DISCLAIMER: The concept put forward in this infographic can be a complex One. We have not touched on all aspects of this model in detail, but have attempted to paint the concept with a rather broad brush. This particular example shows a delineation of “Brand Strengths” however when using this system you would want to include areas of “Brand Weakness” as well as “Customer Interests” (areas that matter most to the customer). The concept behind it is not new, we have simply adjusted and applied some colour to it. If you have questions or comments please touch base with us!
Once More Into The Fray:
In Marketing, as in Manufacturing, success is marked by results. Results are determined by measurement, and to measure one needs a target. When developing a Marketing campaign/strategy one must know which results matter and set their target appropriately. By doing so one ensures a direction, and measurable results.
Each business sets different goals based on products or services offered, brand strengths, target markets and resources. To achieve the greatest success a company must do the research, discern the priorities and set their targets appropriately.
One business may see value in Niche Marketing to specialized customers via Customer Service Strengths, while another may see more value in Mass Marketing via Product Integrity. The key to effective Marketing Strategies is to know what goal is right for your company.
That is where the use of the “Delineate & Measure” model is so key. It uses very bare bones concepts taken from Six Sigma, Kaizen and Lean Manufacturing and applies them to Marketing & Branding to accurately discern Brand Strengths, Weaknesses and Key Areas of Gain for Marketing Campaigns. These “High Gain” areas are considered “Low Hanging Fruit”.
Low Hanging Fruit? A practical name taken straight from Six Sigma. It refers to the areas of quickest, most immediate gain.
The concept here is to take all of your research, customer feedback, polls, demographics etc. and measure against them in order to delineate or “filter” downwards to discern three things:
- Your root strengths and competencies (Your Branding should be based on these).
- Your weaknesses and areas for improvement.
- The areas that matter most to your customers.
By isolating highly specific areas of strength, weakness and customer interest, one can determine the areas that make the most sense to “exploit” (dirty word) for quickest, largest immediate gains.
In other words once you have these three areas isolated, compare your existing Strengths with Existing Customer Needs to determine which areas you can succeed in most immediately. BAM! Low Hanging Fruit (or areas of most immediate gain).
Your Customers Needs should play the primary role when developing your goals. It is the only way to ensure the best bang for your buck. To further illustrate here is an example of proper prioritizing that I read while doing some introductory Six Sigma Studies:
A local pizza franchise was experiencing terrible sales in their first quarter. As a part of their Marketing Campaign they began to offer a variety of new ingredients: exotic meats, Asian vegetables and gourmet cheeses. They advertised as necessary but sales were still dismal. As it turned out they lost money attempting to keep and circulate all of their new inventory – the result of the new ingredients.
Shortly thereafter, and entirely by chance, they begin discussing their issues with a Six Sigma Brown Belt. He asked them how they had determined their strategy of diversifying their menu, to which they answered that they were keeping with the trends of several of their national competitors. He then asked them what their customer research had indicated, they replied that they had only done some preliminary polls, but had spent most of the budget on the advertising for the new ingredients.
It was recommended that they poll their customer base and then determine how the resulting feedback played into their own root areas of strength and weakness. The feedback indicated that two primary frustrations for customers were late deliveries and burnt bottoms on their crusts.
The took a look at root causes for these concerns and determined that two of their weaknesses as a business, were employee phone training and dated ovens. They implemented training for the staff answering phones, to ensure accurate and detailed directions for their delivery drivers, then – at a fraction of the cost of the previous advertising campaign – they installed new ovens to reduce burnt crusts.
The results were outstanding in the fourth quarter, as word of mouth circulated and happy customers provided repeat business the struggling chain turned themselves around and we soon leading the local market. They established Brand Integrity with far less resources and far more result then their previous Marketing campaigns.
The concept is simple. Use the Delineate & Measure System to find your strengths, find your weaknesses and find what matters to the people purchasing your products and services, then use these areas to determine the “Low Hanging Fruit”.
Targeting the “Low Hanging Fruit” provides the gains that will fuel your climb upwards to the next “High Gain” area. They will also provide the growth required to improve areas of weakness, thereby increasing the number of “High Gain” areas available.
This is one method we use when sitting down with customers to discuss what direction to take their campaign. What is great about it, is its flexibility. It can be applied to Marketing Goals regardless of the business or industry. It can also be applied to determine Brand Strengths when developing Company Branding Strategy.
We developed the above infographic as a highly undressed depiction of how to utilize the system. The fields in the infographic were populated with filler info based on different strengths or areas that various companies may possess. Effective use of the system requires far more depth, description and research than is depicted in the infographic. This particular example only shows a delineation of Brand Strengths, when using this system it would include areas of Brand Weakness as well as Customer Needs.