Marketing Information

Whats Your Marketing Weak Link?


Your marketing weak link could be undermining the rest of your marketing. It is vital that each link in your marketing system supports and builds upon the previous link. Each link must bring your customer closer to the next sale. Any link that takes the customer further away from the sale, makes your marketing program inefficient and causes you to lose money.

There are many areas where the system can break down and cause expensive waste of potential. For example, I see many retailers who invest enormous amounts on advertising to bring customers into their store, only to lose potential sales through poorly trained sales people who don't know how to help people buy what they want. There are many examples of businesses advertising discount prices to attract customers because they haven't worked out how to be different from the competition. As a consequence, they only attract price sensitive shoppers who squeeze down prices and margins as low as possible. I frequently experience poor service in restaurants and cafes which puts me, and others, off returning to those establishments. All these weak links undermine the marketing effort and reduce sales and profits.

These examples of weak links in marketing are not only evident in small businesses. As an example, I recently experienced the results of some weak link marketing at the hands of a large international telecommunications company. Late last year I had taken up an offer from this company to use them for toll calls at a capped rate of a maximum of one dollar per call anytime to anywhere in New Zealand. This offer was due to end on 28th February. At the time, the telemarketing person did not know what would happen then, but as I make quite a few toll calls I took advantage of the offer. What happened on 28th February? Did I hear from the telecommunications company? No, nothing. If I just left things my toll calls would be charged at the full rate. What did I do? I opted to change back to the national company where I could have capped calls and pay a fixed monthly fee for favourite place calls to Auckland. About two weeks later, I had a call from the other company's telemarketing person, concerned that I had recently left them and to get me back, offered me the same deal as before. When I said that I would have preferred them to call me about this before I left them, I got an argument instead of a listening ear. In the end, I was so angered by the rudeness of this person that I will never use that company again, whatever type of deal they offer. I am sure I was not the only one who was in this position. This weak link is undermining the whole marketing strategy.

Is there a weak link in your marketing system? Have you developed clear and effective strategies at each phase of your marketing system. Is there a defined method which moves customers through each phase? What do you do to ensure that each stage builds on the previous stage as you:

· Generate leads,

· Convert leads to contacts,

· Conduct the selling process,

· Confirm the sale,

· Serve the customer and ensure they get what they want,

· Create customer delight by going beyond expectations,

· Follow up to ensure that customer comes back, again and again,

· Develop the relationship to make that customer an advocate who refers others to you.

If you fall down in any of these areas, that weak link will drastically undermine your potential for achieving the sales results and profits you could achieve. On the positive side, think about the potential results you could achieve by improving the way you approach all of these marketing links.

(c) 2003 Greg Roworth, Progressive Business Solutions Limited

Greg Roworth is the Managing Director of Progressive Business Solutions Limited, a business development consultancy firm with branches in Wellington and Auckland, New Zealand. Greg has created a unique business development program that assists business owners transform their business from a state of total dependency on them to a state where the business works so well they don't have to.

Greg is also the author of "The 7 Keys to Unlock Your Business Profit Potential," which descibes the fundamental keys a business needs to achieve this transformation. Find out more, get 2 free chapters, or buy the book online at http://www.small-business-success.ws


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