Marcus Lemonis, multimillionaire entrepreneur and star of the hit NBC show “The Profit”, has a formula for success. For Marcus, business success is based upon the simple principles of people, process, and product. These three hallmarks have helped the charismatic Lemonis grow his ultra-successful company Camping World. People, process, and product can be successfully applied to your company’s marketing program.
When building your marketing program in-house or hiring an agency look for the following:
- Ownership: does each marketer possess the ownership “gene”? Do they treat your business as if it is their own?
- Leadership: will your marketing personnel show their leadership skills when executing, formulating, or analyzing strategies? Are they proactive, take charge types?
Strategic Marketing Processes
What processes are in place to ensure your marketing team will continue to successfully grow your marketing program?
- Content Creation: does your marketing team include Internet savvy writers that understand how to optimize content for search engines while creating content your consumers wish to read?
- Distribution and Scale: are your marketing personnel familiar with how you want to distribute your content, where you want it published, how often you expect updates, and how to find a large audience suited for your messages?
- Data Analysis: does each marketer understand how to analyze data that is a result of your online campaigns or ongoing messaging? Do they know how to “read” your data with an eye for potential new strategies, new campaign opportunities, or when to consider revamping or removing an ineffective online communication strategy?
Products and Services
You can’t successfully market or successfully sell a product or service if either is of substandard quality. When Mr. Lemonis is evaluating a business he looks for products that are undervalued, under-served, yet they are products that should provide value to customers.
Likewise, when digital marketing agencies, entrepreneurs, or small marketing consultancies begin to look for services to sell they need to be cautious and discerning when making their choices. The process of selecting which marketing services to offer your clientele should include:
- Skill Sets: List the skills and aptitude you and your team as a beginning guide post. Look for strengths (services you should offer) and weaknesses (niches you should seek training)
- Expertise: What is your expertise and that of your team? More importantly what is your aptitude if you don’t have the expertise in a particular service you wish to offer?
- “Hot” Services: Like the old baseball adage: Some of the best trades you make are the ones you don’t make- just because a social network launches and has created buzz doesn’t mean you must build a service around that network.
- Profitability: Calculate which services or products represent the highest profit margin
- Passion: If you or your workforce do not have a passion for your services or products that lack of enthusiasm will sabotage your sales efforts and brand perception
- Do Great Work: When you perform your work do it to the best of your abilities. Don’t cut corners, don’t give half effort, go all-in or don’t go at all!
Strategic Marketing Lessons
The old saying if you fail to plan plan to fail is very true when it comes to successful strategic marketing. To achieve business success you must lay the foundation for your business with a business plan. Research and market analysis will provide the backbone and road map for where and how you will proceed. The rest us simply a matter of effort and passionate belief in your journey! Good luck to you all.
Marketers are always willing to test their skills at storytelling. Many have even tried their hand at writing a movie script. If you are like me you love Hollywood storytelling at its best. The following is a list with some of my favorite movies. Each movie tells a story and often includes a lesson that every marketer can use as a take away. What are the lessons? Think about it and tell me what your favorite movies might mean to marketing your product or service.
Marketing Lessons from Classic Movies
The following list is not in my order of preference because I love each one for what it brings to me – life lessons and marketing ideas.
- Goodfellas: Loyalty
- The Maltese Falcon: Suspense
- Dark Passage: Adaptability
- The Shawshank Redemption: Perseverance
- Do The Right Thing: Diversity
- The Godfather II: Betrayal
- Tootsie: Surprise
- The King of New York: Good vs Evil
- Pulp Fiction: Sphere of influence
- Reservoir Dogs: Trust
- The English Patient: Beauty
- Star Wars: Endless possibilities
- Varsity Blues: Coming of age
- Casino: Playing the odds
- The Game: Self actualization
- State of Grace: Redemption
- Mrs. Doubtfire: Love
- Scarface: Cautionary tale
- Dirty Harry: Authority
- Gravity: Sacrifice
Do you want to understand how to connect with your current customer base, new prospective clients, and anyone looking for the products or services your firm offers? Seth Godin asks six questions in his post “Who are your customers?” that require us to connect with how in-touch we are with the people that help us thrive.
Seth Godin’s 6 Questions: Who Are Your Customers?
- What do they believe?
- Who do they trust?
- What are they afraid of and who do they love?
- What are they seeking?
- Who are their friends?
- What do they talk about?
If you can’t answer each question then some research is in order. Where do you begin to answer any of these questions?
6 Methods to Learn: Who Are Your Customers?
Finding answers is not always easy or an intuitive process. The following are some simple methods to get started in understanding who are your customers?
- Survey: create a customer survey, add an incentive to increase your response rates, asking your customers the questions you need answered
- Sales Department: poll your salesforce and provide incentives for everyone to ensure you receive the most accurate information. Concentrate on those employees in direct contact with your customers and customer service
- Industry: attend industry conventions and events and listen for intelligence about your firm, product, and services
- Offers: create a digital e-mailing, a post card campaign, or advertising campaign that provides value to your customer base for their intelligence about your brand in return
- Monitor: identify and listen within the channels your customers use to talk about your products, services, and industry. Gather intelligence
- Town Hall: provide a live town hall meeting where your customers can comfortably voice their feedback, solutions to possible problems, and opinions.
