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Strategies

5 Marketing Strategies Smart Businesses Use During COVID-19

“Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.”
– The Father of Business Consulting Peter Drucker.

Even for an essential business, adapting and growing in this turbulent time has been a challenge.

But by focusing on a few choice marketing activities, many organizations are not just surviving – but thriving.

And you can, too.

Here are five strategies your marketing needs to focus on. And if needed, Your Strategic Marketing Partner is happy to help.

1. Get Good at Segmenting Your Customers

This strategy alone will do more for your organization than any other thing you do.

Specifically, do you know who your best customers are? The ones that contribute the most value to your organization? Or, do you know who your customers are who ‘need to be sold’ on your value proposition?

By better knowing your customers — beyond just the basic demographics such as where they live, how much they earn, male or female, and how much education they have — you can craft better, more personalized messages that matter most to them.

Use this Simple Marketing Strategy to Increase Sales 

One of the easiest methods for delivering more value to your customers and increasing sales is to segment your customers using the law of 80/20 (the Pareto principle).

That is, 80% of your sales come from 20% of your customers.

For example, if you have 10,000 customers, rank them by the amount of sales revenue each contributed to your organization.

Now break out the top 2,000 customers and save it in a file called: “My best customers”

“The data” shows that these 2,000 customers love your brand more than everyone else – now it’s your job to give them more value. You could offer them a membership-style offer, a loyalty buyers club program, a special bulk quantity or a limited-time lowest-price-ever-offered deal.

By communicating to such a specific, high value segment, you will find that your costs will stay low, your customer engagement rates will skyrocket and your customers will be delighted to receive a special offer reserved for just them.

Your options are endless.

In addition to your customer’s existing buying habits and basic demographics, an excellent starting point for better understanding your customers is exploring their psychographics.

One excellent tool your sales and marketing team will benefit from is called VALS, a.k.a, values and lifestyles. VALS is an online tool that can help you better learn what is important to your customers and help you to be better at communicating your message.

  • For example, some of your customers will be driven by showing off their success to their friends,  these are called Achievers or Strivers.
  • Or, if you have a proven, long term brand with a core group of careful savers, a portion of your best customers may be Makers and Survivors.

Would an Innovator be more likely to purchase the newest tech gadget, or would a Survivor be the ideal buyer? What does the psychographics look like for a buyer of a $18,000 beefy motorcycle cruiser? Would you differ the language in your marketing strategy with these potential buyers?

Of course you would. And if you are not, you may be turning away actual buyers because of improper messaging.

You can learn more about the VALS system by going here.

How well you segment your customer list will make a massive difference

Let’s now communicate the value.

2. Increase the Value in Your Email Marketing (and send more)

Email marketing is absolutely business-changing. And if you aren’t doing it, or if you are not doing enough, you need to. Immediately.

There are many email delivery tools that can manage the process for you and ensure you stay current on the best strategies.

Recent data says that most customers check their email daily and truly enjoy high value communications. Your customers are no different.

The options for getting more from your email marketing is, again, endless.

To get the wheels turning, here’s a simple example we set up for a wonderful eCommerce company. This email campaign is called the ‘abandoned cart’ campaign and when done right, will increase sales for you the same day it is developed:

  • The segment: customers who left a product in their shopping cart without buying.
  • The strategy:  3 sequential emails sent within 48 hours.
  • The offer: a coupon code giving them a % off their purchase if they buy before a deadline.
  • The results: The best results usually come from the 1st of the three emails as its most recent for the customer. It’s not uncommon to have email open rates as high as 50% and if the offer resonates with your customers, purchase rates can be in the double digits bringing you sales almost instantly.

Whether you are a brick-n-mortar, don’t have an email list yet, a services based company or somewhere in between, email will be a valuable asset for you.

But beware, if you send too much boring or low value email, your customers not only won’t respond, but they will opt-out of your database. They might even mark you as spam.

A strategy we often do is deliver 52 high value email impressions per year. If you touch your customers this often with reasons why they should think about you and not your competitors, you WILL thrive.

Onward.

3. Push More Social Media Content that Builds Trust & Credibility

A quality Social Media Marketing plan can be very valuable. That’s because, right now, your customers use social media to stay updated on events, network with like-minded people, do research, influence others, stay in touch and make buying decisions.

