Where Are You Today?
by Gene Muchanski, Editor
The Dive Industry Professional
Welcome to the March 2022 Editorial of The Dive Industry Professional. This month has to be that moment in time where we dedicate ourselves to the business of what we do. With so much chaos in the world, it’s time we find our place in the world and move forward doing what we do best. We are all in the business of diving here, even though we may not all be specializing in the same thing. As part of the International Diving Business Community, we are participating as dive equipment manufacturers, dive equipment sales reps, retail store owners and operators, dive boat operators, scuba diving instructors, dive resort operators, dive travel specialists, etc, etc, etc. With an unlimited opportunity to specialize in what makes us happy, and employed, it’s up to us to choose what we do with our 24 hours each day.
I am currently working with a company that is looking to improve their marketing efforts. When asked if I had any ideas on how to improve their marketing, I took a step back and asked if they could tell me a little about themselves first. Where were they currently in their marketing efforts? Did they have a current Business Plan? Marketing Plan? 2022 Marketing Budget? Did they already have a written agenda for this year and were they making sufficient progress in that plan? I didn’t want to just jump in with my “Gene Saves The World” book and reinvent the wheel for them. Especially if they already had a good plan and were working on it now.
I also wanted to know more about where they were financially. You see, sales and marketing go hand-in-hand. I wonder about the programs, products and services a company sells and how well they do. After all, what you sell is the reason you are in business. You can tell a lot about a company by looking at their sales; in units, in dollars, and cost of units sold. It’s a Product Managers responsibility to keep track of the company’s most profitable products and continually come up with new ones.
The next thing I asked was about their customers. How many customers did they have? Has the number of customers increased or decreased over the past few years? Not all customers are good customers. Some cost more to service than they bring into the company. How much deadwood does this company have and who are their better customers? A good Customer Manager specializes in customer relationships and works with current, former and future customers. It’s their job to acquire, retain, and recapture a sufficient pool of profitable customers for the company.
With good product management and good customer management, in a well-oiled operation, putting a strategy together to improve a company just got a lot easier. Knowing where you currently are is the first step. Now all you have to do is tell me where you want to go from here and we can put a plan together to get you there.
A Marketing Audit is a good thing for every company to do. It’s a Deep Dive in product management, customer management and marketing communication. I have always looked at business in a very simplistic way. To stay in business, you have to sell a sufficient number of profitable products, to a sufficient number of profitable customers, by communicating what you sell to the people who need, want, and can afford to buy what you sell. But don’t make the mistake of looking at a marketing audit as an isolated project. Marketing is only one piece of the puzzle, and it is interconnected to everything the company does. Think of marketing as the flow of goods and services, from conception to consumption. If your marketing department is healthy but your company is rotten, you won’t have the support you need to continue. That’s why a good marketing audit includes information about the operational, financial, and human resource aspects of a company. A healthy tree produces healthy fruit.
Start your new dive season off on the right foot. Conduct a Marketing Audit to see where you are. Plan a strategy meeting with your Management Team to discuss where you want to go this year. Agree on a plan of action. Commit your Action Plan to writing and get to work. I am more confident that you will have a better year now.
For more information on conducting a Marketing Audit, contact Gene Muchanski, Executive Director, Dive Industry Association, Inc., at firstname.lastname@example.org