The Marketing Glue! (The Seven P’s Part Three: Process)

Continuing the series of ‘The Seven P’s’ this blog focuses on a key element which can potentially undo all of the hard work of the rest of your marketing!

You will often find me ranting on about how marketing is not just about promotions and communications…….and this is what this series of blogs is designed to highlight.  However it always amazes me how few people dedicate enough time and effort in getting their processes right – particularly as this is the glue that holds all marketing activity together.

You can have a fantastic product or service, which is well targeted, priced accurately, and promoted brilliantly.  You can have the most creative physical surroundings and the most passionate people that perfectly convey your brand values and what you are all about.  All sounds good so far.  But if the internal processes are not carefully thought out and executed brilliantly, then all of your hard work in winning a new client, or even satisfying an existing client, could be wasted.  You must live up to you promise.

I recently, within the space of a fortnight, experienced both ends of the process spectrum……

Poor Process

I recently received a direct mail piece from a company called Moneypenny – they are a virtual PA and telephone answering service.  The mailing was designed nicely, relevant, got across the core benefits of using them and had a call to action – something which sparked me into picking up the phone and entering into dialogue with them – a free week’s trial.

I was dealt with on the phone very professionally (as you would expect for a firm of this nature) and after they explained in detail their service and their pricing structure I decided to take up the no obligation free week’s trial.

A couple of days later I got a new customer welcome pack with a nice personalised credit card with my PA’s details on and a call from her to fully understand my business and my offering so that she could deal with my calls better.  I also got a login to my online account and I provided her with a VIP list of important caller.  So far, so good.

At the end of the trial I awaited my follow up call to see how I felt it went.  Nothing.  In fact I wasn’t notified when the trial had even ended.  This resulted in one call (luckily my wife) still being diverted to them once the trial had ended and they didn’t answer the phone as Opportunity Marketing!

What had prompted me to test them out is that the previous week I had received a lot of calls and I was increasingly out of the office.  However the week of the trial I only received a handful.

Now I am assuming it was due to the lack of volume of calls that Moneypenny weren’t interested in my business – but this could have been an extraordinarily quiet week (which it was) and I could have been a potentially valuable customer to them – not only directly but in the referrals I could have passed them.

5 weeks have now passed and I have not had one single communication from them – no call, no email, no letter – nothing.  This is a prime example of where their processes are flawed.  They did all the hard work into hooking me in – but then undid it all again.

In stark contrast, another company has impressed me with the efficiency of their process – The Lowry Hotel.

Great Process

I recently stayed at the Lowry Hotel for a weekend conference.  I had a great room, the staff were great, the conference itself was excellent and I left with a very positive impression of the hotel.  I would certainly recommend The Lowry Hotel in Manchester to anyone.

As usual, due to the nature of my job, I filled out the customer comment card in my room before my departure.  Bearing in mind I have performed this exercise in every hotel I have been in over the last 10 years as I like to leave feedback – I thought nothing more of it.

Seven days later I receive a letter in the post from the Lowry Hotel.

Imagine my surprise when I opened this and was greeted with an apology from the General Manager for a minor issue that I put on my comment card.  I had already left the Lowry with a positive impression – but now it had gone up even more in my estimations.

This is a prime example of where they have got their processes spot on.  Bearing in mind the hotel has 164 rooms which are being used every single night. For them to collect the cards, sort through them and respond to them so quickly goes to highlight their dedication to customer service.  On the other hand – maybe only a token few people like me even take the time to fill them out!

The moral of this story is this.  Both of these companies started off on an even footing – I had no experience of either.  Both of them engaged with me in some way to use their services.  Only one of them has any chance of repeat custom – and that is all down to the processes within their respective businesses.

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Ian is the founder of Opportunity Marketing marketing, with over 18 years of experience in successfully setting up marketing departments, creating marketing strategies and implementing these strategies across a wide number of SME companies in both the B2B and B2C sectors through a variety of channels.