Yes, they purchase and ‘influence’ purchases, too.

In fact, there are some wonderful tools that can help you find these ‘influencers’ and even hire them to promote your product or service. But more about that in a later topic.

In order to make social media an asset for growth, you will have to turn it into a platform that is aimed at building trust with your customers and followers.

But beware, not all social platforms are created equal for your product and service. You will need to go back to your customer segmentation exercise to determine which platform(s) deserve your social media resources.

Deliver Value Created by You that Your Social Followers Want

One thing is certain, the best social media users focus on delivering value. And you need to, too. Whether that is entertainment, smiles, drama or savings.  Make a ‘deliver value’ strategy in order to build trust and credibility part of your social media plan. This can be very similar to a content marketing strategy (think blog), but the messaging changes with each platform.

But beware: know that social platforms are literally rented space – you don’t actually own the platform like you do your website or your house list. For this reason it’s important to have a strategy to win as many customers over to your ‘house list’ as you can.

4. Use Direct Mail

If you are in our specific target market, you know that we love direct mail as much as we love email.

We especially love direct mail that earns your attention.

In fact, nothing is more powerful than a well-developed direct mail campaign because direct mail — when properly developed —  is the ultimate targeted marketing tool and will help you to:

1) Gain a customer, and 2) Keep a customer – for Life!

In fact, direct mail was the first number-crunching tool in ‘old school’ marketing, before “big data” existed.

Here’s what you can do to combine your customer segmentation skills with a direct mail campaign.

  1. Carve out the top 5% of your customers that have spent the most money.
  2. Using our 10,000 customer example, that leaves us with 500 of the most awesome customers in your list – the ultimate in customer segmentation.

If you don’t have a plan for this ‘creme of the crop’, you are leaving huge sums of sales revenue and customer goodwill for your competition to scoop up.

Do you think you could come up with an amazing high value offer that you could send to these 500 customers?

Of course you could.

Now, let’s get you a 100% open rate using …

Highly target, entertaining and engaging direct mail

Unfortunately, most freshly educated marketers immediately come up with a $0.35 postcard mailing because they learned in school that ‘direct mail only gains a 2% response,’ so why spend the money?

You probably throw away 98% of postcard mailers, too.

But it’s virtually guaranteed that you will open the fed-ex package, the big lumpy envelope that is hand addressed to you or the see-through envelope that has money in it.

And when you make a great offer to

Your best customers that know you, trust you, and already have the habit of buying from you, you will thrive

It doesn’t get any better than this.

Fill out the short form, here. We can help.

And with that, the even bigger take-away that the best companies do during Covid is they …

5. Communicate More Value from Your Unique Sales Proposition

Whether you sell paper towels, organic ashwagandha, bourbon, a restaurant, personal training or hardwood flooring, when you look deeper into your unique selling proposition …

You can find a dozen new ways to deliver more value to your customers

For example, how hard would it be to create a list of the top 10 reasons why customers choose your brand? Fuel these 10 reasons by educating the customer on the benefits of using your products, give them a great reason to (re)purchase your product and they will choose you over your competition (until your competition finds Your Strategic Marketing Partner, too).

An excellent first step is to integrate some customer surveys. Here’s a great plan used by the biggest companies on the planet, that you, too, can implement quickly and easily.

So few companies focus on identifying and communicating their unique value proposition as it matters most to the customer. And when you stay focused on this, and make it part of your company culture, your team will regularly focus on delivering a better customer experience.

In fact, this could be the focus of 10 of your next 52 email impressions. And again, this is where you can be better than your competitors.

You’ll Keep More Customers Doing Business With You, More Often

You will become a truly innovative organization and you will rise to the top of the customer’s mind. The best companies are rolling out innovative product offerings, increasing email communications, pushing out interesting and fascinating information to their growing social media following, making great and relevant offers to segments of their list and focusing on delivering more value to the people who ultimately support the organization — the customer!

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Strategies

This Common Marketing Mistake Could Be Costing You Millions

Check out more tips and strategies on TwitterThis awesome strategy is by Sam Hirschberg, MBA. For some great conversations, tips and strategies, follow Sam on Twitter.

