Marketing for Smarties makes marketing accessible and affordable for those who know little about it, have the least time for it, and yet have the most need.

Using the fourteen steps of Marketing for Smarties Workbook, the workshops empower small business owners to recognize marketing as a separate function and organize and implement a business process to support it. This lead-generating, relationship-building business process puts owners’ business on a permanent, sustainable growth path.

Participants read two or three steps (three-five pages each) of the workbook in advance of each session, during which the steps are reviewed. Between sessions, participants are tasked with completing the worksheets from the workbook. Coaching is integrated with the program.

Peer exchange — ideas, advice, and feedback, received and given — is one of the most valued benefits of the program.

The following syllabus assumes a program consisting of five workshops, each 90 minutes, with two weeks between each workshop.

Workshop I: Steps 1-3

1. Take an Inventory of Your Marketing & Sales Knowledge and Experience
This step shows owners that they usually have more knowledge and experience than they imagine and therein lays the beginnings of a formal marketing and sales business process. All possible sources for discovering documents and information from previous experience are reviewed. This material is used for list building, lessons learned, and identification of benefits and features. Competitive analysis is also covered.

2. Think About Resources, Prepare a Simple Plan
All the resources that ultimately will be needed to organize and implement the process are presented. Owners are helped to think through what they can do themselves, where they may need help, which tasks should be tackled early on and which should be left for later. A simple plan and timeline is used to carry out the near term tasks.

3. Content: Lay the Groundwork for a Business Case Sale
Positioning is explained. Positioning issues are explored so that owners can develop value propositions, propositions that evolve into the raw ideas, words, and phrases that will be the basis of the content of marketing and sales materials.

Workshop II: Steps 4-6

4. Content: Your Copy Platform
Here participants prepare a copy platform, one statement that comprises the basic themes and messages to be used in all communications. Examples of “brain dumps” are given and owners are asked to do their own. They are then shown how to edit and polish their statements into a platform.

5. Test Market: A Letter, A Script, A Flyer, A Short List, and Cold Calls
A simple, brief test marketing campaign is conducted to validate the themes and messages. Using their platforms, owners are asked to prepare the campaign’s instruments (a letter, a telemarketing script, and a short list) and then make cold calls to the list.

6. The Brochure and the Web site
With the soundness of the approach proven, a basic brochure and upgrade to the existing Web site (or a new site) are developed, based on the copy platform. Participants are given ideas and guidelines for preparing these tools, with the watchwords being “simple” and “affordable.”

Workshop III: Steps 7-9

7. The Right List
Why purchase of the right lists are crucial to the process and how to shop for them are the subjects of this step. Different kinds of lists and their constituent parts are described.

8. Communications Matrix
The matrix is used to leverage the valuable marketing tools owners develop. By using every possible medium available, maximum value of the materials is gained, including setting the stage for communication with prospects through their preferred media.

9. Lead Tracking
The importance of record keeping is stressed. Contact management systems central to the process are presented and explained in ways that avoid falling into the pitfalls of over involvement with technology.

Workshop IV: Steps 10-13

10. Move Them Up the Ladder —Build Your Sales Pipeline
The sales process is daunting for most newcomers. The sales pipeline ladder breaks the process down into a series of small steps: A. Suspects, B. Interested Prospects, C. Near Proposal, D. Proposal Submitted, and E. Closing. Each is a kind of mini-sale that ultimately brings in the customers. The cumulative effect is the building of a sales pipeline that steadies the business by providing a continuous flow of leads.

11. Relationship Building Through Database Marketing
Marketing and sales are about getting to know people — getting to know them so well that they become loyal customers who are receptive to increasing their purchases. That’s relationship building. The way to build relationships is through communications and events. The company’s database is at the core of the process, hence the phrase, “relationship building through database marketing.”

12. Simple Project Management Tools
Marketing and sales are labor intensive and can become quite complicated. To make sure that programs run smoothly and efficiently, a few simple project management tools help keep it all together.

13. Build from the Inside Out —and ENJOY!
First, make sure the existing customer base is satisfied and the maximum business possible has been obtained through key account selling and other techniques. Add new customers to base as you move along. And always remember: marketing and sales are about enthusiasm.

Workshop V. Step 14, Summaries & Reviews

14. We Plan…Then There’s Life…Then Another Plan
Plans don’t run on automatic pilot. Responsiveness to market feedback is essential. This entails nimble adaptation, giving due weight to experience in preparing new plans.
Plans for the next six-month period, including the materials and activities, are reviewed to gain readiness for launch.

“Process is policy.”— Marshall McLuan









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