Marketing Bullseye 3: Hit Goals with Workback Waterfall

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I once gave a presentation to an industry group called "Rivers of Revenue: How to Build a Marketing Machine".  In that presentation, I showed an approach to ‘processize’ your way to achieve a quantifiable goal.

I call it a Workback Waterfall. It’s nothing revolutionary…but many things that hit the marketing bullseye are not spine-tingling.

Essentially it requires you determine what you want to accomplish, then define the steps to get there and then work backwards and determine the ‘waterfall’ of variables that measure the success of each step.

More specifically:

  1. Start with the goal in mind, and work back the steps necessary to achieve the goal.
  2. Then play with the variables that are necessary to achieve each step towards the goal.
  3. Track progress and success of those steps so you can measure actual results of those variables.
  4. Adjust variables to forecast future progress.
  5. Optimize each step and the process to reduce effort to achieve each step…and reach the goal.

As an example, here’s how it works for achieving a sales goal:

By starting with the goal in mind and working back the steps and measures along each way you can identify the activities and behaviors to hit the goal. And, most importantly, you measure the true effectiveness of each step and identify ways to improve productivity for each one. You could double or quadruple impact.

For a sales process, you might measure the impact of optimizing how you execute the sales call process, improving each step of the process:

  • Making a sales call
  • …with a referred introduction
  • …and a relevant, benefits-oriented approach
  • …spoken with energy and smile
  • …with an introductory offer
  • …ending with asking for the sale or an in-peron presentation
  • …followed by an email outlining next steps and next meeting

What about Direct Mail?

  • Send a brochure
  • …in a ‘teaser’ envelope
  • …sent to best list
  • …with a letter
  • …and a reply card
  • …as part of an integrated mail campaign
  • …preceeded and/or followed by email or phone call

This is a simple way to achieve any goal, as it forces you to identify the process and compels you to optimize productivity. You could use this for direct mail, email, online conversion, tradeshow selling or other marketing processes.

Using an approach like this makes me a believer in the old addage: "If you can measure it, you can manage it!"

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