Now that you have a dialed-in customer value proposition, we can focus on a more advanced marketing strategy.

And since your customer service is legendary — literally leap-years better than what your competitors provide who are still letting customers fall through the cracks — it’s now time to ramp up.

Here’s a fun, effective strategy that can be a home run campaign for you, that, for your sake, I hope you build into your marketing calendar.

This strategy works because most businesses overlook their best asset, their customers. In fact, I recently executed this strategy (a sequential series) for one of my favorite long-time customers.

It’s called the “Lost Sheep” campaign

The target market is very clear:

We communicate to past customers that haven’t purchased within the last 12 months (this number varies based on your sales cycle).

You see, with rare exceptions, most companies can improve their marketing communications systems. That is, they can communicate more value to their customers, more often.

And for this one company, this strategy has generated over $1.5 million in newfound sales since we started.

When I reviewed their analytics and saw what they were doing, and not doing, I immediately saw this overlooked opportunity.

So, today, here is a foundation of that campaign.

I wrote this specifically for this one organization, but your take-away should be clear. Communicate a high value offer to your old customers filled with lots of benefits – to win them back.

After all, why would you want to spend 10x the advertising dollars “trying to find and educate a new person on why you exist” vs spending 1/10x the advertising money on “someone who already knows you and your quality services”?

It just makes sense. And you will see how much financial sense its makes when you test it for yourself (Call me at 602-892-0777 as I’d love to help you execute this awesome strategy).

So here is the campaign:

Communication to lost customers

Project Overview: Take 2,000 names of old customers and do an equal A/B test to 1,000 each. As an example, you can do a special 2x offer vs a 3x offer and then throw in a special upsell to both lists for additional products at a “never-been-before-and-will-never-happen-again limited-time-only”. The attitude here is to assume they want it and make a great offer and simultaneously test a new package deal that we could roll out to the entire list in a periodic special.

This Common Marketing Mistake Could be Costing You Millions

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I invite you to call me, so together, you and I can develop a campaign similar to this for your business. You’ll only win.

Actually, the only you could lose is if you don’t call me.

All you have to say is, “Sam, help, I’ve lost some sheep!”

About Your Strategic Marketing Partner

Sam Hirschberg, MBA, is Your Strategic Marketing Partner. Always professional and a delight to work with, Sam is not a typical “marketing consultant”. Unlike most consultants, Sam doesn’t just tell you that you have a problem and say, “See you later and good luck!” He knows how to find solutions, execute programs, test and measure campaigns, and how-and-when it’s time to roll-out big! For more information about Sam, please visit https://strategicmarketingpartner.com

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Strategies

Sam Walton’s Rules for Building a Business

Rule 1: Commit to your business. Believe in it more than anybody else. I think I overcame every single one of my personal shortcomings by the sheer passion I brought my work. I don’t know if you’re born with this kind of passion, or if your can learn it. But I do know you need it. If you love your work, you’ll be out there every day trying to do it the best you possibly can, and pretty soon everybody around will catch the passion from you — like a fever.

Rule 2. Share your profits with all your associates, and treat them as partners. In turn, they will treat you as a partner, and together you will all perform beyond your wildest expectations.

Rule 3. Motivate your partners. Money and ownership alone aren’t enough. Set high goals, encourage competition, and then keep score. Don’t become too predictable.

Rule 4. Communicate everything you possibly can to your partners. The more they know, the more they’ll understand. The more they understand, the more they’ll care. Once they care, there’s no stopping them.

Rule 5. Appreciate everything your associates do for the business.Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They’re absolutely free – and worth a fortune.

Rule 6. Celebrate your success. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Loosen up, and everybody around you will loosen up. Have fun. Show enthusiasm – always. All of this is more important, and more fun, than you think, and it really fools competition.

Rule 7. Listen to everyone in your company. And figure out ways to get them talking. To push responsibility down in your organization, and to force good ideas to bubble up within it, you must listen to what your associates are trying to tell you.

Rule 8. Exceed your customers’ expectations. Give them what they want — and a little more. Make good on all your mistakes, and don’t make excuses — apologize. Stand behind everything you do.

Rule 9. Control your expenses better than your competition. This is where you can always find the competitive advantage. You can make a lot of different mistakes and still recover if you run an efficient operation. Or you can be brilliant and still go out of business if you’re too inefficient.

