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Are You Working ON Your Business and IN Your Business?

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by: Ellen Valentine (@EllenValentine)
10 April 2012

Michael Gerber is the author of more than a dozen books aimed at helping entrepreneurs succeed. The series is organized around a concept he calls the E-Myth, which is short for Entrepreneur Myth. His books are regularly lauded by Inc. magazine and others as being among the top titles that entrepreneurs should read.

One of the key tenants in his teachings is that entrepreneurs should focus not only “in their business” but also “on their business.” That is to say that in addition to doing the work of designing, making, shipping and servicing products, entrepreneurs need to focus on their business processes by documenting and improving how their operation works. In doing this, it becomes easier for them to effectively scale the business and enlist the help of others. Applying these concepts to your marketing organizations can also help you make substantial strides in increasing your efficiency and effectiveness.

For most marketing organizations, working “in the business” means delivering on many fronts, including:

  • Developing company and product positioning based on research, competition and the company’s core competencies
  • Writing collateral material, email content, website copy, press releases and blog posts
  • Designing creative for print and interactive formats, including branding elements
  • Conducting events, including shows, seminars, Webinars and conferences
  • Distributing leads to sales and tracking the sales pipeline
  • Reporting and sharing results inside and outside the company
  • Managing budgets, spend history and personnel
  • Communicating inside and outside the company using social media platforms and presentation tools (often PowerPoint)

Whew! That’s a lot of responsibility. To accomplish all these things, marketers must work “on their business” so that they can achieve all their objectives as efficiently as possible. By investing in process changes and improvements, you can realize gains in productivity and likely see an improvement in results as well. Let’s look at three examples:

1) Shift from batch-and-blast emails to automated programs or campaigns. Produce all the content up front and then automate the mailings so they take place over a period of time. Plan for conditional exit rules so that once someone meets your established criteria, they’ll be removed from the campaign. This usually means that email recipients who become qualified are removed from the campaign and routed to sales.

2) Document all your processes for seminar, Webinar, conference and trade shows. This includes pre-show marketing, event management and post-show follow up. Implement automated programs for all these communications. Once you’ve defined all your processes for one event, you can copy the campaign infrastructure and use it for the next event with only slight modifications.

3) Formalize and outline your criteria for lead scores. Build a point system based on the criteria you need. For example, assign points based on data collected in a Web form. Automatically route leads to the appropriate resource. Also, define rules for those companies or leads that won’t be forwarded. For example, if you don’t have an office or partner who can service opportunities in Taiwan, don’t forward those leads on to your reps. Also, don’t bother forwarding leads where the email domain matches your competitors’ domains. Documenting these rules in your marketing automation system will make it far easier to track results and eliminate labor-intensive, manual routing.

Look at your marketing department with a renewed focus “on your business,” and you’ll reap the rewards of improved efficiency and effectiveness.

Related Resources:
1) eBook: “Marketing Automation Best Practices"
2) Blog: “Solving Common B2B Problems: Issues with People Registering for a Webinar
3) Blog: “Contact Scoring: Your 10-Step Quick-Start Process


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