Voice of Customer (VoC) – Tells the Tale

As I was preparing to write this article regarding new product development and product innovation in digital health or mobile health (mHealth), I had a chance to review an article focused on consumer product development outside of the healthcare arena by Robert G. Cooper adn Angelika Dreher,VOICE-OF-CUSTOMER METHODS: WHAT IS THE BEST SOURCE OF NEW-PRODUCT IDEAS?’

In their article the importance of ‘Open Innovation’ taking advantage of VoC ideation filtered through a robust and effective idea management practices, “..results in an extra 7.2 percent of sales from new products” having a heavy impact upon the organizations bottom line. Taking a moment for those how didn’t read Cooper and Dreher’s article they expanded upon ‘idea management’ process as the critical steps guiding the internal processes within an organization whereby they identify, evaluate (screening system) and determine resource allocation moving a project through the Stage Gate process.

Now lets take some of the same principles from consumer goods and make sure we are applying VoC ideation in an appropriate way to the emerging opportunity in digital health or mHealth in humans and pets. We want to take start this discussion understanding and agreeing to fully complying with and adhering to guidance laid out by the  Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) Health IT report.

On the FDA U.S. Food and Drug Administration website their foundational article Digital Health defined the different categories for mobile health (mHealth), medical device and software as a medical device, and software embedded in medical devices, Wireless Medical Devices, Mobile medical apps, Health IT, Telemedicine, Medical Device Data Systems, Medical device Interoperability, Software as a Medical Device (SaMD), General Wellness, and Cybersecurity:

The broad scope of digital health includes categories such as mobile health (mHealth), health information technology (IT), wearable devices, telehealth and telemedicine, and personalized medicine.

How can we incorporate ethnography, focus groups, lead-user analysis introduced by Eric von Hippel in the 1908’s, ‘Customer-visit Teams’ see the work in New Product Blueprinting The Handbook for B2B Organic Growth by Dan Adams where he utilizes SPIN selling techniques to enhance customer-visit teams outcomes. These are just some the VoC tools available for use to provide data and information for your idea management process in the development of new offerings.

Q: Are you using VoC in your organization, and is so what are you using in your organization today?

Q: Do you have an established idea management system in place?

Needs meets Opportunity meets the market in human and animal/pet healthcare in digital health and mHealth today with innovators like Otsuka and Proteus® who announce The First U.S. FDA Approval of A Digital Medicine System: ABILIFY MYCITE® (aripiprazole tablets with sensor) in November 2017, and visit the Livongo website and learn more about their Applied Health Signals AI + AI + program a closed loop low noise patient focused program, to animal health with microchips, drones for instance “heard animals using RFID tags, drones and AI technologies, ranchers can monitor herd movements, body temperature and pain levels to improve livestock health,” Bryan Hills article in Cognizant.

What are you doing? and where do you need to start?

The FDA provided the following statement regarding their work on a global level to ensure safety and regulations in their Digital Health Innovation Action Plan easily accessible on their website:

“FDA leads an international effort to converge on regulatory principles for Software as a Medical Device (SaMD) through the International Medical Device Regulators Forum (IMDRF)5. FDA, as a member of the IMDRF, has adopted converged principles on SaMD terminology, a risk classification schema, application of quality management system principles tailored to software, and more recently working towards a guidance on application of clinical evaluation for SaMD.”

I hope you enjoyed this quick over view, and I look forward to discussing and learning from everyone regarding this emerging market.

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 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

 

Is your Google Ads AdWords strategy and collateral material aligned with I-Want-To Moments?

As we look at overall marketing we need to make sure that we are purpose driven – and part of that purpose is to achieve a connection with the right people, at the right time, in the right place and provide the right information!  This helps establish engagement which were we strive for activation!  The saying is 2 wrongs don’t make a right, but I would suggest that 4 rights can help lead to activation.

‘2 wrongs don’t make a right, but 4 rights can help lead to activation!’

So we want to connect with the Right customers, at the Right time, in the Right place with the Right information. Our customer who are mobile users are searching the internet using either their keypads or asking Siri for help will normally follow one of a few identified I-Want-To pathways to achieve their desire during  ‘micro-moments‘ which are defined as when consumers act….

