The best laid marketing plans can be thwarted by the things you least expect. Several weeks ago I was offered a complementary service as a result of a donation that I made to a non-profit. This was a great opportunity for the service provider to get their name in front of their target audience with little or no cost until an actual redemption was made. The idea was brilliant: I’m a great prospect for their service and would never have heard of them otherwise. I called the business to make an appointment and arrived this evening at the scheduled time.
The courteous receptionist didn’t know me from Adam and was apparently not clued in to the importance of this marketing plan. Apparently I was supposed to bring some type of paperwork. I didn’t have the right paperwork and this meant that I could not take advantage of the complementary service. At no time did she attempt to make accommodations, identify another way to service me or offer to make an appointment for a return visit. Instead her response was simply that I could not receive their service without the paperwork.
I’ll never go back. I’m like that; I admit it. But as a business owner it pains me to see how this ideal marketing campaign has been completely knocked off its rails by a missing link in operations. I wish I could say this was the first time I’ve seen this problem but it is not.
Often businesses will run special offers but neglect to tell their staff. They will mail out a coupon, advertise on the radio or sponsor some fabulously worthy non-profit event but not remember to tell their best sales representations or even the folks who answer their phones. As a result, great prospects like me are left with a sour taste in our mouth.
Marketing isn’t just the creative idea. It’s the execution of that idea. It is putting into place all of the necessary steps to help make that great idea into a success. Whether that means some type of training at a sales meeting or simply taping the coupon to cash register or placing the newspaper ad in the employee break-room, you’ve got to make sure all of your best people are in the loop.
I have a client who distributes a monthly email to all of his internal staff highlighting not only the great efforts of individual team members but also all of the marketing activities and operational changes going on that month. It is a fairly simple idea that goes a long way towards making sure the folks on the right know what their teammates on the left are up to. Amazingly, he’s the only client I have (thus far) to distribute such a communication but it is enjoyable to see him reap the results in both customer and employee satisfaction.