Discipline key for great marketing

Structured approach can build customer loyalty, leave positive lasting impressions

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In ORDER to gain the benefits from proper dental care, you must be diligent (doing each task regularly), and have discipline (doing it properly). You must also visit the dentist regularly to be checked by an expert. A dental hygienist can always tell if you’re not brushing properly, flossing, using a proxy brush and using a dental rinse. The hygienist sees signs of tartar buildup and bleeding gums. Why would you think that focusing on these activities in the two weeks before your appointment would undo five months of average or inconsistent dental care?

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 12/01/2019 (1422 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

In ORDER to gain the benefits from proper dental care, you must be diligent (doing each task regularly), and have discipline (doing it properly). You must also visit the dentist regularly to be checked by an expert. A dental hygienist can always tell if you’re not brushing properly, flossing, using a proxy brush and using a dental rinse. The hygienist sees signs of tartar buildup and bleeding gums. Why would you think that focusing on these activities in the two weeks before your appointment would undo five months of average or inconsistent dental care?

Successful marketing requires an organization to apply the same rigour. First, your organization should assess all your marketing activities regularly, make the necessary adjustments and ensure a disciplined customer-first focus in all your product or service decisions.

When you fail to act with discipline, you run the risk of having a “marketing cavity” arise soon.

When was the last time that you undertook a structured approach to everything that you do to find and keep a customer? And who conducted this review? There are so many small items that can cause long-term problems, such as losing customers, if you do not pay attention to the marketing details. Conversely, taking care of these details can build customer loyalty and leave positive lasting impressions.

The following examples emphasize the importance of regular attention to detail. We had a new furnace installed last year, and the company was terrific. Every detail was properly taken care of, and the installation occurred in December when the outside temperature was -35 C. The installers were not only professional, but neat and respectful of our home. Their truck was also clean and served as fantastic advertising while parked on our driveway all day. Would you ever refer a company to a friend or family member if the company’s service people left your home in a bigger mess than when they arrived?

If you are a service company, do you always inspect your fleet for the overall readiness of your vehicles? Do your employees and/or contractors represent your organization well? As a consumer, do you have confidence to call the company with the banged-up truck?

A client of mine has a fleet of vehicles. Their corporate culture and focus on the customer is exemplary. When I saw one of their drivers on a cellphone, I called the owner right away because I knew she cared enough to want to know. She thanked me for calling.

How often have you walked into a retail store and seen cigarette butts around the entrance? Are the shelves stocked? Are the floors clean? Do the staff take you to the aisle with the product you are looking for or do they just point and say, “I think it’s in aisle 5 or 12?” Is there any wonder why online sales continue to rise?

Brick-and-mortar stores can separate themselves from online competitors by taking care of details that an impersonal, digital experience can never replicate. If you own a store, please look at every aspect of purchasing from your store, and also returning a product to your store. How easy have you made it for people to do business with you? And more importantly, what have you done to delight your customers, so they will proactively tell their friends about their experience with your store?

With less than 10 per cent of total retail sales in Canada being made online (according to Statista), there must still be a need for physical stores. However, different categories are being more seriously affected by online sales than other categories.

When you assess all the elements of your marketing plan, are you looking to be really good or just good enough? If your marketing plan is reviewed infrequently and incompletely, its effectiveness will diminish if not attended to quickly and with the right expertise. The customer will vote with their wallet, and you will quickly learn that just good enough now may simply not be enough in the long run.

Tim’s bits: Your marketing preventive maintenance should also assess your competitors, and other consumer trends to determine the possible impact on your sales. Your product line should be analyzed regularly for items that may need to be dropped because there is diminishing demand that cannot be recovered.

Brushing up on your messaging is another important activity that requires regular attention. Are you relevant to your customers? Are you truly showing how you are helping improve some aspect of their business or personal life?

Diligence and discipline in regularly assessing all of your marketing activities will allow you to avoid costly major marketing repairs to fix the cavity you created with improper care.

Tim Kist, CMC, a certified management consultant by law, works with organizations to improve their overall performance by being be truly customer-focused.

Tim Kist

Tim Kist
Columnist

Tim is a certified management consultant with more than two decades of experience in various marketing and sales leadership positions.

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