They Just Don’t Work!

Businessmans hand drawing an empty flow chart

“They just don’t work sir!” I exclaimed as I burst into the study that I shared with The Effective Detective.

“Excuse me, Watson? Which “they” are you referring to?” calmly replied The Detective.

“Sorry, sir, I didn’t mean to be so melodramatic. I’ve been inundated recently with complaints from people I talk to about how this marketing tactic, and that marketing tactic simply does not work,” I said, trying to get my voice a few levels of calmer.

“Ah, ” said The Detective, suddenly looking reflective. “I am afraid Watson, that you have been listening to the general excuse of the small business owner, who having done some simple test of a particular tactic, and not seeing the result they had hoped for or expected, decides that they have been lied to about the efficacy of said tactic.”

“But sir, I have been hearing the same lament from some rather experienced marketers,” I answered, starting to recover my wits.

“I’m sure you have Watson, and most likely they qualify it with something like – ‘at least it doesn’t work as well as I had hoped,” The Detective smiled his half-smile, and I knew something was coming.

“That is true, sir. I expect you have a retort to that as well?” I asked cautiously.

“I do indeed,” The Detective began, shooting me a quick look of amusement, recognizing that I sometimes was prepared for the game we play so often. “The issue Watson is not so much the tactic, although some tactics are inappropriate for some businesses or situations – but that is a conversation for another day. No the usual issue is that the tactic is not to blame, but rather the fault lies with the person using the tactic, using it in isolation.”

“Wait sir, I am not sure I understand,” I interrupted, feeling a tad confused.

“If you will allow me to continue Watson, I suspect you will,” The Detective replied sharply, and continued on without waiting for me to add-on to my statement. “To properly market one’s product or service, one needs to have a marketing system.”

“I’m not sure that such a general software product exists, sir,” I interrupted again.

“Watson, please be still, and allow me to finish,” The Detective implored, rolling his eyes. “You are correct, there is no such software system that will do one’s marketing, but I am not talking about software Watson,” The Detective continued on without his traditional pause, most likely due to my ill-timed interruptions. “no, I refer to a definition of system that seems to elude so many people because of its simplicity.

“A system in this context is merely the steps involved in taking a someone from our market, to being a prospect, then a customer, and of course a repeat customer. Simply put: Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, and within any step there could be alternatives that could lead to an entirely new set of steps.

“The point is that by taking a ‘system’ view of your marketing, different tactics can work together. An outcome at any step using a certain tactic, could result in bringing in another tactic, rather than just letting the prospect go.

“This is different from a marketing plan which is dictating when a particular tactic might be used,’ The Detective paused, and I realized I was being invited to comment.

“So like a flow chart for how you will attract and handle a prospect,” I said with appreciation at the simplicity but power of what had just been laid out for me.

“Well put Watson! A fine visual. Lets move on shall we?” The Detective answered, ending the day’s discussion.

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