Essentially, the answers will come to the surface through your crowdsourcing efforts if you allow your customers and prospective customers to provide their feedback in an environment that encourages sharing.
Giving back to your community can take on many looks, facets, and ideas. Whether you give money, time, charitable goods, or advice your effort is important. In our business at Inner Architect we are currently giving our time and expertise through free work shops to unemployed professionals in our home town. The following is an article written by Susan Hanshaw, CEO of Inner Architect, on our latest experience reaching out to our community.
Learning While Teaching
One of the ways we at Inner Architect give back to our community is by teaching job seekers how to use digital media to support job search. Earlier this week Dean and I gave our quarterly pro bono presentation at Marin Professionals, a support and networking organization for job seekers who are 40+ years old with college degrees.
Challenges with adoption
We started speaking at Marin Pro in the fall of 2008 with a program we called “Blogging to Employment” which we delivered to a very skeptical audience. Although the group seemed intrigued, they challenged us pretty hard about the power and practicality of the tool we said could be leveraged as a vehicle for standing apart as a job candidate. Faces in the audience were looking at us like we were a couple of early adopter geeks evangelizing a passing trend.
Over the last three years, the skepticism has waned, although the group has generally remained uninspired to adopt. I am thinking that perhaps we’ve begun to see the beginning of change in the group that sat in on our presentation earlier this week as a number of heads were nodding in agreement as we gave rationale about how social engagement can open doors.
Social engagement success story
I shared a story of how one particular fan of one of our law firm clients has gotten on the radar of the managing partner simply by liking or commenting on their Facebook page 2-3 times a week. I shared that this fan has never asked for a favor, but if she did we (the people behind the firm’s logo) would roll out the red carpet to help because we are so grateful for all her support.
One more reason to adopt
I do hope to see more of my friends at Marin Professionals adopting social networking and digital media. We’ve all heard the hard facts about finding a job if you’re 40, 50, or 60+. Don’t we all seem more youthful if we’re doing stuff that many people think is only for kids?
A recent, excellent and instructive Pew Research survey showcases some interesting results for marketers to consider. Although Millennials have been leading all online age group demographics in web, social networking usage, older generations are beginning to adopt and use at a rate that is encouraging. The following are points from the Pew survey about Millennial online habits and the shared online habits of each age demographic. Do you see any opportunities?
Millennial Online Habits
According tothe Pew survey (chart at bottom), Millennials are “more likely to access the internet wirelessly with a laptop or mobile phone.” In addition, they still clearly surpass their elders online when it comes to:
- Reading blogs
- Use of instant messaging
- Use of social networking sites
- Using online classifieds
- Playing online games
- Participating in virtual worlds
- Listening to music
Shared Online Interests Across Demographic Age Groups
Yet there is a continuing change taking place as both Millennials and their elders are beginning to share some of the same interests in a way never seen in the past. The following are online activities that are becoming “uniformly” popular across all age groups:
- Search engine usage
- Searching for health related information
- Getting news, breaking news
- Travel reservations, purchases
- Buying products, services
- Performing online banking
- Seeking religious information
- Giving to charities
- Rating products, people, services
- Downloading podcasts
Can you name the top 10 small businesses in America? Do you work at one of the top 100 rated small businesses in America? If you can’t answer either question you have company. Many people don’t know the answer to this question because they follow news about the behemoths of industry, the giants of growth, or the latest and greatest.
Forbes, one of the leaders in business journalism, presents their list America’s 100 Best Small Companies. In a previous post I asked you if you were prospecting your business community. This article could act as a resource for generating leads. I will list the top 10 but you can find the entire list of 100 Best Small Companies here.
America’s 100 Best Small Companies: Top 10
3. American Public Education
4. Deckers Outdoor
7. National Presto Industries
8. Industrial Services of America
9. True Religion Apparel
10. Transcend Services
How do you stay on top of the mountain of information developing in social media and marketing? For me it’s a constant battle to keep up. I read a number of sites like SocialMediatoday, Mashable, Techcrunch, SearchEnginePeople, and VentureBeat to name a few.
Another important place to find information, in nearly every industry, is LinkedIn.com. Within LinkedIn, joining a group has been one of the best ways to learn and participate. If you utilize LinkedIn, what are your favorite groups?
My Favorite LinkedIn Groups
- Social Media Today
- The Blog Zone
- Future Social Media
- Association of Strategic Marketing
- Facebook and Twitter for Business
- Email Experience Council
- Inbound Marketers- For Marketing Professionals
Inner Architect: San Rafael Social Media Company
As a San Rafael, CA social media company with a direct marketing approach we are constantly on the hunt for learning opportunities. Do you have a favorite LinkedIn group? If so please let us know how we can connect on LinkedIn.