Let’s look at I-Want-To moments that start us on the connection process it’s a road map of the users vision or desire their I-Want-To:

  • I want to learn… or I want to know
  • I want to do…
  • I want to find…
  • I want to buy…
  • I want to do… or   ‘how to’ moments

Each of these moments or ‘micro-moments’, as they are referred to in Google AdWords training materials and they are significant. How you create the content for you ads, Main Content for your landing pages, your offers, your timing, demographic targeting, location/proximity should be planned and prepared for based upon activating customers during these micro-moments.

You don’t have to be all things to all people, and you shouldn’t expend advertising budgets for them all, but you should try to be the best at the ones you choose! Make sure you understand why you chose them, what you want to happen and prepare the right resources to achieve your goals – what micro-moment are you going to choose to meet your consumer on their buying journey.

We used to refer potential consumers as innovators, early adopters, early majority, late adopters (late majority) or Laggards  – these terms are still valid but everything has been accelerated in the purchase process. The following definitions come from http://www.businessdirectory.comClassification of consumers on the basis of their degree of readiness to try a new product. … Starting with those with the highest readiness to try, they are: 

  • Innovators: venturesome people and risk takers who are the very first users; comprising about 2.5 percent of the target market 
  • Early adopters: prestige oriented opinion leaders, about 13.5 percent of the target market,
  • Early majority: the leading segment of the mass market, about 34 percent of the target market
  • Late majority: followers of the early majority, also about 36 percent of the target market 
  • Laggards: conservative, price conscious segment, about 14 percent of the target market 

So my question to you as a leader in your organization – what micro-moments do you expect your potential consumers to align with? who are you targeting based upon your product lifecycle?

Q: If you build your buyer personas, and overlay your marketing resources with the right mirco-moments can you increase your likelihood of activating them and/or engaging them?

Q: Where do we drop the ball in the micro-moments? Wrong customer? Wrong place? Bad E-A-T on your landing pages? what else?

Thanks again, you questions and feedback are welcomed –

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 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

Do you understand the importance of a ‘High E-A-T Score’ for your site!

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

We talk about the importance of organic and paid searches, so does your team understand how search engine algorithms score your site, specifically your pages where your paid ads take them?  The definition of a successful hunt (we all talk about sales people as hunter gathers) starts with preparation, the search for game and success is ultimately getting to EAT a meal at the end.  

This is no different in theory for a user who is searching the web for their ultimate prize –  So what determines if your pages allow users eat at your site?  It’s important to make sure that your site has a high  E-A-T score and that is based upon reviews of your pages E-A-T:

  • Expertise
  • Authoritativeness
  • Trustworthiness

Here is a article What are E-A-T Factors and How Can You Improve on Them? a great article and video presented by Lola Michels offering insight and definition around EAT

‘We are what we eat right’, and your pages E-A-T score will determine if you eat as a company.  We throw around the term SEO, SEO optimization and Search Engines all of the time, so let’s take a step back and look at the main content of our pages and make sure that when someone arrives the content  the site has been created to meet these guidelines.  So we also need to understand how they are rating our sites to meet our customers needs and what they are asking our sites for. 

Here’s another great article with 5 things you can do right now to improve your rating:

5 Things You Can Do Right Now to Improve Your Google E-A-T Rating

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 sit down and categorized our customers based upon their potential value. How do you make sure that your customer value you?

Q: Does your organization understand what it will take to optimize your current E-A-T rating?

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.

Let us know what you think? I wanted to gather your thoughts and insights regarding what does it take to have a seat at the table in your market?

Q:  A question came in regarding the real importance of  E-A-T and what were some simple steps you could do to improve it?

A: Thanks for you question – as you look at Main Content on your web pages  and your web site with E-A-T focused lens remember that there are companies that are performing evaluations and ratings of sites based upon E-A-T parameters that were shared and published by Google in 2018.