Rule 10. Swim upstream. Go the other way. Ignore the conventional wisdom. If everybody else is doing it one way, there’s a good chance you can find your niche by going in exactly the opposite direction.

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About Your Strategic Marketing Partner
Sam Hirschberg, MBA, is Your Strategic Marketing Partner. Always professional and a delight to work with, Sam is not a typical “marketing consultant”. Unlike most consultants, Sam doesn’t just tell you that you have a problem and say, “See you later and good luck!” He knows how to find solutions, execute programs, test and measure campaigns, and how-and-when it’s time to roll-out big! You are invited to call (602) 892-0777 to learn more about Sam’s background on his FREE 9-minute recorded message. For more information about Sam, please visit https://strategicmarketingpartner.com.

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Strategies

Your Customer Value Proposition; Customer Intimacy, Operational Excellence and Product Leadership

The customer value proposition is…

The strategy a company chooses to separate themselves from the competition

This is based on how the customer defines value, such as:

  • Convenience of purchase,
  • Service after the sale is made,
  • Product dependability,
  • Scope of choices, and so on.

I invite you to read the above sentences again …

That’s because if you do not have a strategy to separate yourself from the competition, then this topic really needs to sink in.

… Then you need to call me, ASAP (Sam: 602-892-0777) …

So we can get to work on your customer communication plan. But we can discuss that at another time.

Back to our customer value proposition.

The three categories of the customer value proposition include;

  1. Customer intimacy
  2. Operational excellence
  3. Product leadership

The best companies will clearly communicate their value proposition in their targeted advertising campaigns.

Again, this is a loaded statement, assuming you have a plan for you targeted ad campaigns. If not, now you really need to call me, double ASAP.

Anyway, here’s a brief definition of each customer value proposition:

Customer intimacy – Business that choose the customer intimacy strategy are messaging to their customers, “Choose us because we can customize our products and services to meet your individual needs better than the competition.”  Quality flooring service companies, Home Depot and a company like Nordstroms are examples of this strategy.

Operational excellence – Companies that say, “We can deliver products and services faster, more conveniently and at lower price” choose the operational excellence value proposition. Snap fitness (cheaper 24-hour key club) and Walmart are examples of this strategy.

Product leadership – Companies that choose the product leadership strategy are saying you should choose us because we offer a higher quality product than our competitors. Apple, Orange Theory and Cisco Systems are examples of companies that succeed because of product leadership. Interestingly, product leaders act fast and avoid bureaucracy at all costs because it slows decisions and time to market.

Now it’s your turn.

Deciding how your value proposition fits in the marketplace doesn’t have to be complicated. That’s because most companies have no concrete idea what their value proposition is – and this happens more often than you might think!

This makes it easier for you.

For example, it is not uncommon for a fitness business to exploit a market opportunity such as ‘weight loss’ marketed to the over 40 crowd of professional office workers, or an online flooring company, to gain a network of franchisees or dealers to exploit the market. All while not having a clearly defined value proposition. This is not to say that value is not provided to a customer who pays for it — this is to say that a company may not have a clearly defined value proposition.

And this makes your job even easier to gain market share and uncommon profits when you aggressively target and communicate this to the marketplace (hint, hint … call me and I can show you how).

A business that can clearly define their leadership position in at least one category can create a viable reason for why the customer should choose them over the competition. And they can  own the market in at least that position.

For example, Anytime Fitness, does a good job in communicating their operational excellence to the gym-goers who want a clean, no-frills 24-hour workout, while currently offering a product leadership position to franchise candidates with a higher quality product in this space.

After all, mastery of one value proposition may eventually become the minimum that a company will need in order to win.  But it’s also possible that the biggest winners of the future will have mastered two value propositions.

About Your Strategic Marketing Partner
Sam Hirschberg, MBA, is Your Strategic Marketing Partner. Always professional and a delight to work with, Sam is not a typical “marketing consultant”. Unlike most consultants, Sam doesn’t just tell you that you have a problem and say, “See you later and good luck!” He knows how to find solutions, execute programs, test and measure campaigns, and how-and-when it’s time to roll-out big! You are invited to call (602) 892-0777 to learn more about Sam’s background on his FREE 9-minute recorded message.  For more information about Sam, please visit https://strategicmarketingpartner.com.

