‘Now What? – What do we do when we catch the car?’ – Spinach Helpful Tip of the Week!

‘What is a ‘Spinach helpful tip’? – When a friend tells you what you don’t know – especially when you don’t know it!

In an earlier installment we explored Socratic Questioning methods that you should utilize for Questioning Inferences and ConclusionsAs we work through the different tools in our Marketing Technology stack that are supposed to deliver the information and data from which Sales & Marketing Leaders derive their inspiration. Once we have the inspiration do we have another ‘buggy whip’ or a race car?

‘Now what? What do you do now?DOGCATCHESCAR, you’ve caught the proverbial car, you have captured all the raw data, sifted information, screened your dashboards, and put every charts imaginable in your PowerPoint presentation.  As Sales and Marketing Leaders you’ve accessed your syndicated retail sales data from Nielsen, IRI and SPINS data, now you know what has happened historically.  You’ve caught the car, now it’s critical to learn from your real time marketing research.  It’s time to incorporate marketing analytics so you have a better understanding what is important.

You must understand the difference between making marketing & advertising decisions and selling based upon the historical dashboard data and information captured in our syndicated retail sales data versus marketing analytical tools.  It’s really quite simple – syndicated retail sales data looks at what happened ~ it does not have any idea what caused the outcomes or what could influence them. Tat’s where I, as a consumer of the tools hold the key – now is where we align our syndicated retail sales data with our buyers persona’s.  You’ve caught the car – now, it’s time to confirm what to do with the car!

What to do with all of your data analytics and in-house tools from your Marketing Technology stack and determine what is going to work with your confirmed buyer persona’s.

Using contracted services from vendors such as SSI,  a premier global provider of data solutions and technology for consumer and business-to-business survey research (as they define themselves on their website).Lucky Tiger Shaving

SSI Analytics logo - Golden Ratio Marketing
Let’s take a look at an industry leaders like SSI:

Background:

SSI’s website states:  Currently celebrating 40 years providing research and sampling science knowledge  they offer their customers assurance that their outcomes are valid based upon unbiased data.

  • Options including single or multiple modes of contact and data collection, and single or dual frames
  • Gamification, shelf tests, heat maps, drag / drops, flip books, 3D views and more mobile-friendly surveys
  • Fast, easy surveys give respondents a positive experience, encourages taking part in future research

We’ve used our Socratic questioning to ensure there is no bias or fault in the data we are using – questions focused on inferences and conclusions:

  • How did you reach that conclusion?
  • Could you explain your reasoning?
  • Is there an alternative, plausible conclusion?
  • Given all the facts, what is the best possible conclusion?

Now that we’ve taken the data, we’ve manipulated it and we’ve converted it into information ~ Now it’s time to develop our marketing programs and deliver customizable solutions that are going to grow our brand.

Here is where your in house marketing department, your agency and contracted services work together to provide enhanced marketing, memorable product experiences for your buyer persona’s and promotional support through real-time social & digital marketing in the correct channels they are on combined with dedicated onsite customer engagements to promote sales and grow your brand. Programs that are based upon sound research and analysis, that are monitored, evaluated and tweaked/updated to optimize their outcomes.

PetSmart That’s what it is all about – taking your Market analysis – your buyer persona’s – using your dashboards and information from your Marketing Technology stack test your outcomes and deliverable’s with a vendor like SSI providing gamification, shelf tests, heat maps, drag / drops, flip books, 3D views and more mobile-friendly surveys.   Now it is time for the proverbial rubber to meet the road and win the race:

  • Enhance brand awareness
  • Build Brand image awareness
  • Facilitate Product trial and usage
  • Rebate and Coupon support at point of sale
  • Sales support with the optimum tools

Our goal is to drive sales and grow our B2B and B2C business. To make sure that we achieve our goals we have to follow the old sage advice of those who came before us and plan the work, and work the plan. Today we have better and more effective tools to plan the work, and when developing our Marketing Plans, determining the 4 P’s of Product, Price, Promotion and Place we are testing and confirming the data and information we already have with our customers using gamification (Using game-like elements to make surveys and mobile app experiences more appealing and engaging to users. – definition by SSI ), shelf tests (virtual store cloud source testing) and others tools to validate our 4 Ps ~ product, packaging, pricing and placement.   That’s how we tell each other if we have spinach in our teeth.

What is a ‘Spinach helpful tip’? Have you ever walked around with soPopeye Spinachmething in your teeth, and no one tells you. A real friend takes you to the side and tells you. It may be embarrassing at first but not as bad as finding out at the end of the day when it is too late to do anything about it.  Especially if you are trying to create a positive brand image and lead your organization to success!

Best regards,

Chris A. Marshall

Florsheim Plow & Hearth

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‘Say What?’ – Questioning Inferences and Conclusions – our next installment utilizing Socratic Questions for Sales & Marketing Leaders – Spinach Helpful tip of the week

‘What is a ‘Spinach helpful tip’? – When a friend tells you what you don’t know – especially when you don’t know it!