So one quick tip that is important around Trustworthiness is the security of your site and SSL is a ranking signal by Google  – For instance, we have created resources to help webmasters prevent and fix security breaches on their sites.  We want to go even further. At Google I/O a few months ago, we called for “HTTPS everywhere” on the web. ”    and  further in this article from Googlewe’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal” – from the Google Webmaster central blog

Thanks again, you questions and feedback are welcomed –

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 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

How can you cut through the noise and activate your customer purchase at the POP?

A great article, What’s Healthy At The Grocery Store? Shoppers Are Often Confused, Survey Finds’ written by Rebbecca Ellis from NPR sharing some very strong statistics regarding confusion at the shelf for buyers – and you understand that confusion prevents purchase of your product.

Sales and Marketing leaders put resources and focus on educating potential consumers with packaging, branding, advertising and social and digital content but what do you do when that’s not enough – we can’t rely upon our own perceived reality for success, ‘it’s how we have always done it’ the paradigm of a dying business.  I’ve referred to this in earlier posts where family friend who see’s reality through a totally different lens than the rest of the world. We call it ‘Mona’s World’! and the joke around our house when something happens, is it ‘Mona’s World‘ or was it what really happened. Sorry, but if your asking yourself who Mona is in your circle of friends then your probably Mona – Sorry!

We’ve done everything right and now our most informed shoppers are still confused when they arrive at the POP (Point of Purchase)?  We have the best shelf tags, best packaging we can provide, hanging signage, endcaps, IRC’s, etc. etc….

The report found 95 percent of shoppers at least sometimes seek healthy options when grocery shopping. And yet, only a little over a quarter said they find it easy to determine which products are good for them and which should stay on the shelves. – Rebbeca Ellis

So almost 75 percent of your potential customers DO NOT find it easy to make a purchase decision at the shelf or POP and are falling out of your purchase funnel. How do you move them to the POS point of Sale where the cash register actually rings.  This confusion was further confirmed by survey by the IFIC last year where the author shared, ‘59 percent of respondents were somewhat or strongly confused by conflicting health advice.’

These are informed customers that have done their research through social and digital platforms and now are standing at the shelf and need more information.  This is where POP becomes critical – why does a restaurant have waiters and waitresses that come to your table, not just to fill your water glass and bring a clean fork.

“How are [consumers] supposed to know that ‘organic’ is backed by almost 100 pages of federal regulations and ‘natural’ doesn’t have any?” Charlotte Vallaeys‘ is  quoted in the article.

The trained team member is there to provide additional support, clarification and expert advice on their offering and that’s exactly what POP product demonstrations provide.  At the point of purchase when the consumer has confusion and wants help understanding the menu, special language or unfamiliar items you need someone well trained in your product and the competitive environment to answer their questions and facilitate the final cash register ringing.

Enjoy the article and links above and if you have any questions or need help understanding if  a POP program is right for you give us a ring and we’ll help.

Let us know what you think? I wanted to gather your thoughts and insights regarding what does it take to have a seat at the table in your market?

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

What does it take to play in the game…..

Have you ever sat down with your team and asked what does to take to get into the game?  We talk about pre-call planning, targeting, filling our sales funnel, creating awareness, building brands, engaging customers and activating them, remarketing….on and on.  What is the market dictating, what is our competition currently doing, what are our customers expectations just to play……where do we start?

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”

 Lao Tzu quotes (Chinese taoist Philosopher, founder of Taoism, wrote “Tao Te Ching” (also “The Book of the Way”). 600 BC-531 BC)

How do we keep the journey from becoming a thousand miles and a bunch of wasted steps?  Is your organization following the Ready – Fire – Aim philosophy? Let’s start from the beginning, what’s it going to take to get into the game? and another important question what is the game?

I was talking with someone today who was recruiting for a ‘hunter gather’ role and they asked my opinion on what they should look for, to be successful should they be more strategic or more tactical?  It took me a split second to respond, ‘they had better be strategic if they want to eat.’ – LOL

Fail1When a hunter gather doesn’t know the who, the what, or the where that first step can lead to trouble.  If they go chasing invisible rabbits just because they heard “sic ’em“, it’s can be safer to step back and watch them careening down the hallway bouncing off of walls chasing the red laser pointer dot (it’s funny too as long as they don’t work for you that is).

