Measure Your Marketing

Meager Measurement

Measuring your marketing

Measure your marketing, and you’ll manage your marketing immeasurably better.

Major Marketing Malfunction # 7

I don’t like to bake and make cakes. It gives me headaches.

Why? When I cook I want to be merry and make a mess. Baking requires meticulous measurement.

However, we all know someone who likes to bake a lot. My friend Monse, appears to toss together ingredients and abracadabra, a cake, cookies or pie appear. But it’s not magic, it’s science. Mixing ingredients together to create chemistry; edible chemistry. And precision measurement is crucial to baking. The balance between flour and fat, liquid and leaven is paramount.

My style of cooking is freeform, spontaneous and subjective. So spicing up sauces, soups and salads are subjectively allowed. How about a freeform stir-fry? Or a spontaneous spinach and squash salad? I cook by mixing appropriate proportions versus measuring with absolute precision.

But cooking is my passion, not my profession. As a marketing strategist; I’m the complete opposite. I view meager measurement as another major marketing malfunction. Measure your marketing, and you’ll manage your marketing immeasurably better. And as a marketing strategist, I can advocate that one can safely buy from The Marketing Heaven some views for your social media channels that’d provide you the initial thrust.

[Read more…]

Effective Strategic Marketing Action Plans

Absent An Action Plan

Recipes are for cooking and marketing

Without recipes, implementation is inconsistent, loses focus & lacks accountability

Major Marketing Malfunction #6

A goal without a plan is just a wish.” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

Having performed numerous marketing assessments and marketing audits over the years, I often see good marketing intentions, (wishful goal-setting); deteriorate into a messy mixture of marketing initiatives with marketing ingredients impulsively amassed — in the absence of an action plan. Creating a strategic marketing action plan is akin to an Executive Chef’s key responsibility in creating recipes and menu planning that keeps guests returning for more.  [Read more…]

Select the Right Marketing Weapons, Instruments or Ingredients

Ineffective Integration

Select the Right Marketing Ingredients, Marketing Weapons, Marketing Instruments

Major Marketing Malfunction #5

Strategically Select Your Marketing Ingredients

Yesterday we discussed how marketing is not any one ingredient and that every touch point is a marketing opportunity. Since there are over 175 ingredients to choose from, the strategic selection of appropriate marketing weapons to maximize this marketing opportunity is critical. In evaluating clients’ marketing strategy, I frequently see that in the haste to “put something out there,” organizations undermine their marketing effectiveness by not being more discriminating and shrewd in their selection of marketing instruments.

Imagine walking into a kitchen, you survey the spice rack with its plethora of dissimilar seasonings, spices and herbs. The pantry is teeming with an array of ingredients of differing tastes, textures and aromas. The refrigerator and freezer contain yet more ingredients – dozens more. Each ingredient possesses distinct attributes. Some are sharp and tangy, some soft, sweet and seductive, some have more meat than others, and yes some are junk! [Read more…]

Marketing At Every Touch Point

An Apple - One ingredient doesn't

Marketing, like in cooking, isn’t any singular ingredient

Every Touch Point is a Marketing Opportunity

 “What do you think of Twitter?”

“Are traditional websites are thing of the past?”
“Should I be replacing my brochures and one-sheets with YouTube® videos?”

Three typical questions I hear when giving marketing speeches. But underlying these and many other similar questions is a mistaken singular focus on a specific marketing ingredient as if it’s going to be the panacea of one’s marketing. It would be like asking a chef,

“What do you think of pomegranates?”

Or, “Is goose liver passé?”

“Shall I get rid of the cauliflower and broccoli and replace them with broccoflower?”

Both sets of questions don’t make a whole lot of sense. Marketing, like cooking, isn’t any one thing you do. The power of marketing, as in cooking, is in the appropriate selection, combination and deployment of ingredients.

There are over 175 marketing ingredients in your “marketing pantry” – there’s plenty to select from! The key is strategically selecting the right ingredients for your particular business. Marketing ingredients are not just the obvious things like your business card, website or advertising, but everything in your business. Because everything you do, (and don’t do), sends a message: how you answer your phone, the quality of your service and the cleanliness of your facilities all send a message. [Read more…]

Mediocre Marketing Messages – A Major Marketing Malfunction

Mediocre Messaging

Mediocre Messaging is a Major Marketing Malfunction

Too many choices, too many options, it’s overwhelming …

Major Marketing Malfunction #4

Part 1 – The Issues

Your prospects, clients and referral sources are being bombarded with marketing messages almost every hour of every day. It’s worse than the cereal aisle in your grocery store. Too many choices, too many options, it’s overwhelming and more often than not, you end up sticking to your established preferences unless something irresistible cuts through the clutter.

  • In 1970, the average person was exposed to about 500 advertisements each day. In the early 1990s, it was 5,000.[1] Today it is estimated that people are exposed to close to 30,000 marketing messages a day.  [Read more…]

Positioning Products & Services Purposefully & Profitably

Profitable Positioning

Chocolate soufflé

Major Marketing Malfunction #2

Part 2 – The Solution

Yesterday’s post outlined how a poor positioning for your organization or offering without distinction or appeal is unappetizing and far from irresistible.  And positioning yourself with purpose and intention is not just a good marketing exercise – it’s a profitable one!

