This is the third and final article in a series describing how the four pillars of strategic marketing can boost your profits and brand. The first article provided an overview of the four pillars, which are brand promise, analytics and automation, referrals and leadership. The second article detailed brand promise and analytics and automation.
This article emphasizes the final two pillars: referrals and leadership. Creating systems leading to excellence in these categories will add rocket fuel to your profitability.
Everyone wants customer referrals, but most believe they come randomly instead of through a systematic approach. Our existing loyal customers will readily, effectively and inexpensively do our marketing if we let them, and a referral system lets that occur.
To systemize referrals at a preschool my wife and I owned, we surveyed our customer population to determine satisfaction levels and willingness to make referrals; met monthly with each customer to determine additional needs and ask for three referrals; and built a daily routine for our director to meet with one predetermined customer.
This system yielded many new customers and was cheap, effective and very easy to duplicate in your business.
To create a simple system like this, begin with your most profitable customers. Make it worthwhile for them to bring their friends, family members and centers of influence to your business. Use social media, local sports events, theaters, dinner gatherings and mastermind groups to create high value communities where they can grow their networks and expand their horizons.
While this takes discipline and focus, implementing a systematic referral strategy, along with analytics and automation and a strong brand promise, will transform your business.
Most of the time, leadership is the missing link that hampers breakout marketing success. Even the best systems, strategies and talent will never overcome a leader’s inability to lead the marketing function or recognize the critical nature it plays in the success of their business.
As John Maxwell says, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” It is up to you to open your mind and dive into the new world of marketing, particularly the strategic concepts I have discussed in this series.
No one expects you to understand all the technical details of the systems, or the quantitative techniques used to analyze and interpret the data.
However, you must embrace what Peter Drucker said about marketing being one of the two main functions of a business. If you don’t emphasize these concepts you will be average at best, and out of business at worst. Your team needs you to be a champion for its strategic marketing cause. If you don’t prioritize it, why will anyone else?
Leaders ignore the strategic side of marketing to their great detriment. The people actually doing the marketing need our strong direction and support, and our careful attention enables them to thrive.
The importance of the four pillars is simple to understand, but they can be hard to implement. They are interdependent because marketing analytics and automation depends on a strong brand promise; referral systems are dependent on analytics and automation; a brand promise is dependent on sound analytics, automation, and referrals; and the entire system is dependent on strong, open-minded leadership.
So, what’s your next step? Are you ready to step up to the challenge and provide the vital strategic marketing leadership that will dramatically boost your profitability, improve employee performance and powerfully differentiate your brand?
The success of you and your team depends on it.
Scott McClymonds is a local entrepreneur who owns CEO Velocity Coaching and Consulting, as well as Office Pride Commercial Cleaning of Northwest Arkansas. He is an expert at integrating leadership, strategic marketing and technology to develop competitive advantages. He can be reached at [email protected], 479-263-0774 or linkedin.com/in/scottmcclymonds.