The One Thing

Brick layer

Brick by Brick

Last week I escaped from what seemed like the beginning of the sixth ice age, to sunny Mexico.  I had one goal, relax by the pool and read.  Relax and read I did. In one week I plowed through four books and came back (to a frozen car that would not start in the airport parking lot), rejuvenated and refocused.  One of the four books I read was called The One Thing.  It is a book about focus.  Teaching you to narrow your focus so that every day you do the one thing you need to do to be successful, in whatever it is you want to be successful in.

Of course I starting thinking about the one thing I need to do every day in marketing to create success.  The first thing I thought about was what defines success for marketing?  Getting the reach you want? Conversion increases? Total sales? These are the standard goals that immediately jump to mind but are they the ultimate success metric of marketing?  The more I thought about it, the more I concluded that the ultimate success metric of marketing should be happy customers.  I chose this metric because marketing in my opinion needs to include every aspect of your business: sales, service, product selection, reception, accounting, and of course promotion. So in order to have happy customers all aspects of the business have to be living up to your promotional promise.

That is a tall order for one person to be accountable for.  How can one person do one thing every day to insure a multi-divisional conglomerate has happy customers?

Well, first everything cannot be done in one day, but everyday a little bit can be done so that day by day, brick by brick the house gets built.  The more I thought about this the more I realized that the one thing I need to do every day is preach and lead integrated marketing that is focused on the customer.

Which leads to the question what is integrated marketing? There are many, many definitions but for my one thing I have my definition which is to have an entire team no matter their role focused on the customer.

To do this I need to break down the internal company barriers and teach everyone in the organization how they affect the business and customer and that everyone needs to be on same page with what our purpose in business is – to service our customers and therefore have happy customers.

Now this is a huge task due to the independent culture with all our different stores, divisions and departments within the company.  But day by day, every day I am going teach the members of the team (one by one) to understand that we are all on the front line with our customers and that marketing and customer service is everyone’s job.

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