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The Marketing March

Nov 24 2012 by Dan Gartlan

Attraction Marketing is the process of making your company, its products, services and culture more attractive to prospects by driving marketing initiatives with the people you already employ. How to process this activity to steadily move your marketing forward, using data to guide you, is called "The Marketing March."


The strategies outlined in Attraction Marketing are numerous and interdependent. Keeping each strategy moving forward is critical. Getting things all moving in the same direction has been referred to as herding cats and making decisions on where to focus resources and where to cut is the key to success.


The Marketing March is a way of managing a marketing process that empowers your team and puts you in control of decisions and direction.


Leadership involvement is critical

Many CEOs over the past several years have been distracted from marketing, focusing on other areas of the business. Attraction Marketing, to be successful, must have the leader's attention from day one. This means you cannot delegate it to a direct report, even at the highest level.


For this to happen, two things must be true. First, the CEO must agree that marketing is the key to success. Maybe this will change again in the future, but for now sales and marketing are critical.


Second, in order for the CEO to stay engaged the process must be efficient. He or she must be able to make decisions and have control with little time invested. The CEO must lead and coach. Others must be inspired to take ownership of the various strategies.


Who spearheads the strategies?

Each strategy is assigned a champion who drives that initiative. If you are focusing on all six Attraction Marketing strategies you will need six champions.


Picking the people who champion each strategy is up to you. The best approach is to pick the person who first comes to mind as understanding a particular strategy. Try to resist the people who typically head up initiatives. Get others involved. In my business we selected a mix of job types and experience levels. We want everyone represented.


Each of the strategy champions is asked to create a single-page spreadsheet with charts and data that show the progress of each initiative. Information is based on key measurements everyone has agreed will move them closer to their goal.


These reports must fit on a single frame when projected on the screen at a weekly future-indicators meeting. The goal is to offer clear and concise reporting on the period, year-to-date and annual progress of each initiative. Each of the reports has similar and unique qualities.


How is reporting done and decisions made?

Once a week, the leader and champions meet at 8:30 a.m. for no more than 30 minutes. In that time each person flashes their report on the overhead and speaks to what is working and what is not. This public reporting creates friendly competition and increases each champion's desire to report on successes.


Another key advantage of a group meeting is everyone, in real-time, knows what everyone else is working on. As a result, the team quickly begins to understand the interdependence of their activities.


The leader's role is to review what is presented and hold people accountable to their goals and act as the decision maker on increasing and decreasing time and energy on tactics.


The second responsibility of the leader is to coach on tactics that may need adjusting or that have stalled. This is typically done in the 15 minutes following the meeting. You simply ask two or three people to stay after, and when the room is cleared, you state the challenge and ask for assistance for the individual needing help. The others brainstorm and help solve the problem.


As a leader, your time invested should be less than 15 percent — a small price to pay in order to drive a critical part of your business.


How will people respond to the added responsibility?

I can't speak for all organizations but in ours, the people involved in our Marketing March have pride in what they are doing for the overall team. They like the fact they are making a difference and moving us forward. Many of them have also acknowledged they enjoy learning new things and feel more ownership in the success of the company as a whole.

 

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