.  Even just measuring your end-of day sales and costs can start you off nicely.

Second, blow up the balloons for your diagnosis.

Stage 2: DIAGNOSIS: “where the idea is to take the current state assessment to the next level ….  Ask what are the gaps and opportunities? … This is where we need to think about risk and return: ….  of all the options, what are the easy wins that will give the highest impact at the lowest effort and cost?” (Jeffery, 2010, 20%)

Lay out several options.  To collect options in the first place, consider turning to Facebook groups.  I heard on a social media podcast that once you find your group (typically a large group), you’ll grow enamored.  Facebook groups are much better than the Internet at getting your questions answered.  You might stumble on all kinds of marketing ideas from these groups.  Ideas range from how to snap a great product shoot to guerilla Marketing tactics.

Anything you ask will likely be answered—fast.  And there’s an ideal group waiting for you, whatever your vocation.

Third, dance to every quick win.

Stage 3: OPPORTUNITIES: QUICK WINS: “Once the opportunities are identified, go after the easiest to get the quick win.” ((Jeffery, 2010, 20%).

Pick the quickest wins first but keep long-term ones in mind.  If you want to tackle a website makeover, a new menu for your business, and a product photo shoot, go with the quickest win, likely a photoshoot.

An even quicker fix might be a copywriting makeover of your website.  Copywriting is writing meant to sell.  Just changing the words on your website so they focus more on the word “you” than “we” can boost sales.

Fourth, chomp the hors d’oeuvres while prepping your tools.

Stage 4: TOOLS: “The Stage 4 focus is on Tools: … define metrics and scorecards for success and develop capabilities to support ongoing marketing activities ….  The quick wins are often one-time proof of concepts ….  The idea of Stage 4 is to put in place the infrastructure for repeatability” (Jeffery, 2010, 20%).

Measuring your success can be done on your website if you have Google Analytics—or better yet, Google Tag Manager.  Google Tag Manager brings together—in one hub—all your Website love from Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Ads, Google Tag Manager, and so much more.  You can retarget visitors who submit your online order forms, who watch your videos, who scroll a page to the bottom, and so much more.

So, you’ve set up your measurement tools, and hopefully isolated metrics you want to calculate.  These metrics will tell you whether your quick win campaign is progressing successfully.  Now what?

Fifth, set off fireworks with each review, test, or tweak.

Stage 5: PROCESS: ”The last step, Stage 5, is Process— ….  frequent reviews to evaluate performance and change course where necessary … Again you don’t need millions of dollars of infrastructure to get started ….  I advocate using 3” × 5” index cards for scorecards and Excel for tracking and initial dashboards ….  Automate the process once you show repeatability and results ….” (Jeffery, 2010, 20%).

Make sure you don’t go down a path without evaluation.  In other words, don’t be the captain who refuses to see the iceberg.  Change course when necessary.

You might do a customer loyalty program using, say, one free coffee after every seventh sale.  Track the number of cards stamped plus revenue earned.  I’m certain I’ll come across even better metrics, but those are two measurements you can track easily in a Mom and Pop shop.

But if you lose money, tweak the campaign.  Maybe offer a free coffee after every tenth sale.  Or make the stamp dependent on purchase of a higher priced item.  But don’t rush.  Loyalty programs are harder to measure.  They often pay off over the long-term.  Monitor your progress, and adjust wisely.

I even found app to measure loyalty stamped cards: an app called “Stamp Me.” The app comes with online instructions on how to measure its return on investment.  (If you ever need to measure your cell-phone-based marketing, seek out an app.)

Now that you know the basics of the marketing process try not to be one of those people who resist issuing coupons, loyalty programs, and incentives for surveys and contests.  Instead, be one of those people who uses these tactics, but measures for success.  And with each quick win, celebrate with fireworks, hors d’oeuvres, dancing, and champagne.

Reference
Jeffery, Mark.  (2010).  Data-driven marketing : the 15 metrics everyone in marketing should know.  Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.  [Amazon Kindle].  Retrieved from amazon.ca.
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