Socratic Questioning as part of your day to day for Sales & MSocrates - Golden Ratio Marketing - Sales Leadershiparketing Leaders 

In this our fifth installment we’ll continue to explore Socratic Questioning methods you should utilize for Questioning Inferences and Conclusions: All thought requires the making of inferences, the drawing of conclusions, the creation of meaning. Assume that you do not fully understand a thought until you understand the inferences that have shaped it.
Let’s visit Merriam-Webster and take a look:

Definition of inference

  1. the act or process of inferring (see infer): such as a:  the act of passing from one proposition, statement, or judgment considered as true to another whose truth is believed to follow from that of the former  b:  the act of passing from statistical sample data to generalizations (as of the value of population parameters) usually with calculated degrees of certainty

  2. something that is inferred; especially :  a conclusion or opinion that is formed because of known facts or evidence

  3. the premises and conclusion of a process of inferring

Questions that focus on inferences and conclusions in thinking include:

  • How did you reach that conclusion?
  • Could you explain your reasoning?
  • Is there an alternative, plausible conclusion?
  • Given all the facts, what is the best possible conclusion?

Let me offer a real world application around SEO and more specific Keyword Research function looking across some of the tools like Raven Tools , Moz, SEMrush,  and Keyword Discovery to name a few – when a vendor, SEO expert, or member of your Digital Marketing team ply’s you with wonderful graphics and rems of data, be sure to ask where do they get the keyword data, and what is the time-frame captured in their report systems (some are 12 months, 30 days….) which tools are being used in your Market Technology stack.

Click to play –

Keyword Tools for Research - Golden Ratio Marketing

You want to make sure that they understand how they arrived at their conclusion so that you can have confidence in their inference!

  • How did you arrive/determine that your SEO content aligns with with what your buyer persona’s are looking for?
  • Does your long tail key words resonant with your identified buyer persona’s?

What is a ‘Spinach helpful tip’? Have you ever walked around with soPopeye Spinachmething in your teeth, and no one tells you. A real friend takes you to the side and tells you. It may be embarrassing at first but not as bad as finding out at the end of the day when it is too late to do anything about it.  Especially if you are trying to create a positive brand image and lead your organization to success!

Best regards,

Chris A. Marshall

Plow & Hearth Florsheim

PetSmart

“Hitting the Bull’s-eye every time – not just the target” Targeting and Segmentation – Spinach Helpful Tip of the Week

‘What is a ‘Spinach helpful tip’? – When a friend tells you what you don’t know – especially when you don’t know it!

In Part 1 – Hitting the Bull’s-eye every time we discusseReady - Fire - Aim - Arrows-Missing-Target - Golden Ratio Marketing - Demos 2 God Steven Coats’ article ‘Ready, Fire, Aim!’ in International Leadership Associates in 2005. We discussed the importance of not going to either extreme, from sticking your head in the sand or suffering from ‘analysis paralysis, to ‘damn the torpedoes full speed ahead’. Instead to become a Ready-Aim-Fire high performing Market-Driven Organization you need to be somewhere in the middle, Steven Coats shared in his article:

As you might suspect, the best answer lies somewhere in the middle. Even in our overworked, no time for anything world, it is unconscionable to take a position that there is no time to think. On the other hand, it is just as ruinous to get caught up in endless analysis, thus deferring or avoiding decisions that must be made quickly. The best decisions are made with an appropriate balance of thinking and action.  So we begin by classifying our customers and discerning their perceived values relative to our offer.

No matter what type of organization you are leading, it doesn’t matter if you are focused on services, B2B, B2C or a nonprofit organization it’s critical to bring all sides of the organization together during the discussion, analogies and adopting and utilizing similar terminology helps breaks down barriers. How do we simplify the classification process, when there are so many different ways to go as a company?

The ready-aim-fire traditional approach works best in more mature markets’ – Martin Zwilling

For example, you may find key customers in a specific geography, revenue size (current and potential), a certain business model, a particular business orientation or other characteristics that your organization will take into consideration when developing specific contracting strategies and marketing programs to allocate resources towards. Plow & Hearth

How will you define non-users, key customers, potential customers and market sizes for market growth strategies? But, I’m getting ahead of myself first let’s talk about how a Market-Driven Process begins to classify their customers. In the organization the members of the Marketing Department have all sat through Marketing 101 where they learned to classify products as Stars, Cash Cows, Dogs and Question Marks/Problem Child regarding their perceived value and position in their life cycle.
So let’s keep this simple, let’s classifying our customers and see how they would align or fall if we used these same category titles.   The Boston Consulting Group Matrix1

Boston Consulting Group - Golden Ratio Marketing

Star – Important Customer with high market share and whose business is growing. These customers fall in the upper right quadrant and represent the most potential for sales growth, margins and profits. Gaining their additional business may or may not require us to limit our margins and profits that is yet to be determined. These customers could include Key Opinion Leaders, they could be located in new geographical markets, they could be new or growing organizations, there are a number of reasons for customers to fall in this category. As a Market-Driven Organization these are the customers we feel our offering has value for and they’re capable once we have gained alignment of performing.