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Strategies

What Do Your Customers Really Think About You? Here’s How To Find Out …

Now that you have a rock-solid customer value proposition, you can get to work digging a deep trench into your market position by gaining more customers, more often.

And your worst fear is outlined in “I’m the Nice Customer … Who isn’t Coming Back”. If you haven’t read this, please have your team read it immediately.

But since you are executing the 10 Commandments of Legendary Customer Service, your team is on track and your business is eagerly serving new and repeat customers, with a smile.

So, what’s next?

Marketing and Innovation, of course.

But to market, innovate and produce more products and services (value), let’s get a strong pulse on what your customers really think. Because you probably don’t have the whole story.

Let’s start by getting some customer feedback. After all, this is market research at its best.

There are many strategies for customer feedback. I have a few preferred methods to find out exactly how your customers really feel about your brand (two methods which I don’t reveal in this article are reserved for my personal customers who want to turbo-charge sales).

Here’s a strategy worth knowing…

It’s called the Net Promoter Score (NPS). And it’s used by the biggest companies on the planet. You have probably used it yourself, maybe without knowing.

The purpose of the NPS is to categorize a company’s customers into 1 of 3 groups:

  1. Promoters
  2. Passives
  3. Detractors

NPS is generated by asking customers one question:

How likely they would recommend your business, product or service to a friend or colleague?

— Ranked on a scale of 0 to 10, 10 being best

Those giving a response of 9 or 10 are promoters. A score of 7 and 8 are passives. A score of 6 or below are detractors.

Your net promoter score is the percentage of the promoters minus the percentage of the detractors.

So here’s an example of what this looks like, for a local IT services company.

A survey was filled out by 375 customers, via email, direct mail and while “in the shop:

  • 84 were in bucket #1: 9’s and 10’s: 22%
  • 229 were in bucket #2: 7’s and 8’s: 62%
  • 62 were in bucket #3: 0’s thru 6’s: 16%

The Formula: Bucket 1 – Bucket 3 = 22 – 16 = 6

The NPS Score = 6

A score of 6 sounds meaningless, doesn’t it?

It basically is, by itself. That’s why you need to measure your score against the industry.

If you are in the cable TV or ISP business, you may be leading the pack. But if you are in a specialty services niche, you have your work cut of for you.

But still, the higher the score the better.

So, what is a good score?

NPS scores vary widely, especially among industries. Typically, well-known, popular companies like Amazon, Apple, Costco and Nordstrom may get scores of 50-80, which are absolutely fantastic. A score of 20 or better is a great score, while 30-40 is very, very good.

If you are getting a negative number, it may be time to look for a new business. Or, time to hunker down and find out what is going on and start making your customers happy. In fact, analysts at a German manufacturing company found that for every 10% improvement in their NPS score, they realized a 7% increase in their revenue growth.

Coincidentally, they also found that their NPS scores spiked when their sales reps visited their dealers three times, and began to fall with more frequent visits.

More proof that simply asking your customers what they want is a wise starting point.

About Your Strategic Marketing Partner
Sam Hirschberg, MBA, is Your Strategic Marketing Partner. Always professional and a delight to work with, Sam is not a typical “marketing consultant”. Unlike most consultants, Sam doesn’t just tell you that you have a problem and say, “See you later and good luck!” He knows how to find solutions, execute programs, test and measure campaigns, and how-and-when it’s time to roll-out big! You are invited to call (602) 892-0777 to learn more about Sam’s background on his FREE 9-minute recorded message. For more information about Sam, please visit https://strategicmarketingpartner.com.

Categories
Strategies

The Top 10 Commandments of Legendary Customer Service

Early in my career I was the Head Tennis Professional at a prestigious AAA Five Diamond resort in southern California. I worked for this tennis club and resort for 10 years.

As you can imagine, we regularly had insightful customer service training. That’s because our valued customers paid a healthy sum to visit the club, so our skills needed to be sharp with a customer-centric atmosphere at all times.

