So often although we want to grow our businesses, there are hidden obstacles in our way, like too big a goal, unanswered questions, lack of time or focus, etc.
Recently, I learned of a growth process from my brilliant friend and author, Bella Englebach. It is a concept that comes out of the Lean Manufacturing world which she was a part of for many years.
This process uses the concept of doing tiny experiments to find out what works. Breaking down big outcomes into small, manageable segments makes it easier to manage and think about when developing new ideas to grow a business.
I am applying this to the concept of marketing for which it is well-suited.
The concept has three parts:
- What we know
- What we suspect
- What we will use for experimentation
Say you want more customers.
- First, you will want to define what your customers expect from the service you and others provide.
- Next, define what services/products you provide stand out from your competition.
- Finally, what excitement could you add that would increase customer loyalty and team culture, and stand out as extraordinary?
Here’s an example:
When a customer needs to travel, they often book a hotel room.
We know the basics of what they want: a clean room, wi-fi connection, a decent mattress, and security that ensures your safety.
We know that Motel 6 offers this at a low price and not much else.
Ritz Carlton, however, makes sure that at every connection point, you feel as important as every single customer in their hotel no matter the level of room booked. They look for service opportunities that create legends that are told and retold by customers and spread on social media, making their brand shine and giving them literally priceless publicity.
A question to ask yourself:
- What is missing from service among my competitors? This question is key to providing you with opportunities that may be right under your nose.
Designing the experiment:
Step 1: Get a notebook to create and record your findings. You will develop insight that will be helpful as you do more and more experiments and review your findings that reveal what works and what doesn’t.
Step 2: Instead of thinking about a huge goal, consider individual outcomes you want to produce.
Start small. Name one outcome you want to produce.
Goal: Create an offering to make prospective customers pick up the phone and sign up or call me.
- What are three things I could offer?
- What do I currently offer?
- What do my top competitors offer?
- What would make my potential customer choose me over them?
Example: Southwest Airlines and American fly some similar routes. There are big differences in their approach to their customer.
While both have a focus on the customer, Southwest has done an extraordinary job in defining what creates an extraordinary customer experience without a ton of extra cost.
Get the answers by thinking about seating cost, upselling, and the interactions with any Southwest employee.
Step 3: To identify one small step, ask yourself the following questions:
- Will it be something you offer on social media? Something to download on your website? Something you speak about then provides a link for the audience to go deeper by visiting your website?
- How will you know whether the experiment has been a success or failure?
- Create a realistic measurement and timeframe for your experiment
- Review your results being ready to tweak your test.
- Even if it fails the first few times, you will always be gaining understanding into what doesn’t work, which is learning that puts you ahead already.