Positioning is as foundational to marketing, as a stock is to a soup or sauce. If your stock is rancid the soup or sauce will be unappetizing! And it’s not enough to just be differentiated – although that is important. What is the value you bring to your target market? The recognized value you bring to your clients combined with your novelty and differentiation will position you, your organization or your offering with the highest potential profit.  [Read more…]

Brand Baloney or a Bold Brand Full of Promise

Brand Baloney

Is your brand phony baloney or bold and full of promise?

Is your brand phony baloney or bold and full of promise?

Major Marketing Malfunction #3

 Part 1 – The Issues

Is your brand bruschetta or phony baloney? The first is appealing and appetizing; the latter is the definition of nonsense or “foolish or deceptive talk.” A brand is a set of promises and associations that a person (or group) perceives about an organization, product, service, or now with increasing frequency, an individual.

Your brand associations may be tangible, explicit and intentional – that is, they may be communicated through your graphic identity and other overt tactical marketing means. Or, your brand association may be more implicit and intangible, but still within your control: how you answer the phone, the cleanliness of your facility, or your follow-up, are simple examples. Sometimes they may be out of your control, for example a thumbs-down website review, a harmful press article, or negative rumors about you.

Brands make promises, build relationships and possess personality. They amply your value proposition and create a valuable asset that can potentially surpass the value of your individual offering.

“If Coca-Cola were to lose all of its production-related assets in a disaster, the company would survive. By contrast, if all consumers were to have a sudden lapse of memory and forget everything related to Coca-Cola, the company would go out of business.”~ Coca-Cola Executive

Brand Promise: If you think about taking a bite into a piece of Ghirardelli chocolate or a sip of Dom Perignon you probably envisage a specific sensory expectation. As you purchase an Apple iPhone, check into the Hyatt Regency or shop at Macy’s you probably have an expectation about the experience. This expectation, is essentially the promise of the brand whether based on your past experience, their marketing or someone else’s encounter. Years ago, I took my family on vacation to Italy, a culinary heaven. At the Spanish Steps in Rome, stands a world-renowned restaurant that constantly draws patrons. How can McDonalds thrive here? To Americans, Europeans and Asians, McDonalds delivers on a simple brand promise: a cheap, dependable, fast delivered meal in a clean establishment. What’s your brand promise?

Brand Relationship: Loyalty is the outcome of the strength, trust and depth of a relationship. But loyalty in a relationship doesn’t just apply to a person. It can be applied to an offering or brand that’s bold, holds strong values and is emotionally evocative. Are your followers loyal to your people, your offering or your brand?

Brand Personality: Every brand has a personality. For example, companies in the automotive, insurance and beverage industries have all very effectively crafted distinct personalities around their offerings. What’s the personality of your brand? What are the five words you want to be known by? Would they be the same five words your customers would give me if I asked them about you?

 

Positioning Products & Services – “The Battle for the Mind”

Poor Positioning

Unappetizing Positioning

Photo: Tobias Pohler

Major Marketing Malfunction #2

Part 1 – The Issues

Positioning your organization or offering: irresistible or unappetizing? No distinction has no appeal. Trout & Ries in their classic manifesto: Positioning calls it a “battle for the mind”. Furthermore, I would suggest if you don’t position yourself, the marketplace will position you … and it won’t be appealing! Just as a stock is foundational to making a soup or a sauce, positioning is foundational to marketing. In my thirty plus years of business experience I see poor positioning as one of the fundamental flaws in organizations’ marketing strategies.

Your organizations’ offering or your particular product or service offering must “own” a space in the marketplace that is uniquely yours. Your positioning must also be credible, defendable, and sustainable.

  • Credible positioning means when challenged with the words: “prove it!” you can back up your claims.
  • Defendable positioning means no one else can easily lay claim to your “space.”
  • Sustainable positioning means that it works today, next week, and next year.

A simply irresistible™ positioning starts with your Extraordinary Value Proposition; don’t just have an ordinary boring value proposition. Literally make it “extra – ordinary!” [Read more…]

Market Conversations – Listening to the Marketplace

Lackluster Listening

Lackluster-Listening-vs-Market-Conversations

Photo: Ryan Glanzer

Major Marketing Malfunction #1

Listening or broadcasting? Are we singing our praises so loudly to our target audience that we can no longer hear the marketplace conversation? To be effective in our marketing, listening is as important as broadcasting. In reality, not listening or just poor, lackluster listening damages your advertising, dilutes your brand, and undermines your marketing campaigns.

Effective listening in the marketplace reveals strategic answers about your target market, their core issues and decision-making criteria. Without this, your marketing – may turn into a futile investment. It would be like planning a dinner party without knowing who’s coming to dinner. Can you imagine the embarrassment of making a steak au poivre for a distinguished vegan guest! Irrespective of how good a cook you are – not taking your prospective guests’ (audience) preferences into consideration can lead to disaster.

Three causes behind lackluster listening [Read more…]