The Annual Check Up

Marketing-BridgeHow often do you evaluate your health? It’s recommended that you go see the doc once a year, but do you do the same kind of evaluation on your business annually?

It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day operations of running the place rather than stepping outside the bottle to see your business as your customers, employees and community sees it. But if you want to keep your business healthy, it’s essential to spot any issues or opportunities early.

The Harvard School of Business offers the concept of the Marketing Bridge as a scale on which you can make that business check up. The Marketing Bridge includes everything that links the customer to the sale and everything that separates the customer from the sale.  Here are the pillars for evaluating:

Advertising:  Do you have a strategic message that aligns with your goals and brand? Are you advertising in the right places to reach your target audience? Are you consistent in frequency and messaging to build awareness? Do you plan ahead to stay timely?

Interactive: Does your website represent your business? Does it help advance the sale of your offering? Is it easy to find online and then navigate? Is it current?

Doing Business:  What’s the quality of your product? Do you offer financing? Are you easy to find with convenient hours? Are you and your offering dependable? Do you respond quickly? Do you keep your promises? What’s your market position in comparison to your competitors?

Price/Value: Is your price right for the value received? Is your price competitive? What’s the buying advantage?

Merchandising: What’s your curb appeal? Is it easy to find prices in your store? Do you have a relevant floor plan? How are your window presentations working? Are you clustering products together effectively? Is the store ambiance, including lighting, music, availability to assistance, appropriate?

Personal Selling: What’s the attitude of your staff toward your customers? Do they have the depth of product knowledge to assist customers effectively? Do they use suggestive or add-on selling? Do they present themselves in a manner that aligns with your brand? Do they keep their promises?

Evaluate these aspects of your business and be honest with yourself. Have your staff chime in or have your customers rate you too. If you uncover an issue, then you can address it head on and move your business forward.