Here are the 10 Commandments of Legendary Customer Service, as taught by the best in the business of exceeding customers expectations:

The Top 10 Commandments of Legendary Customer Service

  1. Create customer service that’s not just the best, but Legendary. (Treat our customers better than they expect!)
  2. Our employee must be the customer. (If our customer is upset, our employee is upset. If our customer is satisfied, our employee is satisfied.)
  3. To achieve customer satisfaction, our employees have the authority to act as is they own the company.
  4. There’s no such thing as taking too much time with any customer.
  5. Talking face to face is mightier than the phone which is mightier than the pen which is mightier than email.
  6. If it doesn’t feel right, make it right.
  7. The job isn’t done until it’s done right.
  8. Do it once and do it yourself. (In other words, satisfying our customer is everyone’s job.)
  9. Our employees must know: “When in doubt, ask. When not in doubt, act.”
  10. A mistake is not just a mistake – it’s an opportunity to improve our business!

About Your Strategic Marketing Partner
Sam Hirschberg, MBA, is Your Strategic Marketing Partner. Always professional and a delight to work with, Sam is not a typical “marketing consultant”. Unlike most consultants, Sam doesn’t just tell you that you have a problem and say, “See you later and good luck!” He knows how to find solutions, execute programs, test and measure campaigns, and how-and-when it’s time to roll-out big! You are invited to call (602) 892-0777 to learn more about Sam’s background on his FREE 9-minute recorded message. For more information about Sam, please visit https://strategicmarketingpartner.com.

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Strategies

I’m the Nice Customer … Who is Never Coming Back …

“I’m a nice customer. You all know me…

I’m the one who never complains, no matter what kind of service I get.

I’ll go into a restaurant, and I’ll sit while the waitress gossips with a friend and never bothers to look to see if my hamburger is ready to go. Sometimes a party who came in after I did gets my hamburger, but I don’t say a word in complaint when the waitress tells me, “Oh I’m sorry. I’ll order another for you.” I just wait.

It’s the same when I go to a bank. I don’t throw my weight around. I try to be thoughtful of the other person. If I get poor service I’m polite as can be.

I don’t believe rudeness in return is the answer.

The other day I stopped in at the neighborhood gas station. I waited for almost five minutes before the attendant took care of me. And when he did, he spilled gas and wiped the car windows with an oily rag. I didn’t expect him to thank me for stopping by—and he didn’t.

Naturally, I didn’t complain about the service.

I never kick. I never nag. I never criticize. And I wouldn’t dream of making a scene, as I’ve seen some people do in public places. I think that’s uncalled for. No, I’m the nice customer. And I’ll tell you what else I am.

I’m the customer who never comes back!

In fact, a nice customer like me, multiplied by others of my kind, can just about ruin a business. There are a lot of nice people in the world, just like me. When we get pushed far enough, we goon down the street to another store, another back, where they’re smart enough to hire help who have been trained to appreciate nice customers.

He laughs loudest, they say, who laughs last.

I laugh when I see you frantically spending your money on expensive advertising to get me back, when you could have had me in the first place for a few kind words and a smile and some good services.

I don’t care what business you’re in. Maybe you live in a different town; maybe I’ve never heard of you. But if you’re going broke or your business is bad, maybe there are enough people like me, who do know you.

I’m your customer who never comes back.”

About Your Strategic Marketing Partner
Sam Hirschberg, MBA, is Your Strategic Marketing Partner. Always professional and a delight to work with, Sam is not a typical “marketing consultant”. Unlike most consultants, Sam doesn’t just tell you that you have a problem and say, “See you later and good luck!” He knows how to find solutions, execute programs, test and measure campaigns, and how-and-when it’s time to roll-out big! You are invited to call (602) 892-0777 to learn more about Sam’s background on his FREE 9-minute recorded message. For more information about Sam, please visit https://strategicmarketingpartner.com.

Source: Anonymous

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Strategies

What is Decision Modeling?

Here is an example of an Inventory Optimization model using excel Solver. See below for all the details.

In today’s era of Big Data, wading through piles of information and knowing what to focus on is often half the battle — literally leading to “analysis paralysis”.

This is one more area where Sam will be invaluable for you.

Largely employing the law of 80/20 — where 80% of your results come from just 20% of your actions — Sam will help you choose the most important pieces of information so that your organization has the focus to thrive.

