How to define a group of recipients to increase sales? How to organize marketing and sales activities within the right funnel? And how to match the offer to the business model? We present a 5-week process for our client from the training industry, during which we have developed all these areas.

Client
Training industry
Goal
Developing a marketing and business strategy
Cooperation period
February/March 2020
Number of sprints
5
Number of people in the project
2

Project context

The client, a training and development company, came to us at the beginning of the year to enhance the promotion of his brand and organize sales and marketing activities in the first place.

Our goal was to develop a marketing and business strategy based on existing client resources and possible to implement immediately. To make this easier, we’ve decided to develop a tactical plan consisting of specific actions to be implemented (in line with prioritization) for the strategy as well.

Our main project goals:

Goal 1: defining customer groups / segmentation to increase sales

Goal 2: organizing marketing and sales activities within the right funnel

Goal 3: matching the offer to the business model and to the group of recipients

Sprint I: Kick-off & Interviews

We started with a kick-off workshop, to which we invited not only clients, but also regular partners with whom our clients work on a daily basis as part of two branches of their activities. Due to this, we wanted to gather all stakeholders in one place to define common project goals (both company and individual in the context of the company – doctorate, for instance), team roles, values and cooperation rules. To organize the information obtained from the discussion, we used Team Canvas

Another issue we discussed at the kick-off workshop was the marketing and sales funnel. To this end, the workshop participants were asked to write all marketing and sales channels on their cards, which they have used so far in their promotional activities. Then they placed these activities on a marketing funnel. The purpose of this task was to determine if the funnel flow is correct and if there are no gaps at any stage.

TIP: The marketing funnel should be built according to the principle – a lot of activities at the entry and relatively less at each of the subsequent stages, so as to maintain proper flow.

After analyzing the funnel, we moved to proto-persona, as we wanted to find out what potential customers the company would like to work with. Due to this, we were able to realize how wide the scope of activities a new company strategy will require.

To complete the information obtained at the kick-off workshops, we did individual in-depth interviews 1-on-1 with each member of the project team.

During interviews we examined:

  • personality & team roles
  • hard skills & preferences
  • team relationships & relationships with clients/partners
  • problems & needs & motivations
  • internal processes
  • target group
  • UVP
  • marketing and sales channels
  • company strengths and areas of improvement

Based on the workshop and interviews, we defined the client’s most important problems to solve and further steps of our cooperation.

Sprint II: Existing data analysis

Once we knew what problems we had to solve, we took a closer look at the existing data. We focused on auditing each activity in terms of the entire marketing and sales funnel in the first place. Our goal was to answer the question – what’s the result of promotional activities. 

In this regard, we have analyzed:

  • statistics of each medium, including Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn
  • Google Analytics statistics on specific pages (the company has separate websites for its services)
  • Google Ads statistics
  • extra statistics resulting from the specificity of the media
  • visual and branding points of websites and social media
  • website information architecture
  • post, blog posts and case studies structures
  • redirection and Call To Action flow
  • communication in Personal Branding channels

The finale was an analysis of a specific medium, indicating what works well and what should be improved.

Importantly, together with the client we set up weekly standups every Friday, when we had calls analyzing what happened last week and what will happen in the next. We wanted our client to be up to date with the progress of work and to recommend specific actions during the project. We are very lucky to work with very committed and responsive clients. This time, this was also the case and therefore, the first changes based on the prepared existing data analysis began to be introduced before we came up with the final strategy.

Sprint III: Interviews with existing and lost clients

The next stage were interviews with existing and lost clients (lost clients are people who finally didn’t decide to buy the product/service).Depending on the availability of these people, we did several to several interviews with each of the groups. These were individual interviews by telephone.

TIP: When the target group consists of managers, CEOs, coordinators etc. – people who are often unavailable, just choose the simplest method – a phone call. It’s also worth calling a bit earlier to arrange a specific time.

Our goal was to answer the following issues:

Existing clients:

  • decision factors on the selection of a training company
  • search path of training companies
  • decision-making process of the target group
  • point of contact with the brand
  • company strengths
  • areas for improvement
  • brand features

Lost clients:

  • decision factors on the selection of a training company
  • search path of training companies
  • decision-making process in the target group
  • factors why customers don’t choose a company

Interviews allowed us to easily and relatively quickly verify our hypotheses regarding, for example, factors influencing the decision to choose a specific company or contact points with the brand. A lot of our hypotheses have been confirmed, however, people often paid attention to facts that we hadn’t thought about before, or which we have not come up with during the process yet. These interviews were a huge contribution to our further work, and the client valuable feedback on the services he provided.

