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Customer Manufacturing Group
In This Issue
Cause & Effect Diagrams
How Long Should an Ad Be?
Yesterday That Was An Advantage
How Marketing Can Ruin Your Business
The Sales Prevention Department
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Cause & Effect

There are many process improvement tools available to help you manage and improve your business processes. New ones are created regularly, and many are adapted or modified. Quality guru, Ichiro Ishikawa taught that 90% of all business problems can be solved with the Seven Tools of Quality. We concur. In addition, if you could actually solve 90% of your business problems, you'd be a lot further ahead than you are today. This paper addresses one of those tools: Cause and Effect diagrams. Read this month's paper.

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Customer Manufacturing Update
October 2011

Dear Mitchell,

 

Here is your October Customer Manufacturing Update. This month we are looking at another of Ishikawa's Seven Tools of Quality. Read Process Improvement Tools: Cause and Effect Diagrams.
How Long Should an Ad Be?Hovis logo

 

The AP ran a story on the rise of the 15 second TV commercial. AC Nielsen notes the  15 second spot is now 34% of all national ads. What's driving this trend? Probably the same one that drove the movement from one minute commercials (yes, they did exist back in the TV stone age) to the 30 second format ... cost.

 

That the original 15 second spots were just edited down 30 second spots demonstrates this fact. Now 15 second spots are created just for that time frame. Reminds us of the famous Mark Twain quote, "If I had more time, I would have written you a shorter letter."

 

How long should an ad be? As long as necessary and no longer. Seems like a big duh, until you look at the fact that if shorter spots work better (something the article quotes many people as suggesting), then cost should not be the driver, effectiveness should be.

 

However, it is probably a combination of effectiveness and efficiency. As many things are. The key is to decide what you are trying to do with your ad. As the article concludes, "The length [15 seconds] is ideal to remind people of products, stores or prices, but not to introduce them."

 

You still must remember, you need as much time as necessary to communicate ... and no more. This point is well made by looking at the winner of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising effectiveness award. The winner was a two-minute TV commercial from Hovis bread. The ad is credited with growing sales 14% and with generating a return of $5 for every $1 spent (though it is likely that € or were spent, not $).

 

Whether you communicate with customers on TV, on the web, via email, snail mail or other media (or face-to-face), remember time and attention are in short supply. First be effective, then you can worry about being efficient, and don't require any more than necessary to get your point across.

 

Yesterday That Was An Advantage...

 Value Acceleration Book

As we point out in our book Value Acceleration, what gave you a competitive advantage "yesterday" becomes table stakes tomorrow ... if not today. The tactical things you do are usually copied by your competitors. It's the processes you use that give you a competitive advantage.

 

Another example of this comes from a blog post by Matt West, "Marketing Automation Is No Longer About Competitive Advantage, All About Keeping Up." In this post Matt pointed out that the use of marketing automation tools was a competitive advantage as recently as last year, but now they are required to be competitive with the best companies. Matt may be a little aggressive in his assessment of the use of these tools, but his point is solid.

 

Marketing automation tools add efficiency to your processes for keeping connected with prospects and customers as they work through their buying process. In some complex sales environments it may be impractical to execute an effective process without such a tool. However, not withstanding the use of the tool, the key is the process the tool is supposed to automate.

 

Competitive advantage can remain with those who make use of the tool to automate a highly effective process. The tool itself will not create such a process.

How Marketing Can Ruin Your Business

 
 Al Ries

On our blog, we have posted about the concept employed by too many senior marketing execs: Rebrand, Relaunch and Resign.

 

In a truly great article by Al Ries he demonstrates how marketing run amuck can not only be a poor investment, it can take you from #1 to also ran, while you make that significant investment.

 

Are you in the rebrand, relaunch, resign cycle ... or worse?

The Sales Prevention Department

 

One of Principals, Ralph Mroz, went to the post office the other day, and the line was so long that he left and planned to use FedEx or UPS instead.  The USPS seems to have a problem with load balancing, a management technique that was more or less perfected in low-tech industries, like the one they're in about, what?, 50 years ago? 

 

He was reminded of something that a patron in Macy's said to him not long after he got out of college ... a while ago.  They were both waiting ... for some time ... for a clerk to show up at the only cash register around, so that they could purchase their items.  "The first rule of retailing", he said, "is to make it easy for people to give you their money."  So the USPS is whining that they're losing money, yet they make it difficult for you to give them some!

 

Moral: Have you, the CEO or CMO of your organization, tried to make a purchase from your own company lately, to see just how difficult it is for your customers to give you their money?  Gotta keep on top of it; it happens a lot.




We are excited to tell you that Mitch's classic Marketing book, It's Not Rocket Science is recently updated and now available as a Kindle book. Check it out.

We appreciate your feedback to help improve these

Updates. If there are others you feel would benefit from this issue, use the Forward email link just below on the left.

 

Sincerely,

 

MGSig

Mitchell Gooze

Customer Manufacturing Group, Inc.

www.customermfg.com

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