And this is the purpose of a well-crafted decision model which gets right to the critical core.  Sam will help you transform piles of “ugly data” into a hyper-clear valuable tool known as a decision model.

The Excel based Decision Model

If you haven’t heard of “decision models”, they are used in business to make better choices when faced with uncertain conditions. Businessdictionary.com defines a decision model as:

A computer based system that predicts the outcomes of decisions. The relationships between elements of the decision and the forecasted results are mapped in order to understand or control problems.

The decision model may also predict what will happen if a certain action is taken.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) uses models to solve problems and they report, “A decision model provides a way to visualize the sequences of events that can occur following alternative decisions.”

Decision models are used to solve a variety of problems, such as:

  • Inventory control
  • Inventory optimization
  • Advertising optimization
  • Marketing and return on advertising investment (ROAI) solutions
  • Net present value solutions
  • Capital management
  • Ticket sales
  • Product sales
  • Portfolio optimization
  • Accounting problems
  • Human resources issues such as scheduling
  • Manufacturing production time optimization
  • Raw materials calculations
  • Real estate project optimization
  • Restaurant seating and square-footage optimization

Sam takes Decision Models to the next level with Optimization

Many organizations create beautiful reports with colored lines and bolded fonts – but many times reflecting outcomes that are rarely achieved. They look very pretty. But most of the time they don’t reflect the realities of an unknown business climate.

Sam creates beautiful reports, too, but based on the problem to be solved he integrates unexpected factors such as randomness in the market, sales fluctuations, and a wide array of probabilities and variables into his decision models. This can more accurately reflect the unknowns of the market. He also integrates the option to optimize decisions — making the options statistically relevant — as a result of running hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of calculations.

Additionally, Sam can help you discover your absolute best case scenario given virtually endless roadblocks (called constraints) so that your team can see what the optimal situation actually looks like. And he can tell you what the probability of the optimal solution actually is under real world scenarios.

This insight will help you make better decisions.

Here’s How to Decrease Variable and Fixed Costs to Make More Net Income!
— Using a Decision Model Sam Helped to Optimize a Restaurant with Multiple Locations

For example, Sam was asked to optimize the profit of a restaurant business model, so that their main location can have benchmarks for improvement. In order to be competitive, this business model needed to help the manager achieve a net profit margin of 18% and relate it to the project investment payback period.

Optimizing the net profit of this restaurant became the goal of the model.

This company needed to know what decisions to make in order to keep control over costs (variable) to maintain an industry standard for gross profits.  The model also needed to keep control on fixed costs in order to maintain a net income goal.

Before Sam, all these moving parts were very difficult to manage.  Finding the optimal solution – reflecting the real business environment — was near impossible.

Once Sam built the foundation of the model, based on real world historical data, Sam integrated the sales revenue information in order to optimize the model. These became the ‘decision variables’.

His model also integrated break even amounts and investment payback periods, as well as other key performance indicators.

Here is an example of what this model can look like:

Sam then built in multiple formulas instructing the model to find optimal solutions. Using statistics, algebraic formulas and a variety of excel software add-ins as core tools, Sam runs literally thousands of calculations to find the most optimal decision(s).

How to Be a Better Inventory Manager
— So your resources make the highest return possible!

As another example, Sam was asked by a manufacturer in the construction industry to help them optimize their inventory investment. His task was to locate the ideal amount of inventory to buy so they had ample product to serve their customers, but not so much inventory that it was wasting valuable resources that could be used in other places earning a better return.

How do you know the optimal amount of inventory to buy?

The optimal amount of inventory to purchase is called the ‘economic order quantity’ (EOQ).

EOQ is built on three main factors:

  1. The holding cost to keep inventory on the shelves,
  2. The cost to order the inventory, and
  3. The quantity demanded by the customers.

Sam built the model to create the optimal amount that the company should order at one time, the EOQ. After updating the annual unit demand (top yellow cell) and the purchase price per unit (lower yellow cell), and tied the values to an algebraic formula, Sam then ran thousands of calculations to find the optimal value.  Here is an example of the type of model:

Sam will Help You Make Better Decisions

The decision to be made was calculated as the optimal value and tells the company to order 1,127 units. Again, this optimized number is based on the purchase price of the product, the amount ordered by customers, the cost of holding it in the warehouse and the cost to order.  With the EOQ, this construction manufacturer now knows what their optimal inventory purchase is – leading to a better purchase decision and better allocation of valuable resources .