Cash Cows – Key Customers whose business represents the majority of our sales and profits, these customers are at the highest risk for competitive activity, these are the customers that keep our doors open, fund our research and should be top of mind for all new offerings. Remember, their feedback is critical to a Market-Driven Organizations success. These are the customers that everyone else wants to take away from us, they are our performing customers. As a Market-Driven Organization this is the sweet spot, these are the customers that perceive value in our offering, are aligned and as we say ‘make the cash register ring’.

Dogs – Customers whose business represents limited profits with very low margins, these customers are sometimes referred to as transactional customers. A customer that does not value our offering and the cost to gain more business will offer limited margins and profits for our business, their goals as organization do not align with our value offering. As a Market-Driven Organization these customers can still have value, we have to look at their effects on our economy of scale, what volumes they offer and what effect does their business have across the organization, manufacturing, purchasing, human resources (man power) and how their volume affects our ability to negotiate and price for Stars and Cash Cows.

Question Mark/Problem Child – these are sometime referred to as late adopters, or these can be low potential customers that have limited potential, or they can be customers that are under performing. These customers have low market share and low market growth. These customers can eat up resources including marketing funds, sales team attention; we have to understand how they discern the value of our offering.
In the last few Spinach Helpful Tips we’ve been discussing the first few steps in the Market-Driven Process, ‘information gathering’ then using our Marketing Technology stack to convert Information into Data, and Data into Insights. We touched upon testing those insights with war games and customer feedback then turning them into Action to fuel your Organizations Market-Driven Process.
PetSmart

We’ve gotten ‘Ready’ with research and information gathering, and now we are ready ‘Fire’. It’s almost time to take action and allocate resources, so let’s begin to analyze our information, compare and prioritize our different customer segments. It’s time to sit down discuss and decide where we’re focusing on strategy and taking ‘Aim’ at the right opportunities. The importance of targeting and segmentation and how we allocate resources will determine whether we’re optimizing our ROI and in today’s environment keeping your ‘jobs’. Steven Coats shared later in his article:

Breakthrough strategies seldom just show up on your desk. They come from a lot of thinking, debating and analyzing them from a number of different perspectives. And then they are validated and strengthened with testing, experimenting, prototyping and other necessary actions. As a leader, you must encourage both innovative thinking and hands-on experimentation if you expect to keep up with your competition.

Here’s where the proverbial rubber meets the road as we begin to align what we do with what our customers need and value. As an organization have we sat down and categorized our customers based upon their potential value and how do you accomplish that? Have we taken the time to determine the customers perceived values relative to what your organization offers?

Q: How does your organization’s classify customers?

Q: Have you selected your target segments as part of your Market-Driven Process?

As we go through the process please provide your insights and thoughts so we have a more robust dialogue and don’t walk around with spinach in our teeth.

What is a ‘Spinach helpful tip’?Popeye Spinach

Have you ever walked around with something in your teeth, and no one tells you. A real friend takes you to the side and tells you. It may be embarrassing at first but not as bad as finding out at the end of the day when it is too late to do anything about it. Especially if you are trying to create a positive brand image and lead your organization to success!

Best regards,

Chris A. Marshall
Lucky Tiger Shaving

Building brands and driving product sales. Why engaging customers at the point of sale is key!! – Spinach Helpful Tip of the Week

‘What is a ‘Spinach helpful tip’? – When a friend tells you what you don’t know – especially when you don’t know it!

We constantly discuss how to create awareness, stimulate interest,
sales-funnel-chartdevelop desire pushing customers to make a decision and take action – so we engage and activate B2B and B2C customers.  So now what do you need to do? You have to ask for the business! Remember what Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss a 100% of the shots you don’t take!” Too often marketing and business focus on chasing the car, but what do you do when you actually catch the car??

The human interaction and having someone standing in front of the customer asking for the business is invaluable. Well actually it’s not invaluable, we can actually put a dollar figure on it. In an article written by Joe Pinsker in The Atlantic he expanded upon the value of  asking for the business, “Retailers, too, have their own reasons to love sampling, from the financial (samples have boosted sales in some cases by as much as 2,000 percent) to the behavioral (they can sway people to habitually buy things that they never used to purchase).

