A system is defined as “a set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network.” In other words, it’s a collection of functions working together for a common purpose. A business is a system – hopefully a profit-producing system. Automobiles are systems working to get a person from point A to point B.
Marketing is defined as the art and science of creating value by developing successful exchanges. The art element is the message and creativity required to position a product/service in the mind of customers. The science element is the systematic study of results and the psychology of consumers. Value is developing a product/service that is worth something. Successful exchanges are the gap between the problem a customer has and the solution the marketer provides.
A marketing system is made up of eight foundational elements working together to consistently produce successful exchanges.
What are the eight foundational blocks?
The first foundational block is Leadership. Leadership is influence, nothing more and nothing less. How does one influence? It starts by having strong core beliefs, which are personal core beliefs embedded within the organization. Steve Jobs’s core belief was in design. Apple products are world-renowned for their impressive design. A potential core belief of Elon Musk is to not be too serious. Seeing that his car model acronym is intentionally “S3XY.” Leadership matters most. Without great leadership, your marketing system will not have a direction or a vision for what it should be.
The second block is Market. Market is understanding the marketplace. It means having a ‘no BS’ view of the market. The best entrepreneurs have an innate sense of the market and tend to do well just by being observant of (or ‘attentive to’) the surroundings. A good understanding of the market is critical to building a marketing system. Having a pulse on the market reveals the most impactful opportunities of where successful exchanges can occur.
Practically speaking, the second block should include a market snapshot. Essentially a one-pager where you can literally look at the entire market based on behavior, growth potential and areas you may want to focus on.
The third block is Target. Whom will you serve based on the gap in the marketplace? Sometimes the hardest part is choosing what not to do and who not to serve. For owners, this feels awkward because we battle and hustle for every square inch. We want to serve everyone. However, in the long run, this is not sustainable. You must choose who you wish to serve based on the feedback from the market.
For example, Apple when they first launched their personal computer targeted those that thought of themselves as creatives but not necessarily computer experts. This was radical at the time since most people that owned computers were coders and engineers. Apple took a radical stand and targeted a group that wasn’t being served by their industry at the time.
The fourth block is Position. How do people perceive your product/service? Perception is reality. It doesn’t matter how many times you believe you have said, ”We aren’t just a shoe store, we are a lifestyle brand.” If your customers still believe you only sell shoes, that is who you are. You can either spend the money to change their minds (pricey) or listen to the market and double down and be the best at selling shoes.
The fifth block is Sales. The sales process is the typical customer journey for your business. In today’s day and age, we are able to track almost every touchpoint and at least have a general idea of the touchpoints we can’t track. Taking the time to evaluate these touchpoints helps position your brand, provides an opportunity to be more distinct, and optimizes the buy/sell process. Touchpoints consist of website visits, emails, email clicks, walkthroughs, follow-up conversations, cold calls etc.
The sixth block is Website. The website is the hub through which most of your customers will go through. How is it working? Is it capturing leads? Is it distinct? Can you be found? Like your storefront, the website needs meticulous attention. You usually don’t allow anyone to design the look and feel of your store, why should you let someone do that for your website?
If you need some guidance on what your website should include, please read our article “You wouldn’t fish without a net: What should your website include?”
The seventh block is Advertising. Most businesses that would like to build a marketing system are at a point where they have reached an inflection point or a plateau. They are no longer growing organically as fast, but desire to scale. Investing in advertising will be one of the most impactful blocks when done right. Completion of the previous six blocks in order will aid in developing a killer advertising campaign.
The eighth block is Social. Do you own the media your customers visit everyday? No? Can you buy it? Can you design it? It’s worth taking the time to do so. Are relationships being formed among your sales reps? Are you using social media as a social tool or a church information board? This is the icing on the cake. This block becomes foundational when the previous seven blocks are complete.
The value of a marketing system
Executing these blocks in order will help build a marketing system that makes a business far more organized and sustainable. If your business could produce predictable sales right now, how would that affect your life?
As owners, we went into business to help people and also to achieve freedom, whether that be time freedom or financial freedom. Take an honest look at your business. Are you free? Are you free to leave the business for 4 months without it falling apart? If the answer is no, you have a job, not a business.
Another benefit of a marketing system is its ability to maximize value for your business. Imagine for a second that you are no longer executing or doing the day-to-day tasks because you have systematized the process. Instead, with that time, you are building a new product, which, because you followed the marketing system, will produce predictable revenue for years to come, thereby increasing value for your business. Systems help owners maximize what they are good at, which is solving problems and creating value for people. Now imagine that once you have systemized the daily task, you can systemize the big tasks too. What if, because of this system, you will have multiple people solving problems and producing value for customers? Your business will begin to scale.
Quit your job and become the owner you desired to be by building a marketing system that produces predictable results.
Start today by booking a Business Assessment with McWilliam & Powell.