About Your Strategic Marketing Partner
Sam Hirschberg, MBA, is Your Strategic Marketing Partner. Always professional and a delight to work with, Sam is not a typical “marketing consultant”. Unlike most consultants, Sam doesn’t just tell you that you have a problem and say, “See you later and good luck!” He knows how to find solutions, execute programs, test and measure campaigns, and how-and-when it’s time to roll-out big! You are invited to call (602) 892-0777 to learn more about Sam’s background on his FREE 9-minute recorded message.  For more information about Sam, please visit https://strategicmarketingpartner.com.

Source: Kuntz, Karen. “Overview of Decision Models Used in Research.” Decision and Simulation Modeling in Systematic Reviews [Internet]. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 01 Feb. 2017.

Categories
Strategies

Step #4: Develop Your Strategic Action Plan

THE WARNING SIGNS
Website traffic has increased 400% in 12 months — but conversion rates have decreased 300%!

THE PROBLEM
Traffic is going up but conversion rates are going down!

THE SOLUTION
Your Strategic Marketing Partner (SMP) first identified “the warning signs”, developed an assessment on what was happening and then crafted a strategic plan.  Then “Your SMP” developed a highly targeted online lead generation system — collecting new leads and sales from both on-line and off-line sources of business — increasing conversion rates by 554% and slashing cost per lead from $7.10 CPL to $1.90 CPL!

Build Your Strategic Action Plan

Together, we are going to organize the strategic plan into bite-size chunks. After all, action is what this phase is all about.  And that’s the focus.  But not just any random actions.  Your plan must be broken into easy bites based on the intel gained in Step 1-3.  Here’s what an action-focused calendar looks like:

Together, we can discover if results this good, or better, can be yours, too.

About Your Strategic Marketing Partner
Sam Hirschberg, MBA, is Your Strategic Marketing Partner. Always professional and a delight to work with, Sam is not a typical “marketing consultant”. Unlike most consultants, Sam doesn’t just tell you that you have a problem and say, “See you later and good luck!” He knows how to find solutions, execute programs, test and measure campaigns, and how-and-when it’s time to roll-out big! You are invited to call (602) 892-0777 to learn more about Sam’s background on his FREE 9-minute recorded message.  For more information about Sam, please visit https://strategicmarketingpartner.com.

Categories
Strategies

Step #3: Slash Wasted Spending and Boost Sales

Now that we know precisely how much each source of business is actually costing you, it’s time to put every source to work against each other (we can even do this per salesperson, telemarketer, etc). This is where you’ll discover such things as:

  • Your Cost per Lead (CPL)
  • Your Cost per Customer Acquisition (CPA)
  • Your ROAI from each source of business
  • The number of leads and/or sales per hour, day, per week, per month, per year
  • The number of leads and/or sales into the sales pipeline, per lead source, per territory
  • Conversion rate per salesperson
  • And much, much, more

After exploring the marketing spend and sales results, here’s what this data might look like:

This custom lead and sales tracking device is part of a multi-report that tracks sales pipeline status, territory development, industry performance benchmarks, online leads and sales, and more

Or, maybe you have sales people to account for. You can use your data to create an online leader board like the one we did for a leading nationwide services organization:

We built this online scorecard (a real-time dashboard scorecard culled from many SQL databases) for 2,000+  salespersons to manage his/her statistics online. The organization used data like this to identify leaders to help underperformers learn from the best performers in the company.

Transform your data into a Strategic Action Plan in Step #4…

About Your Strategic Marketing Partner
Sam Hirschberg, MBA, is Your Strategic Marketing Partner. Always professional and a delight to work with, Sam is not a typical “marketing consultant”. Unlike most consultants, Sam doesn’t just tell you that you have a problem and say, “See you later and good luck!” He knows how to find solutions, execute programs, test and measure campaigns, and how-and-when it’s time to roll-out big! You are invited to call (602) 892-0777 to learn more about Sam’s background on his FREE 9-minute recorded message.  For more information about Sam, please visit https://strategicmarketingpartner.com.