CRISSE – The six internal and external marketing elements crucial to your planning
To confuse marketing and advertising is to confuse an overall strategy with a single tactic. When business owners start to think about ‘marketing’ their business instead of simply advertising it then they are seeing the bigger picture.
Marketing is a complex science but by focusing on six simple but crucial marketing elements any business can grow. Through the international research of leading edge marketing techniques, I have developed a unique and simple Total Marketing System that can be adopted by any business.
I have called it CRISSE – an acronym of the six internal and external elements that will influence your business success. In your strategic planning, ensure you have tactics to market your business to each of these elements and you will start to see the marketing of your business very differently.
Customers – what do they really want and need? Ask them. Undertake a Customer Value Survey. Ask questions related to what is IMPORTANT to your customer, or potential customer, about your industry sector NOT about your specific company. For example, if you sell chocolate ask questions like “What is important to you about chocolate quality?” NOT “What do you think of the quality of our chocolate?”
To do this effectively, a third party should be used to ask the questions so that answers are honest and can be treated confidentially. You won’t gain the value if your customers won’t tell you want they REALLY think.
Referrals – market to people who can refer business to you. A referral will usually come from a satisfied customer in the form of word-of-mouth or a testimonial. Ask customers to provide you with a short written testimonial (you can write it for them and have them sign it) or actively ask them for the names and contacts details of people they’d like to refer to you. Creating a testimonial video is also a great option as you can e-mail this to prospective customers and post on YouTube, Vimeo and other social media.
Influencers – a very under-utilised marketing element. An influencer must be someone or a company that is widely respected and prepared to influence positively attitudes about your products and services. An influencer could be the Chairman of a Board, a local elected member of Government, a respected Rotarian, local business philanthropist or trusted local identity.
Suppliers – few companies actively market to their suppliers, yet they are people and businesses who generally know you well. Be prepared to include them in your marketing plans.
Society – we don’t live or operate in a vacuum. Increasingly, businesses are viewed by their level of community support and philanthropic endeavours – great marketing opportunities that can be lost if they are not part of an overall plan.
Employees – if you expect your staff, and future employees, to assist in your external marketing then they must be marketed to internally. Ask their views, involve them in plans and keep them informed.
Marketing is the umbrella. If you diversify your marketing efforts to include a targeted ‘marketing mix’ and include all the elements of CRISSE – you will have taken the first giant steps to having a better business.