Samples have boosted sales in some cases by as much as 2,000 percent

Stop focusing all of your time and resources on how we’re going to get customers i1-800-PetMeds Pet Supplies Free Shipping $49nto our sales funnel, and let’s start focusing part of our time and resources on Customer Engagement and driving sales in store at the point of sale.  Looking at how in store In Store Demonstrations - Golden Ratio Marketingdemonstrations are defined by Golden Ratio Marketing and their subsidiary Demos 2 Go, ‘Customer Engagements bring your product to life! – utilize our talented, sales-oriented Customer Engagement Specialists for your live in-store product demonstrations. Build your brand awareness and promote customer trial and purchase.

Results provided by Golden Ratio Marketing through from in store demonstrations performed by their subsidiary Demos 2 Go has shown increases of point of sale in store purchases of 400% without coupons.

Increases of point of sale in store purchases of 400% without coupons.  

What’s your organization doing to drive sales at the point of sale, if you want more information and would like to know what options are available let us know.

Click Here to request a free no obligation evaluation

What is a ‘Spinach helpful tip’? Have you ever walked around with somethingPopeye Spinach in your teeth, and no one tells you. A real friend takes you to the side and tells you. It may be embarrassing at first but not as bad as finding out at the end of the day when it is too late to do anything about it.  Especially if you are trying to create a positive brand image and lead your organization to success!

Best regards,

Chris A. Marshall

Lucky Tiger Shaving Plow & Hearth Florsheim

‘The Price is Right! Or is It?’ – Spinach Helpful Tip of the Week

‘What is a ‘Spinach helpful tip’? – When a friend tells you what you don’t know – especially when you don’t know it!The Price is Right - Golden Ratio Marketing

The Price is Right! Or is it? does your brand and/or product support it’s pricing strategy? In today’s fast pace, competitive environment organizations are faced with new entrants cropping up and falling out every day. Planning and reacting in this type of maelstrom compounds the importance of creating valuable 360 degree communication across your team. Using your Marketing Technology stack, taking full advantage of your social media platforms, open two way communications between your customer service, sales and inside sales teams is critical. Our markets are crowded and messaging can be confusing for our customers don’t loose the value message of your brand.

Winning strategies anticipate rather than react to market threats and opportunities!

One of most important things you have to cultivate and protect is your brand’s value message. One way to permanently devalue and damage your brand is when the ‘Price is Wrong!’  How often has your Executive team or Sales Leadership made an uninformed decisions with their pricing strategies wreaking havoc with a brand.
Lucky Tiger Shaving
In the 1990 book Market-Driven Strategy & The Market-Driven Organization by George S. Day. The importance of information gathering as the first step can’t be under estimated. Day wrote, “Distinctive capabilities in market sensing, market relating, and anticipatory strategic thinking. This means market-driven firms are better educated about their markets and better able to form close relationships with valued customers.

The clarity of their strategic thinking helps them devise winning strategies that anticipate rather than react to market threats and opportunities.”

When an organization adopts and lives the Market-Driven Process the information and market intelligence they gather and evaluate allows them to develop ‘winning strategies that anticipate rather than react to market threats and opportunities’ and nowhere is this more important than pricing decisions.  In his white paper ‘The Price is right! Or is It?’ Philip Otley a Senior Partner at Prophet, a strategic brand and marketing consultancy discusses commonly an accepted financial ‘rule of thumb’ leader’s pull out of their pockets when they’re looking at managing their P&L’s and working with their  financials:

The commonly accepted rule of thumb across many sectors is that a one percent reduction in operating costs will create a three percent improvement on the bottom line. A one percent improvement in realized price, however, is likely to create a 10 percent or better increase on the bottom line. 

Far Side - Deer in the headlights - Golden Ratio Marketing.png

As Forest Gump would say, ‘I’m not a smart man, but I know what improving the bottom line is!’ and a 10:1 difference that’s as good as a bowl of Bubba Gump Shrimp Gumbo on a cold day.  Why would an Executive Team be hasty regarding pricing decisions?
Otley goes on to speak about the cause, and I would say when executives and Sales leaders get that proverbial ‘deer-in-the-headlights’ look right before they dart out in front of the competition driving a big diesel rig:


Despite this, short-term trading pressures often create a temptation to compete on price to get needed performance bumps. But the cumulative effect of discount can be severe: Pricing is a very clear signal around the value of the exchange and the value that the company wishes to place on the brand.

Philip Otley refers to organizations regarding their maturity and sophistication in relation to how they manage their pricing.  For our discussion we will define maturity and sophistication by the adoption and implementation of Market-Driven Process. Otley went on to outline the following pricing strategies that non Market-Driven Organizations follow:

At the least sophisticated end is cost-based pricing: “It costs us $XX to make thiPlow & Hearths product, so $XX plus 30% is our price.” A surprising number of businesses still use variations of this approach, which doesn’t reflect the nature of demand or value of the product. It just reflects the input cost and a notional “rent” factor.

