Sunday, February 25, 2007
There are a number of basic marketing fundamentals that everyone needs to know in order to generate attention, interest, desire and action among prospects. But to be successful in today's competitive environment, you need more than a basic understanding of a traditional AIDA model and the
4 P's (product, place, price, promotion). One way to acquire this knowledge is with the help of online MBA programs. Online MBA rankings can be a guide for finding powerful online MBA programs that get you up to speed on core concepts and more advanced ones.
A number of years ago, I discovered a marketing methodology made popular by Michael Gerber. For those of you who have never heard of him, you can still find his books on Amazon or your local bookstore. Mr. Gerber referred to this marketing methodology as the E-myth which was comprised of: innovation, quantification, orchestration, and documentation.
This methodology is the key behind major marketing successes like McDonalds, the Four Seasons, and many other well-known brands. Let me explain his methodology and illustrate how it can be applied to your business to deliver significant ROI.
If you do what everyone else is doing, you'll get the same results – if you're lucky. Most often, those who excel in any market are the innovators, those who are continually trying new things, creating new methods of doing business, or standing for something unique.
Whether you’re Ben & Jerry's ice cream, Apple computer, or Tommy Hilfiger, innovation is baked into the sale, marketing, and product development process. To illustrate, let's take a look at your run-of-the-mill retail clothing store. When you enter the store, what's the first thing the sales rep says to you? You guessed it, "How can I help you?"
An example of applying innovation would be to have that same sales representative open with a new greeting, something like, "Hello, is it your first time visiting our store?". If yes, there's a perfect opportunity to discuss what makes you unique, how to navigate the store, and so on. If no, the same holds true… "Welcome back. Were you successful in finding what you needed upon your last visit? What can I help you with today?"
Regardless of the actual questions used, the example of innovation in a sales/marketing sense gives you the ability to try something new. This 'something' can take a variety of different formats, but most importantly it iis something that can move you towards a greater ROI. Especially if you understand the next step which is quantification.
With each innovation, an action is taken – a product sampled, research conducted, a new sales pitch or value proposition delivered. To be truly effective with your marketing you must measure your results.
The most successful marketing programs are always working to improve their return on investment (ROI). The key is to measure each independent element that could possibly influence your result.
Using our example of the retail establishment, you wouldn't want to ask all of your sales reps to start using a new pitch AND change their dress code. Doing so might dilute your ability to measure the effectiveness of a new sales script. Additionally, you wouldn’t want to change other store elements like the music or store layout at the same time – doing so would make accurate measurement next to impossible.
Now that you've tried something new and measured its effectiveness, you're ready for the third component, orchestration.
After trying something innovative, and measuring the result, you now know what works and what doesn't. The key is to keep innovating in small ways, continually testing and evaluating the results. Once you have your successes identified, you need to roll them out in a systemic fashion.
All sales and marketing personnel should be utilizing and implementing the latest innovation in all they do. This methodology now becomes your control. Your next innovation is only effective if it produces better results than your control.
Improving your process of orchestration is also extremely important. The faster you implement your innovation across the business – in a consistent fashion, the better your results become. Walmart is a master of this. If there is an innovation in one store, it is quickly shared and implemented with all store managers across the U.S. The result is innovation on a massive scale which has a direct and positive influence on ROI.
The top innovators do this last step extremely well. Documentation doesn't mean creating reams of manuals that are esoteric or difficult to navigate. Rather, documentation is the development of a guide, procedure, or system that allows consistent implementation of the innovations you develop.
As new personnel come into your business, you want to make sure that the innovations and enhancements you've made to your sales and marketing practices are fully implemented. The best way to do this is to not expect an employee to memorize a 700 page employee instruction manual. Rather, they should become familiar with your way of doing business - which needs to be documented in a simple, easily understandable format.
You know you're at a company that does this well when you hear things like, that's "the Walmart way" or "This is how we do it here". It’s those companies that create living documentation that is easily understood and implemented that excel.
If you’re trying to enhance your marketing program, or create one from scratch, keep this methodology in mind: innovation, quantification, orchestration, documentation. This process will ensure constant growth and improvement in your marketing results.
Don't just take my word for it, look at most major brands or category leaders. Under the hood, you'll find systems for innovation, ways of testing, measuring, implementing, and documenting in a seemingly effortless fashion.
By Michael Fleischner | Internet Marketing Expert