Run faster and farther with holistic marketing
When I was around 5 years old, my mom started me running with the single focus of having me burn off some of my energy; I would run around the yard or house long enough to feel a little tired. As I got older, my single focus was still running, but this time I was doing it to get in shape for soccer. When I started running marathons, my single focus was more pronounced — run to get the miles in, run far enough to train your body to push past that infamous “wall,” run, run, and run.
So I did. I ran and ran and managed to complete quite a few marathons with fairly good results, but then I wanted to up the ante; I wanted to qualify for the Boston Marathon. As I began training, I noticed that I was struggling to shave enough time off my pace and then it hit me: I was focused too much on a single aspect of training. If I wanted to perform at my best, I needed to look at my training holistically: I needed my whole body working to maximize my potential, not just my legs. I needed to lift weights to strengthen my core, run sprints to get faster, do yoga to avoid injury, and I needed proper sleep and nutrition. I needed to integrate other activities so that I could become stronger overall.
Why am I telling you this story? Because the way I was training is how so many people approach marketing: with a single focus. But marketing is more than a TV ad, direct mail postcard or website. Marketing is pricing accordingly to ensure a healthy business and solid budget. Marketing is branding and getting the phone to ring, but also how we answer the phone and greet our customers with their first brand experience. Marketing is following through on our promises by impressing customers with our expert technicians and solutions to their challenges. Marketing is building lifelong relationships that drive repeat, referral and loyal customers. Marketing, really, is everything, and if you want to maximize your potential, you need to think about your marketing holistically.
Think of it this way, you have a plan to get the phone to ring and it works. “Success!” you think, but you lose the customer because a crabby CSR answered the phone or you lose the sale because your technician talked over the customer’s head. What if your CSRs and technicians hit it out of the park, but you don’t get a referral because you didn’t do a follow-up call? You finished a race, but you didn’t clock the time you wanted because you were not holistically focused.
Now, what if you had a marketing plan that covered all the aspects of marketing? Your marketing to current customers drives repeat and referral, your marketing to prospects drives growth, and your internal marketing plan makes sure everyone on your team is on the same page. Then, what if you empowered your CSRs and technicians to be part of your marketing team? Think of the power they have to be your first (CSR) and last (tech) impression of the company and the power your CSRs have to set the technicians up for success. Think about it: What if your CSR heard a dog barking or child playing in the background of a call and passed this information on to the tech? When the technician arrives at the customer’s home he or she can impress the customer by bringing dog treats or a coloring book, and then he or she wows the customer by asking great questions, providing options and explaining everything in layman’s terms. What a lasting impression (not to mention sale) that could make!
This idea of holistic marketing isn’t new; in fact, when you step back and think about it, your development, design and implementation of marketing programs, processes, activities, systems and people are interdependent. Holistic marketing recognizes that everything matters with marketing and that a broad, integrated perspective is necessary to maximize your opportunities and potential.
Still not convinced? Let’s do an exercise. Your marketing gets your phones to ring — now, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are these the right calls?
- Am I attracting the right customer?
- Am I booking the calls 80% or more of the time?
- Are my technicians maximizing the call?
- Are my phones ringing consistently throughout the year?
- Am I getting repeats and referrals?
You see, the questions above are the same kind of questions I needed to ask myself in my training. Do I have the right training program? Am I running enough miles to build endurance? Do I have the right speed workouts to get faster? Is my strength training maximizing my muscle groups? Am I getting the rest and nutrition I need to sustain my training? Have I integrated yoga into my plan to remain injury-free?
As my running goals changed, so did my approach. If I wanted to perform at a level that got me a qualifying time to run Boston, I had to look at my preparation holistically. I could no longer just run, I had to integrate other components into my plan, and all these components added up and affected my results — much like your marketing. So the next time you look at your marketing, why not look at the whole picture and get the finish you want!