Here we have an organization that is not utilizing the Market-Driven Process as George S. Day shared in his article ‘What does it mean to be Market-Drive?’ ~ “… being market-driven is about having the guidance systems and discipline to make sound strategic choices and implement them consistently and thoroughly.” This is never more apparent that when an organization looking at pricing decisions.

Otley continues in his article looking at organizations further along the maturity curve and describe, ‘competitive-based pricing’:

“If all my competitors are charging $XX, so will I.” New Market entrants might charge $XX minus a few percentage points. Those that believe their product or service is somewhat stronger than competitors will add a slight premium to their pricing. Probably the majority of organizations across industries follow this path, with price-matching widespread.

Remember, the Market-Driven Process and Market-Driven Organizations needs to leverage existing in-house and external data to better understand customer and product lifecycles and purchasing habits that will then trigger promotional/marketing programs and contract initiatives that move customers and adapt with them through the customer lifecycle, reducing attrition and driving long-term customer relationships.
HearthSong
Here is where we find alignment with Otley as he writes:

At the pinnacle of the curve are those businesses which are sophisticated in their pricing practices because of two particular areas of focus. First, they develop a high level of understanding of their market segments, not just in terms of their demographics, but, more importantly in terms of their behaviors. That, in turn, informs their ongoing measurement of customers’ responses to pricing moves, and how they’re influenced by any numbers of factors- competitor moves, advertising, or promotional campaigns and the state of the overall economy among them.

As we go through the process of defining a Market-Driven Organization please provide your insights and thoughts so we have a more robust dialogue and don’t walk around with spinach in our teeth.

Q: Where is your organization on the maturity curve and pricing sophistication?

Q: How does your organization take advantage of competitors who are not mature on the curve?

Q: What are some of the long-term implications for organizations that don’t use the Market-Driven Process and implement knee jerk pricing reactions?

What is a ‘Spinach helpful tip’? Have you ever walked around with soPopeye Spinachmething in your teeth, and no one tells you. A real friend takes you to the side and tells you. It may be embarrassing at first but not as bad as finding out at the end of the day when it is too late to do anything about it.  Especially if you are trying to create a positive brand image and lead your organization to success!

Best regards,

Chris A. Marshall
Stacy AdamsPlow & Hearth

If you can’t hear the music can you still dance? – Spinach Helpful Tip of the Week

Those who dance are considered insane George Carlinby those who cannot hear the music.” – George Carlin 

‘What is a ‘Spinach helpful tip’? – When a friend tells you what you don’t know – especially when you don’t know it!
Lucky Tiger Shaving
Can you hear the music? Who is dancing in your organization? Are you?  and most important of all do you know who in your organization can’t hear the music?

In today’s competitive environment and crowded market you have to be able to hear the music – the music that is being played on the Market-Driven Process radio station. You need to put on your dancing shoes, and tune in your radio and have your entire Organizations burst into a ‘Flashmob’  dancing frenzy – watch T Mobile get it right Click below and enjoy!

Flashmob - Golden Ratio Marketing

As Carlin said, ‘Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music’  and the goal is for you as a leader of your organization to be dancing all over your competition who doesn’t have a clue what is going on until it is too late and the entire station is dancing around them.
Stacy Adams
You need everyone working together utilizing our Marketing Technology stack, leveraging  information both in-house and external to better understand customer and product life-cycles and purchasing habits triggering promotional/marketing programs and contract initiatives that move customers through the customer life-cycle, reducing attrition and driving long-term customer relationships.

We’ve talked about what goes into developing a market plan – the four P’s

  • Product
  • Place
  • Promotion
  • Price

Gathering and sifting through all of the available information available through your Marketing Technology stack linked throughout your CRM systems, contract management systems, external data and internal data sources.  Now it’s time to take action, pull back the curtain and let’s see what you’ve got.

I’m talking about gaining internal alignment around your marketing plan within and across your organization, then creating your execution plan  –  so what does it take to dance on T Mobile’s case –

  • about 8 weeks planning (market-driven process market planning)
  • 10,000 auditions (information gathering and analysis)
  • 400 selected (data taken to create market plan)
  •  hidden cameras (to monitor effectiveness – Google Analytics, Marketing Technology stack)

all for a 2:41 minute video – but when you dance on your competition your customers will be dancing with you!

Click Here  –  The Event  – to see how it all happened

Execution Plan down to the ground level including your demand forecast, package size and offering, price structures for your channels, trade/consumer offers, terms of sale, Marcom plan, KOL’s/Experts, Sales targets and Incentive plan, Samples (free goods), etc., and everything else that goes into a successful Market-Driven Organizations execution plan.

Now it’s time to execute with excellence and Dance!

Q: Can you hear the music?

Q: Who is dancing in your organization? are you?

Q: As a leader in you organization do you know who in your organizatioPopeye Spinachn can’t hear the music?

