Why marketing needs process as well as creativity

We often think that successful marketing and promotion requires nothing but a great creative mind. We have visions of teams of exuberant advertising executives striving for the next Eureka moment in late night brainstorming sessions amid scattered pizza boxes.

Creativity, though a key component, works within the overall business and marketing framework. And marketing is a process just like any other business process. That’s why successful franchises work the “business-in-a-box” complete with all the relevant processes (operational, financial, people, marketing, sales) which you follow faithfully to the letter.

At some point you might create your process starting with a blank sheet. However, if your business is up and running you will already have a process, whether created by accident or design.

Maybe you overlooked planning your marketing consciously using a process approach, but you still have some sort of process taking place even if all you’ve done is select a few marketing activities and put them into practice.

Something is happening. Some people are finding out about you. Some people are developing an interest in you. Some people really want what you have to offer. Some people are buying from you.

But are the results all you want them to be?

Or are you successful, but sense you could achieve so much more?

Here’s what to do. Take a large piece of paper (a piece of flip chart paper is good) and draw. Plot the steps your customer takes on their journey to buying from you.

  • How do they find out about you and what you do?
  • How do they develop their interest in you and what you do?
  • What happens to turn their interest into raging desire?
  • What factors come into play to covert then to actually buying from you – what final boxes do they have to tick?
  • What are you doing to make sure this journey is as easy and trouble-free as possible?
  • What marketing activities and tools are you using at each point?
  • What information are you providing?
  • What are you doing to connect with both their head and their heart?
  • What are you doing to give the right information and evoke the right feelings at the right time?

Draw, observe, think, and learn.

This is the start of the marketing review and planning activity I call “troubleshooting”.

From www.webopedia.com to “troubleshoot” is

“To isolate the source of a problem and fix it, typically through a process of elimination whereby possible sources of the problem are investigated and eliminated beginning with the most obvious or easiest problem to fix.”

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