So, what does it take to get into the game? the right game?  the right prize?  So we aren’t expending a large amount of energy, wasting time and bleeding precious resources which leaves us less capable of actually winning…

I’ve written often in my blogs about getting “Ready” with research and information gathering, to make sure your first step on that journey of a thousand miles or before we yell ‘sic ’em’  as an organization  we’re ready to actually ‘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 our strategy and what is it going to take to ‘Aim’ at the right opportunities.

‘Aim’ will define what it takes to get into the game or have a place at the table for our organiztaion.  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’ article ‘Ready, Fire, Aim!’ in International Leadership Associates in 2005 shared:

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 sit down and categorized our customers based upon their potential value. How do you accomplish that?

Q: Does your organization understand what it will take to get into the game?

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.

Let us know what you think? I wanted to gather your thoughts and insights regarding what does it take to have a seat at the table in your market?

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 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

 

How can you maximize your budget and be more effective with traditional media – an interview with Natalie Hale CEO and Founder of Media Partners Worldwide.

‘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 using traditional advertising across Radio, Cable TV, Network TV, Syndicated TV, Spot TV, National Magazine, Newspaper, Social Networking, OLV (Online Video), Internet Mobile, National Internet.  Where do you allocate your budget and what do you need to do to create awareness?

We listed some of the tools that we can use, now let’s discuss how can we be effective! How can we be more effective with our budgets looking at some of the more traditional tools out there to build awareness? Remember we want to create Awareness, develop Interest which moves customers to and through the decision process so that you can create Action when you ‘ask for the business!’

This weeks Spinach Helpful Tip we are going to discuss one of those tools ‘remnant’ ads and discuss how we can maximize our budgets, create the greatest reacMediaPartners - media planning - remnant advertisement - Golden Ratio Marketingh while utilizing traditional media? To help provide guidance and answer some questions, we are very lucky to have a media expert Natalie Hale  joining us today:

Natalie can you share a little bit about your background and your company Media Partners Worldwide

Hi, my name is Natalie Hale CEO and Founder of Media Partners Worldwide.  After graduating from Natalie Hale.pngUCLA, I got my start working in advertising in major agencies such as Foote, Cone and Belding and Chiat/Day. I went on to work in radio sales and broadcasting for a locally owned radio station and then on to CBS Radio. After more than a decade of working in corporate America, I decided to open up my own agency with the initiative to help entrepreneurs promote and generate leads for their business.   

Now after 20 years in business I have helped hundreds of entrepreneurs launch and better their business with a particular emphasis on using remnant radio to maximize and generate the best ROI possible.

What would you say is your Primary Focus at Media Partners Worldwide? What Services do you Provide?

Radio was our original focus, however we become a full service buying agency and buy TV, National and local cable, outdoor billboard and digital advertising as well.

Radio includes:

As I’ve had the opportunity to work with you over the years, you have a definite Vision for Using Remnant ads. Can you share your vision with our audience?

Buying remnant radio or TV advertising allows for testing with reduced investment and risk.  The discount pricing afforded by including remnant in your buy helps reduce your overall cost per unit and increasing your reach, frequency and return on investment

India Jane Furniture As a marketer the importance of being able to test multiple ad sets economically so you can hone your messaging, and ensure we are reaching our target audience is paramount to our success. When we are looking to maximize our working media plan and budget, the ability to utilize remnants offers the ability to test, make content and course corrects as we are implementing our flights.The Future of TV Advertising and Radio

Television:

  • National Cable
  • Syndication
  • Spot Cable
  • Local Broadcast
  • :10 Second Syndicated Spots
  • Per Inquiry TV

How is remnant ads different from confirmed spot

Typically, when we buy remnant it is considered 100% pre-emptible, which means if there is no unsold inventory then the spots do not run.  A confirmed spot means you are paying the actual rate card rate or a negotiated rate, which is usually higher than a remnant rate.