What is a ‘Spinach helpful tip’? Have you ever walked around with something in your teeth, and no one tells you. A real friend takes you to the side and tells you. It may be embarrassing at first but not as bad as finding out at the end of the day when it is too late to do anything about it.  Especially if you are trying to create a positive brand image and lead your organization to success!

Best regards,

Chris A. Marshall

For more information please feel free to review these additional Spinach Helpful Tips regarding the Market-Driven Process at my blog www.demos2g.wordpress.com

Alibris: Books, Music, & Movies AWS Architect Online Training by Edureka
Plow & Hearth Florsheim

Continued – Leveraging CRM systems as part of your Marketing Technology stack – CRM systems turning Insights into competitive advantages – an interview with industry leader Jimmy Haverstick”- Spinach Helpful Tip of the Week

Last time in our weekly Spinach Helpful tips we discussed  the important role CRMs play using information and data gathering, and mining it through your Marketing Technology stack to move customers through the sales funnel. I shared comments from Jimmy Haverstick regarding how to specifically integrates the broad array of information and knowledge from their Sales and Marketing teams’ and move their customers which allows an organization to move them through the sales funnel:

  • Customers and where they are in the sales process
  • Channels & Market pressures/opportunities
  • Competitors

AWS Architect Online Training by Edureka

I am a strong proponent of sales and marketing teams working together across a CRM platform driving campaigns and collecting valuable field level information.  Companies should have a plan to build and maintain a customer database as a major objective. – Jimmy Haverstick

Let’s hear more from our guest expert Jimmy Haverstick about how he see’s organizations utilize their CRM systems, and how you can be more effective integrating and working in your Marketing Technology stack your organizations CRM system:

Q: What type of information can and should be input into a Market-Driven Organization’s CRM system?

Most sales people are not excited about ‘CRM’ data entry tasks. But if positioned properly and as part of the overall integrated sales and marketing plan to grow share and revenue, sales teams will gladly adopt and engage with CRM systems.

I am a strong proponent of sales and marketing teams working together across a CRM platform driving campaigns and collecting valuable field level information. 

Companies should have a plan to build and mainNew traditional funnel meets flipped funnel - CRM -Golden Ratio Marketingtain a customer database as a major objective.  Sales teams have important customer information in their heads that should also be a corporate asset. For example, vet school attended, preference for sales call time, what not to say, spouse actually makes the purchase decisions etc.  Further, the marketing departments should task the sales teams with simple customer segmentation schemes that help profile and organize customers by potential.

When the marketing teams use this information and the CRM system to target and grow sales, the sales teams will see the value and jump at the chance to further define customers and work marketing driven sales plans that ultimately grow their territories. – Jimmy Haverstick

We discussed the importance of using data from a Market-Driven Organizations CRM system, but what do we mean by important? We mean dollars to the bottom line of the company. How does that happen, by taking advantage of our ability to monitor the information available to our Sales and Marketing teams and what is going on around us. Now take that information and turn it into knowledge leverage existing information to better understand customer and product lifecycle trends and buying habits.

When the Sales and Marketing teams and their executives use this information to develop/design sales & marketing programs that move customers along their lifecycle(s), reduce attrition and drive long-term customer relationships they can stay ahead of their competition and always be ahead of the curve with their offerings. Offerings that actually align with our customers’ needs’ allow us to outstrip our competition and leave them asking ‘what the heck just happened’.

Alibris: Books, Music, & Movies
How should your Marketing Department and the Sales Department collaborate in a high functioning Market-Driven Organization? There is an old saying ‘garbage in equals garbage out’ but, by working together  inputting good relevant time sensitive data about what your customers are doing, how they are responding to offers and market conditions a Market-Driven Organization can be more responsive and will outperform other companies!

How can a functioning CRM system support these goal and objectives?

Connecting marketing and sales via CRM is where the value strategically starts to really become clear.  – Jimmy Haverstick

Most organizations work hard, but are they working smart and have they begun to approach a level of strategic focus that a Market-Driven Organization possesses.  Almost all organizations look at strategic plans & historical documents, they review their financial statements, and the companies’ managers and marketing teams scour sales data from both internal and external sources.  But where is the coordination, and what tools allow them to have a competitive advantage in the market place?

The difference we are talking about is what happens when a Market-Driven Process is adopted and a Market-Driven Organization rises up and works together.  When you’ve a high functioning CRM system and all parties involved are inputting, reviewing and analyzing data to make strategic decision that drive the business the synergy that results are palpable. Plow & Hearth

When the marketing teams use this information and the CRM system to target and grow sales, the sales teams will see the value and jump at the chance to further define customers and work marketing driven sales plans that ultimately grow their territories. – Jimmy Haverstick

As we go through the next few segments of this series please be sure to share any questions that you have for Jimmy and please provide your insights and thoughts so we have a more robust dialogue. Remember we don’t let each other walk around with spinach in our teeth.

