The Secret of our Success
Why is it often the best stories that you aren’t allowed to tell? As a marketing manager with a global remit, my oversight includes a lot of seriously impressive projects and achievements. I’ve been with Fusion now for 3 years and am continuously surprised and impressed with the scale, skill and success of the projects we undertake. The challenge is that while there are textbook examples of innovation and sometimes artistic delivery of robust and complex solutions for massive companies with household names many of these companies don’t want to talk about it or don’t know how.
My desire is to shout from the rooftop about these engagements and have customers add their voice to mine to share with the world what we have achieved together, to give people a true picture just how good we are not just offering empty lip service to it by offering anonymised case studies. Unfortunately, nothing is ever as easy as just being open and honest.
There are 3 main challenges that I face as a Marketing Manager trying to share our business achievements with our clients.
- The client doesn’t want to explore the option of publicising their success, the individuals involved around the project don’t have the authority or the people that do aren’t involved in the conversation and in this situation the outcome goes nowhere.
- The outcome is no one knows about their great achievement to the business either internally or externally except those directly involved with the project.
- The company sees publicity as a risk. Whether its Intellectual Property or competitive advantage, this stops the participants from offering freely a view of their achievements and the outcomes with the tools and casting the spotlight on well delivered work.
- Security, a blanket term that generally says that X client can’t be mentioned, X solution can’t be associated or X application can’t be discussed in detail. No name, logo or mention. Sadly this category is where most of our greatest work lies.
So, if you can’t tell people about the work you have done or are doing, how do we ensure we market effectively to businesses so they know we are the right consultancy to deliver the solution they are after? It is easy to create a webpage and make unfounded claims but how do I as a marketer, trying to educate a customer sift through the noise, find the facts to connect?
I’ve identified my list of tell-tale signs to help buyers identify the hidden qualities that shine through with a quality consulting partner regardless of the restrictions requested by customers. We’ll call them the R’s of Realisation.
- Reception – How do they make you feel? Do you feel like you are being sold to or is there the confidence in the team that they know what they are offering is backed up by more than their words? I know plenty of salespeople and some of the worst are the ones that can lie to your face and not feel guilty. It’s easy to blame salespeople but it’s refreshing when they introduce their team and be open and transparent to help you understand the solution rather than price tag. If your gut tells you something is not right, chances are it may not be.
- Reputation/Recommendations – Would you go to a Ford dealer to find out about BMW? When someone who has the car offers the review and shares it ‘warts and all’ then you know they aren’t just glossing over things for an incentive or to win your business. The same goes for solutions, if you ask others who works well and who they use, often it is more telling especially if they can give examples that will help you avoid similar pitfalls. Some of the best suppliers I have had come from recommendations that I would never have got had I not asked for them. One supplier comes to mind that didn’t advertise and operated a purely word of mouth business that worked exceptionally well because it kept the relationship almost like an exclusive little club, that brought great results at the right price.
- Retention/Return Business – Do they keep their staff and customers? How quickly customers move away after their initial engagement is a telling sign of the experience. Cost is not the only factor in shifting supplier and in consultancy its often one of the less considered factors. This is not always the case but if the direct team is involved and not just procurement looking to save a buck then often quality service becomes very sticky.
- Revenue – Profitability proves performance and generally means they can afford the best in their business. Understanding their turnover can also help you get a look behind the hood of their operation as it were. Are they going to have the bandwidth to take you on as a client? Are you too big? Are they writing cheques with their mouths their bodies can’t cash? Are they efficient and delivering right the first time or losing margin through re-work?
So there you have it, the Six R’s of Realisation. This is not a hard and fast rule for all situations, but there is a lot of this information you can gather which you can use to start forming your opinions, in turn, resulting in you being ready to engage and to start putting things to the test.
Ultimately it still doesn’t solve my problem of how to work with my clients to show off our business’ great wins, but if you look into my business using this method, I’m confident that we would shine. This is the first step to starting a conversation that could lead to other discussions about our capabilities and solutions.
Global Marketing Manager