So remnant ads have a purpose and a place, they offer the ability to test messaging and markets economically. They can offer the ability to drill down and focus with a high level of specificity, but there value is moderated by availability so it has to be understood and balanced against supply and demand.

I want to thank Natalie for her time and insight regarding how manufacturers and advertisers can maximize their reach and frequency in traditional channels while optimizing their spends.

Natalie, was also gracious enough to share some industry standard Definitions for our audience? 

CPP is calculated as Media Cost divided by Gross Rating Points.

Impressions are the total number of exposures to your advertisement.  One person can receive multiple exposures over time.  If one person was exposed to an advertisement five times, this would count as five impressions. Impressions are calculated by multiplying the number of Spots by Average Persons.

Spot is a single broadcast of an advertisement. Typically, an advertising placement includes multiple spots.

Media Cost or Budget is the price you pay to present your advertisement. There are many different ways to price media including points, impressions, clicks, leads, actions, days, weeks, months, etc. However, it ultimately boils down to the amount you pay to present your advertisement, which is Media Cost.  Media Cost excludes the cost to create the advertisement and other costs.

Cost per Thousand Impressions (CPM) is calculated as the Media Cost divided by Impressions divided by 1,000.

Dayparts are typically broken down as morning drive 6a-10a, midday 10a-3p, afternoon drive 3p-7p, evenings 7p-12a and overnights 12a-5a

DigitalOxygen Plus - Pure Recreational Oxygen

  • Video Advertising
  • Lead Generation
  • Display Advertising
  • Retargeting
  • Online Conversion Marketing
  • Search Marketing
  • Facebook Media
  • Mobile/Tablet Advertising
  • Email Blasts
  • Web Design
  • Online Tracking and Reporting

Print/Out of HomeIndia Jane Furniture

  • National Consumer Magazines
  • Business Publications
  • Sunday Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Local Consumer Magazines
  • Free Standing Inserts
  • Outdoor Billboards
  • Remnant Billboards
  • Transit Signage
  • Digital Outdoors
  • Bus Wraps
  • Bus stops and benches

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 India Jane Sofas

HearthSongThe Future of TV Advertising and Radio

‘Our 30 second elevator speech explaining our Social Media/Promotion strategy’ – 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!

Someone asked me for a quick 30 second elevator brief explaining how Golden Ratio Marketing would define our Social Media/Promotion basic strategy – I did it in less than 5 we base ours recommendations on Awareness, Engagement and Activation:

A strategy providing guidance for implementation of the optimum mix of organic and paid tools driving Awareness, Engagement and Activation across Social and Digital platforms to deliver results.Social and Digital Platforms

Standard industry recommendations:

  • Owned Content – 30%

  • Content you Curated – 60%

  • Calls To Action (paid) – 10%

Now this mix is going to change based upon where you product is in it’s life-cycle and  what & where you competition is in their products life-cycle.  Depending on whether our consumers are B2B or B2C we’re going to capture a lot of this information from our syndicated retail sales data sources (Nielsen, IRI, SPINS, etc.) where you can look at your cross channel point-of-sale reporting and  data points combined with your retail outlet reports for a clear snapshot looking at historical data.  So our Sales Leadership should have a solid starting point of potential and opportunity.
HearthSong - Shop By Age
Now the Marketing team will need to work through and confirm (if we don’t already know) our buyer persona and buyers journey target demographics for B2C customers, and firmographics for B2B customers, secure information from our Marketing Technology stack and confirm what other data collection and analytical tools we will be utilizing, whether in-house or contract service (SSI, Toluna,  DataFox, Survata, etc.).

We’ll need to take into consideration how our target consumers/customers  are accessing their media, is it via digital, print, radio and/or television so we can plan how we can implement a simple Announcement/Awareness – Engagement – Activation strategy.A Three Phase Social Digital Media Plan

As we’ve said before this is what it is all about – taking your Market analysis – using your dashboards and information from your Marketing Technology stack and testing your outcomes and deliverable’s with a vendor who can provide 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 implement your Phase 1 ~ 2 ~ 3 and win the race:

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

Lucky Tiger Shaving Stacy Adams 1-800-PetMeds Free Shipping $49

‘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

“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