What is a ‘Spinach helpful tip’?Popeye Spinach

Have you ever walked around with something in your teeth, and no one tells you. A real friend takes you to the side and tells you. It may be embarrassing at first but not as bad as finding out at the end of the day when it is too late to do anything about it.  Especially if you are trying to create a positive brand image and lead your organization to success!

Best regards,

Chris A. Marshall

Jimmy Haverstick

Jimmy started his career as an outside sales representative for WA Butler now Henry Schein Animal Health.  Foreseeing the need for a better information sharing and marketing program fulfillment in the animal health channel, Jimmy co-founded FTG with Chris Glaser in 2000.  FTG provides EDI management, analytics and reporting, marketing program management and CRM solutions to sales and marketing teams across manufacturers and distributors in the Animal Health, Pet Specialty and Agricultural Industries. 

 

1What Does it Mean to be Market-Driven?, Business Strategy Review, 1998, Volume 9 Issue 1, pp 1-14
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‘Where’d you get that?’ – Questioning Information, Data, and Experience – our next installment utilizing Socratic Questions for Sales & Marketing Leaders – Spinach Helpful tip of the week

‘What is a ‘Spinach helpful tip’? – When a friend tells you what you don’t know – especially when you don’t know it!

Socratic Questioning as part of your day to day for Sales & Marketing Leaders 

In this our fourth installment we’ll continue to explore Socratic Questioning methods you should utilize for Questioning Information, Data, and Experience: For anyone to understand what thought/proposition being communicated to them, they need to fully understand and accept that thoughts presuppose an information base.
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Ergo, whatever is being communicated to you is limited by thSocrates - Golden Ratio Marketing - Sales Leadershipe information base upon which is was developed. To make a better decision, you need to understand the actors, so it’s important to assume you do not fully understand the thought/proposition until you understand the background information (facts, data, and experiences) that supports or informs the thought or proposition being put forward.

Questions that focus on information, data and experience include:

  • On what information are you basing that comment?
  • What experience convinced you of this?
    • Could your experience be distorted?
  • How do you know this information is accurate?
    • How could you verify it?
  • Have you failed to consider any information or data you need to consider?
  • What are these data based on?
    • How were they developed?
    • Is your conclusion based on hard facts or soft data?

Whatever is being communicated to you is limited by the information base upon which is was developed.

Questioning Information, Data and Experience:  Everyday as  Sales and Marketing Leaders you’re presented with projects, reports, proposals which require your CIA – consideration, input or approval.  Your pummeled with information and data and by applying Socratic questioning to learn the who, what, where and how a position was arrived – where the data came from and was it the right data –  so you can fully develop your thoughts and shape whatever your CIA response needs to be.

First respond, ‘where’d you get that?’, allowing whoever is communicating to share how they arrived at their decision so you know before you finalize your thoughts. This is not a call for ‘analysis paralysis’ or to become a weak ‘kick the can’ leader who never accomplishes anything but frustrating those around them and missing out on opportunities.  The old adage, ‘you have two (2) ears, Kick-the-Can-Game - Golden Ratio Marketing - Demos 2 Goand one (1) mouth, so you should listen twice as much as you talk!‘,  following Socrates’ advice here, before you respond, question the information, data and experience the thought/proposal is based upon. Now you move along the pathway with confidence that you understand the basis this thought/proposal was formulated upon thereby validating your action so you can move forward confidently!

Questions that help you understand on questions to better understand what information, data or experience a person or group used to arrive at their thought/proposition include:

  • What would be an alternative?
  • What is another way to look at it?
  • Would you explain why it is necessary or beneficial, and who benefits?
  • Why is the best?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of…?

So let’s understand what is the desired decision/outcome the champion hopes to achieve and how are they going to align with the desired  WIIFM or What’s In It For Me for the consumer whether they are B2B or B2C.  Question the question before finalizing your thought and don’t assume you fully understand someone’s question thought  until you understand the drivers behind it.

Time to tell them about the Spinach in their teeth right now.

What is a ‘Spinach helpful tip’? Have you ever walked around with sPopeye Spinachomething in your teeth, and no one tells you. A real friend takes you to the side and tells you. It may be embarrassing at first but not as bad as finding out at the end of the day when it’s too late to do anything about it.  Especially if you are trying to create a positive brand image and lead your organization to success!

Best regards,

Chris A. Marshall

For more information please feel free to review these additional Spinach Helpful Tips

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Leveraging CRM systems as part of your Marketing Technology stack – CRM systems turning Insights into competitive advantages – an interview with industry leader Jimmy Haverstick”- Spinach Helpful Tip of the Week

‘What is a ‘Spinach helpful tip’? – When a friend tells you what you don’t know – especially when you don’t know it!