TIP: It’s worth asking for customer feedback as often as possible. During the process and after the cooperation – e.g. by examining the level of their satisfaction with the NPS method. A good idea is also to have a conversation with a customer by someone outside the company – just like in our case. Customers are often able to point out the issues that would be difficult to tell directly to the company they worked with.

Sprint IV: Market analysis and validation workshop

In the next stage of the project, we focused on a holistic analysis of the client’s market. We based on information gathered in previous phases. As part of our job, we’ve done desk research on reports on the purchasing and sales industry and global trends in this area, which allowed us to create a new offer proposal for the company.

To examine the company’s positioning on the market and discover the advantage, we conducted a competition analysis. We took companies directly competing with our client and those which they aspire to – huge, global brands. We conducted the analysis in many aspects including:

  • marketing activities,
  • sales activities,
  • business model,
  • value propositions,
  • offer.

The final of this sprint was a validation workshop with our clients. Our goal was to verify hypotheses and ideas that emerged on the canvas of research and analysis. Importantly, due to the pandemic situation in Poland, the workshop took place remotely. To ensure interactivity and involvement of participants, we created a special slack channel and template in Google Drive, on which we worked simultaneously (more about tools for remote workshops in the e-book “+25 to workshop equipment”).

The main part of the workshop was dedicated to confirming the target group and the offer for it. To this end, we used the Graves model, which illustrates the organization’s development phases.

Our client’s task was to put the names of companies (TOP 20 companies with which our client cooperated or cooperates) on specific stages in the model. Then, based on this, we analyzed the problems of these companies at a particular stage of development and considered how we could solve them. Due to this, a very solid outline of the product and service offer was created.

Sprint V: Strategy

In the last sprint, it was time to create the strategy. To make it as clear and understandable as possible for our clients, we’ve divided it into a section on analysis and specific recommendations based on it.

In addition to the strategy itself, we have prepared a tactical plan divided into priority tasks and those that can be carried out later, as well as canvases and checklists allowing for better and easier strategy implementation.

Importantly, due to the pandemic and our clients request, we have also created a short, ad-hoc strategy for the time of crisis, so as to invent the plan for the coming months.

Project summary – in numbers and more

5

Weeks to create a strategy

12

Individual in-depth interviews

100

Prioritized marketing and sales recommendations

What’s next?

What makes us happy is the fact that the company immediately started to implement the strategy. Many actions were taken the next day after presenting the strategy. We also received many questions that we gladly answered to further facilitate the understanding of the strategy (and it was really extensive!) and its implementation in real circumstances.

The changes that our clients have already implemented and of which we are proud include:

  • change of communication in social media,
  • introduction of Kanban to marketing activities,
  • website reconstruction,
  • new case studies and blogposts,
  • launching a series of webinars.

Kudos! 🙂 

We are also talking about the next areas in which we can work together 🙂

Tools, methods and techniques used in the project

Project team, i.e. who was responsible for what

Author of the Case Study

Katarzyna Golonka Lean Marketing Consultant
In business for five years, during which she managed a team of over a dozen people, created cycles of business events, co-created and managed the company. Currently, she specializes in Content Marketing and Personal Branding.

She helps companies to find their own "I" in business and to communicate it externally (marketing & business strategy).

Involved in numerous social activities. She is a certified Business Coach. She conducts workshops on the overlap of strategy & marketing. Author of texts for industry portals, including New Marketing, Marketing in Practice, E-commerce & Digital Marketing.

Other members of the team

Beata Mosór-Szyszka CEO & Lean Strategist
Beata is a strategist, marketer and lean consultant with over 14 years of experience in the international market.

She helps companies create and/or optimize their business model, and translate it into effective strategies, tactics and specific actions. She is the author of Lean Marketing Sprint, a method for creating marketing campaigns, and Values Poker, a tool for working with values.

As a speaker Beata performs at Polish and international conferences (e.g. Lean Startup Days Paris, VC night by Viva Technology, Open Living Lab).

Beata also has experience in organizing and designing acceleration programs such as Google LaunchPad Warsaw & WARP by Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile & Cisco.

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