Controls are the specialized systems that you implement in your company that make sure that your team is doing the right things, at the right time, to produce the desired results.
Here are 8 proven marketing controls that will help your company be more consistent with its marketing, build momentum, generate more sales, and consistently give the marketplace your best impression.
I want to emphasize a critical point -- building strong internal controls is not about you, the business owner, being in control, but rather enhancing and giving control to your business.
To scale your company, you want your team to have the authority to get tasks done without running everything past you. To do so, you want to make sure there are safeguards in place to protect the business and give your team the feedback it needs to make adjustments and stay on course.
The best controls make the default behavior the right behavior. And they empower your team to get better results with less effort by giving them immediate feedback and a more defined playing field.
You don't want your controls to be a police officer hiding in a speed trap to catch and ticket an unwary team member. Rather, you want your controls to be more like a speedometer or cruise control system that helps individual team members autonomously do better work.
The best controls also empower your managers and leaders with immediately clear and actionable information on how to coach and redirect their team, by letting them know what's going on in an area at any given moment.
Marketing Control #1: Your Master Marketing Calendar.
Perhaps no other marketing control is as powerful as this simple visual control. By creating and following your Master Marketing Calendar, you've got in one place the key deadlines and review dates to make sure your marketing campaigns stay on track.
Marketing Control #2: Marketing tactic specific checklists.
As your Master Marketing Calendar is to your marketing as a whole, so to is your tactic specific checklists to your individual lead generation campaigns.
Remember, in today's world the critical factor isn't time, it's attention, and your tactic specific checklists make it easier for your team to consistently succeed in implementing a campaign with less mental bandwidth. Your checklist spells out the key steps and contains the critical reminders to help ensure even your most seasoned marketing staff member doesn't miss any steps in rolling out a campaign even in the hurried midst or a crazy day in the office.
Marketing Control #3: Your Marketing Score Board
A simple, visual score board helps your team see if your campaigns are performing as they should. Your score board could include things like:
- Cost per lead;
- Cost per sale;
- # of New leads per lead source;
- Conversion rate on your key lead capture web pages;
Marketing Control #4: Organized and centralized ownership of all key social media accounts.
Do you have your staff posting to social media sites? Who owns those accounts? Do you have a log of all key passwords? Do you control the email addresses associated with those accounts? DO you have a written policy about ownership of social media accounts used for the business?
This might seem like a lot of bureaucratic B.S., but I'll tell you, my company Maui Mastermind messed up on this several years back and when a team member left our company we couldn't gain access to one of our key Twitter accounts. We didn't know the email associated with it, and after close to 30 hours with customer service, Twitter never gave us back access to the account so we had to orphan the account and start again. A very costly mistake that we won't make again.
Marketing Control #5: Make sure all staff use company controlled phone numbers, emails, and other contact information in all their professional work for your company.
This control is a close cousin to control 4 above.
We had a new business coaching client who let his sales team use their personal cell phones and Gmail email accounts in their sales work, that was up until the day when he lost a key sales person and realized that this former team member could literally walk a huge book of business over to his competitor and our client wouldn't have any knowledge or history of the relationship.
Hence why I'm fanatical that I want my team using company controlled email accounts. If they want to use cell phones to give prospects and clients faster access to them, simply route the calls through a service like Halloo or RingCentral directly to their cell phones.
While you can never fully get away from a client getting a personal cell phone of your sales staff, you can make it less likely by making sure all signature lines of emails and business cards have company routed contact information, and that they communicate consistent with this policy to all clients and prospects.
Marketing Control #6: Centralized core marketing collateral.
Most companies have a key brochure, or marketing letter, or other key marketing piece. Over time these key collateral pieces get used again and again by your staff, and edited and updated too.
But in most companies, these marketing pieces are kept on individuals local computer drives, so when a change is made (e.g. to a phone number, a URL, a graphic, a key branding point, etc.) it is inconsistently applied across your company.
When you use a centralized cloud based solution like Dropbox, Egnyte, etc. a change by one person is pushed out to all of your other team in an automated way. Plus, with most of these services you have version controls built-in to go back to earlier versions should you need to.
Marketing Control #7: A "Branding Brief"
What is your brand? What are its core emotions you want it to evoke? The core branding messaging points you want to reinforce?
What are the visual elements of your brand? What is and isn't acceptable? What are your colors, fonts, etc.?
Your branding brief is a simple document that lays this out in one, centralized place.
For example, with my company Maui Mastermind, the premier business coaching companies in North America for companies with sales in the $1-25 million range, our branding guide (see image) details:
- Big picture brand expectations
- Brand emotions
- Key brand messing points
- Brand colors
- Brand fonts
- Brand imagery and visual messaging keys
Marketing Control #8: Automated marketing email sequences.
One of the lowest hanging fruits for your company to put part of its marketing on autopilot is to strategically script out the "New Prospect Email Sequence" all your key prospects that are new to your e-list go through.
Whether this is 3, 12, or like for one of our business coaching clients, 37 emails long, give your best effort to write and set up this core sequence right. It should be hyper-relevant to your target market, interesting and valuable to them, and logically bring them along into a deeper and more mutually beneficial relationship with them.
Over time you'll likely segment out your email sequences based on how your new prospect came into your marketing funnel and the things you progressively learn about them, but even if you just take the one simple step of creating your best, first approximation of your New Prospect Email Sequence.
If you would like to access 21 free video trainings we created on how to strategically scale your company and get your life back, click here and access our free Scale Tool Kit. Enjoy.