Leveraging your CRM data and information with your Marketing Technology stack, today I wanted to share some insights from an interview I had with Jimmy Haverstick an industry expert with over 15 years designing CRM systems and working with C Suite Executives, Marketing Leaders & their Marketing teams and Sales Leaders & their Sales teams. Jimmy was very gracious with his time and his insight into how the Marketing and Sales teams can and should optimize their CRM systems. I want to thank our guest for providing his expertise and insight into this subject.’ll start with two quick definitions

‘What is a CRM system’ and ‘What is the Market-Driven Process’?

Jennifer Burnham from SalesForce.com defines a CRM system in a recent blog post ‘What is CRM?’

C-R-M stands for Customer Relationship Management. At its simplest, a CRM system allows businesses to manage business relationships and the data and information associated with them. With CRM, you can store customer and prospect contact information, accounts, leads and sales opportunities in one central location, ideally in the cloud so the information is accessible by many, in real time.

George S. Day shared the following definition in his article ‘What does it mean to be Market-Driven1?

Thus, being market-driven is about having the guidance systems and discipline to make sound strategic choices and implement them consistently and thoroughly. It is not about being all things to all people.1
In the last few Spinach Helpful Tips we’ve been discussing the importance of information and data gathering, and how it is going to be mined through your Marketing Technology stack, more specifically how to integrates the broad array of information and knowledge from their Sales and Marketing teams’ and move their customers through the sales funnel:

  • Identifying Leads and moving potential customers into your funnel
  • Validating Customers and where they are in the sales process
  • Effects of Channels & Market pressures/opportunities
  • Strategy implementation to win against your Competitors

This information being captured across our organizations can’t be hidden away in silos, it has to be mined as part of the Market-Driven Process during our ongoing ‘information gathering’.

No one relies on handwritten notes on 3×5 index cardsCRM - Marketing Technology Stack - Golden Ratio Marketing anymore, instead Senior Leaders expect and demand integration, speed and outcomes – we need functional technology that is integrated across our platforms to record and capture pertinent information, with the ability retrieve and analyze that information and turn into valuable data resulting in sales.

The point is this, unless you have clearly defined why you want to implement CRM and your CRM system is aligned with your sales and marketing objectives then it’s destined for failure.  – Jimmy Haverstick

How? Let’s hear from our guest expert Jimmy Haverstick about one integrated tool working in your Marketing Technology stack your organizations CRM system:

Q: What is a CRM system?

We ask all our potential CRM clients “What does CRM mean to you and why do you want to implement a CRM system?” You would be surprised at all the different answers we get.  Everything from contact management to sophisticated marketing automation suites.   CRM is a platform that can connect sales, marketing, finance and corporate support teams via each customer.  One view of all customer interactions and objectives.  That being said, many CRM implementations are really just Sales Force Automation platforms that empower the sales teams from a pre-call planning and post-call follow up standpoint.  In other words, more operational use then strategic.  Connecting marketing and sales via CRM is where the value strategically starts to really become clear.  – Jimmy HaverstiAWS Architect Online Training by Edurekack

Q: Many organizations have CRM systems that Fail – why?

CRM is not a magic pill. It does not create marketing and sales plans nor does it make the sales call or train your sales people.  It is software that helps an organization be more efficient in executing your sales and marketing plans.

Although we use Microsoft CRM internally and for our clients, we do not believe the software matters (sorry Microsoft). All CRM systems are really just a series of forms, reports, data and fields all customizable for any use case.  The point is this, unless you have clearly defined why you want to implement CRM and your CRM system is aligned with your sales and marketing objectives then it’s destined for failure.  – Jimmy Haverstick

As we go through the next few segments of this series please be sure to share any questions that you have for Jimmy and please provide your insights and thoughts so we have a more robust dialogue. Remember we don’t let each other walk around with spinach in our teeth.

Please feel to reach out and contact me with questions or comments – Click here

Plow & Hearth

What is a ‘Spinach helpful tip’?

Popeye SpinachHave you ever walked around with something in your teeth, and no one tells you. A real friend takes you to the side and tells you. It may be embarrassing at first but not as bad as finding out at the end of the day when it is too late to do anything about it.  Especially if you are trying to create a positive brand image and lead your organization to success!

Best regards,

Chris A. Marshall

Jimmy Haverstick started his career as an outside sales representative for WA Butler now Henry Schein Animal Health.  Foreseeing the need for a better information sharing and marketing program fulfillment in the animal health channel, Jimmy co-founded FTG with Chris Glaser in 2000.  FTG provides EDI management, analytics and reporting, marketing program management and CRM solutions to sales and marketing teams across manufacturers and distributors in the Animal Health, Pet Specialty and Agricultural Industries. 

 1What Does it Mean to be Market-Driven?, Business Strategy Review, 1998, Volume 9 Issue 1, pp 1-14

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