Friday, August 10, 2012

The Hybrid Agency and 2020 Transformations Strategies

Today I would like to introduce you to our new hybrid agency called Stratejis Business and Marketing Transformations and our new offices at the  Synergy Centre at 290 Picton Ave., Suite 101, in Ottawa.

The rational for opening the centre was to provide a safe and creative environment where a variety of creative individuals could have their own businesses but work and network together in a cooperative environment that would allow each to share their services with the other, pay each other a referral fee and have the use of all the services without the overhead of a traditional advertising or marketing agency.  So we have Robin Sauve from Bamboo Branding and Adrian Abbott from Action Man Media as part of our group my company Corporate Coachworkz/Stratejis and have a variety of other companies with whom we do business and share our expertise.

My new incarnation, Stratejis Transformation Strategies is a division of The  Corporate Coachworkz  and focuses in on working with companies, individuals or organizations on developing 2020 Transformation strategies and plan.   It allows a company to go through a 5 step process using our Level  4(TM) marketing methodology to help them transform their business or organization.

The process is actually quite simple, where where you, where are you now and where do want to be.  It sounds simple enough however there are a variety of steps that a company will need to go through if it really wants to transform its business or the way it markets its products to customers.  See for more information on the 5-Step Process and tips provided by Kamal Hassan is the Founder, President and CEO (Chief Excitement Officer) of Innovation 360.

The key point about a transformation strategy is that companies " will" be required to change their marketing approaches and change how they do business because of the Internet and the integration of mobile devices into the marketing mix.  They will also need to change process, structure, product selection and customer service and customer integration as well as all aspects of their sales and marketing for 2020, because 2020 is going to be a " whole new ball game".

For example the other day we had a rather long meeting at the centre which went into the traditional lunch hour.  One of the attendees asked if we could get some sandwiches and keep going.  Someone ( I suspect because of all their traditional advertising ) suggested Subway.  I looked the others and asked if anyone know where is there a Subway close to the office.  Adrian pulled out his cell phone and within seconds said, "there is one 3 blocks from here, lets go I will give you the directions on the way."

This simple step demonstrates that we are going to need both the marketing integration of outside and inside an organization, including outbound ( traditional advertising) and inbound ( Internet, new and social media) to support a product.  Product awareness is still going to be required and the building of a brand is still going to be required, however the mobile generation is going to require easy access points of entry and guidance about how to purchase products as well as a process for purchase.

People are still going to want to buy, we just need to give the customer the tools and the approaches to continue to carry out the purchase.  This is going to be a huge transformation for a lot of traditional companies especially those who have put a lot of focus in on bricks and mortar and expect customers to come through the door.

For example, many retailers are still using flyer's as source of new customers.  Many are finally getting smart, collecting email addresses, developing loyalty and information programs and marketing directly to them with emails, but that's it.

There is limited customer engagement with transient customers looking for a place to spend their money.   For a real marketing transformation in retail its going to take some hard work and its going to take a lot of looking at the current way you carry out your business, not just the marketing of your business but your business as a whole.

For example, we still have those businesses that treat a customer as if they are a nuisance.  Especially in Canada where customer service is appalling in both restaurants and in big retail stores. Its no wonder that Sears, Zellers and The Bay are all struggling to get new customers.  The mobile customer could care less, he/she can get anything they want wherever they want.

As business owners, it should become the first question you ask yourself when you get out of bed in the morning.  Where will our company be in 2020?  If you can't answer that question, then you will need to start today looking at where you want to be and developing a plan to get there.

Just like those companies that did not think web sites or telephones would catch on, the new customer is totally mobile and its going to take some time to figure out what you need to do an you better get started.

Kensel Tracy is Marketing Coach, Senior Partner in the Corporate Coachworkz and a trusted adviser with Stratejis Business and Marketing Transformations.  He can be reached at


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Taking on More Than You can Handel

When you take on too much, your business can’t keep up and therefore you can easily lose control of everything and find yourself barely functioning. You want your business to be successful, no doubt, but you need to have a plan for how you will handle the growth. Your clients expect great customer service and highly quality products/services, they don’t know or care about your behind the scenes operations to get those things done.

·       Look for these signs that you are taking on more than you can handle:

·       Clients’ needs aren’t being met.

·       Employee morale is low, clients are upset and you’re in a panic.

·       You have to react in emergency mode to save accounts.

·       Your current clients are suffering from trying to keep up with new business.

·       Profits are going down.

·       You are just trying to pick up the pieces of your business.

·       Your clients/customers leave.

·       Resources are being reallocated.

There a trick called the Mock Fish Plan. This plan can help you react positively when you are facing some or all of these things and help you get your business back on track. This plan will:

·       Help increase sales in a short period of time.

·       Alter your products/services for the better.

·       Fulfill promises you made to your clients.

There are six steps to this plan:

  1. Bring in your best team and have them all help to meet the fish needs.
  2. Review your operational system.
  3. Anticipate future problems better.
  4. Communicate better.
  5. Include costs in your quotes.
  6. Always have a back-up plan.

All Your Eggs in One Basket

You can allow your company to become dependent on any one fish. Eventually or for certain periods there is going to be a slowing down period with your fish. In order to stay in the game you need to diversify.

If you’ve ever mishandled a fish, you could drive away potential fish as well. In order to keep balance and prepare for a strong future, there are a few things you can do.

·       These things include:

·       Stay in the loop and try to know what’s going on inside your fish company.

·       Constantly reinvent yourself and stay at the top of your industry.

·       Stay exclusive.

·       Try to secure multi-year commitments and contracts.

·       Spread your contracts out.

·       Price your products/services correctly.

You also need to work to reduce your dependency on your fish. This can generally be measures in sales or profits. Take a look back at the process we’ve used thus far to snag more fish to keep this all in balance.
These are the ways you can help avoid the killer mistakes that can make you lose it all.

Up Cash Creek Without a Paddle.

Even when business is good there’s still a change of running out of cash flow. You have to always be prepared for a slow in sales or a surge in expenses. One of the keys to balancing your cash flow is to get your clients to pay on time. This can seem like a nightmare, but is absolutely essential to a successful business.

Here are some tips to speed up the payment process:

·       Always send invoices on time and adjust your records for potential audits.

·       Learn how the client processes payments on their side and find out precisely where to send invoices.

·       Find out who’s in charge of processing orders and payment, so you know who to contact if needed.

·       Have a follow-up procedure in place, just in case.

·       As a last resort, call your contact to ask questions.

·       Always make sure your invoices are correct before sending them out.

You also need to make sure your cash flow is protected. You can do this by:

·       Always know which accounts need paid and when.

·       Negotiate with your suppliers for the lowest cost possible.

·       Have a bank contingency plan in place.

·       Build your own inventor network.

These are all great ways to protect the cash flow of your business and prepare for fish transitions and slow sales. These last few lessons are all about finding and catching your big fish clients. These clients are essential to your success and your need to take the time to work through each of these steps carefully and correctly for the best success.  If you need more help in these areas, just contact me and we will help you with business and the transformation of your business.