The Wizard Marketing Compass

The Marketing Compass is a strategy tool I use to help position my clients. It helps visualise where a business is and where it needs to be. It helps keep them on track.

“We could charge our clients to do this, it could become a profit centre.”

“A good idea. And thanks for suggesting. But we’ll absorb the cost.”

That was part of a conversation between one of my clients and a new staff member. The staff member was thinking of the business first. An admirable trait. However, my client was thinking of his customers and the long-term health of his business. Do the right thing by your customers and they’ll do the right thing by you is his mantra.

My client knows his position on the Marketing Compass and makes decisions accordingly. He is in the process of educating his staff so they know too.

Note: If this conversation happened at a bank, the answer would have been, “Great idea let’s charge them.”

The Four Points of the Marketing Compass

The North/South axis represents the marketing focus of the business.

  • Relational (North) is customer focused.
  • Transactional (South) is product, service and business focused.

The East/West axis represents the level of marketing strategy and planning.

  • Systematic (East) is by design. It is long-term thinking and detailed planning.
  • Reactive (West) is by accident. It is short-term thinking and minimal planning.

The Four Quadrants of the Marketing Compass

1. Transactional Reactive

  • Built by accident.
  • Product, service & business focused.
  • Short-term thinking and planning.
  • The way a small business stays small or goes broke.
  • Not the place to be.

2. Relational Reactive

  • Built by accident.
  • Customer focused.
  • Short-term thinking and planning.
  • The way a small business can become a good-sized business.
  • But growth hits a glass ceiling.

3. Relational Systematic

  • Built by design.
  • Customer focused.
  • Long-term thinking and planning.
  • The way a small business can become a big profitable business.
  • The way a business becomes a Loveable Money-Making Machine.

4. Transactional Systematic

  • Built by design.
  • Product, service & business focused. (for corporates: Shareholder focused)
  • Long-term thinking and planning.
  • The way of banks, Telcos, internet providers, electrical retailers & car dealers.
  • Profitable, but not loved.

Let’s look at Transactional Reactive where most local owner-operated businesses sit.

Transactional Reactive Marketing focuses on tactics, products and services. It’s short-term thinking and short-term advertising. It’s like a series of one-night stands. It’s wheel spinning. It’s emotionally draining.

Transactional Reactive Marketing relies on traditional wisdom, silo mentality, discounting, promotions, irrelevant information, copying competitors, advice from salespeople, well-meaning family and friends, and chasing silver bullets.

What are the consequences of Transactional Reactive Marketing?

A long list of shitty stuff!

  • You buy short-term schedules on radio and television. You’re disappointed.
  • You buy digital ads. You’re disappointed.
  • You post on Facebook and Instagram. You’re disappointed.
  • You are busy with activity but sales stay stagnant.
  • You hire SEO experts promising to make you number 1. You’re disappointed.
  • You spread your marketing budget hoping something works.
  • You don’t know what to say in your ads. So you let media people say it for you.
  • You have a series of providers sending out conflicting messages to customers.
  • You buy media, but don’t know how much to invest.
  • You drop prices and run a sale. You get a sugar high followed by a low.
  • You get marketing advice from sales reps pushing their own agenda.
  • You copy what others are doing; businesses that don’t know what they’re doing.
  • You have a better business, but your competitors grow, while you stay stuck.
  • You ask people where they heard about you, because you don’t know what works.
  • You buy short-term advertising options because you lack confidence.
  • You don’t add up all your spending for fear it will scare you.
  • You get overwhelmed with marketing and advertising options.
  • You are always desperate for more customers.
  • Your business doesn’t grow as fast as it could.
  • Your marketing bucket is full of holes. Customers trickle in and fall out.
  • You don’t think like a customer. You’re inside the bottle looking out.
  • You get busy and stop doing what worked. Then business gets slow again.
  • You get frustrated and disillusioned.

Transactional Reactive Marketing wastes mountains of your money.

Transactional Reactive Marketing wastes years of your time.

Most businesses practice Transactional Reactive Marketing to varying degrees.

It’s why most marketing disappoints or fails.

However, this presents an opportunity for you and your business!

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos expresses what he calls one of Amazon’s most important values:
customer obsession.

“We talk about it, customer obsession, as opposed to competitor obsession,” he said. Often companies say they are focused on customers, but they really spend most of their energy reacting to and talking about competitors.

“If your whole culture is competitor-obsessed, it’s hard to stay motivated if you are out in front. Whereas customers are (always) unsatisfied, always discontent, always want more. So no matter how far in front you get of competitors, you are still behind your customers. They are always pulling you along,” he said.

– April 2018

Amazon practices Relational Systematic Marketing.
You can too.

Relational Systematic Marketing is customer focused. It’s a long-term relationship built on a solid foundation of empathy, trust, bonding and delivering all you promise… plus a little more.

Relational Systematic Marketing is built by design. It’s when strategies, processes and tactics work together; aligning the goals of the customer with the goals of your business.

Relational Systematic Marketing is the process that turns your family-owned business, into a Loveable Money-Making Machine.

Naysayers would say, “But Amazon can apply Relational Systematic Marketing because it’s big.”

The fact is, Amazon became BIG by practicing Relational Systematic Marketing when it was small.

Need some examples of some owner-operated business that practice Relational Systematic Marketing?

The above are shining examples of how a small business can grow to be a big, profitable business by being customer focused. By applying Relational Systematic Marketing.

So, where do you currently sit on the Wizard Marketing Compass?

Next week we’ll look at the process we use to move family-owned businesses to Relational Systematic Marketing. It’s how we turn local owner-operated businesses in Loveable Money-Making Machines.

Until next week

Work hard and have fun.