Ray worked with B-2-B and Consumer clients throughout the world ... including USA, Canada, Mexico, Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the Middle-East, Central & South America, Africa.

This website is a compilation of Ray's 10 years on the Web.

 

Power Direct Marketing: The Book


A "Live" Example

The place to start any program is with planning. It is basic—fundamental. But how and where to start? It seems as if the answer ought to be: Start at the beginning.

Sounds simple enough, right? But, it hardly ever works just that way. Because the question many times comes after the program has already begun. You started with some good ideas in your head (nothing on paper, or very little), a rough budget to work with, and an unrealistic timetable. Objectives—maybe, maybe not.

Not long ago I had an opportunity to work with a major bank on planning an extensive telemarketing program. Here’s some background. The bank has been around since the tail end of the last century. They have over 100 branches. They are "big" in their marketplace. They changed their name not long ago, updated their logo, hired some real marketing professionals—and are fast moving into the 21st century.

The branch system, however, is still operations-oriented. Not sales and marketing. Some don’t understand at all and have moved out. The majority of the balance are excited about the new direction, but need help.

The bank has a planned advertising program. It is continuing and ongoing. Marketing wants to coattail that exposure—and introduce some new products to their customers.

The idea is a direct mail program to a highly selected audience of bank customers who are most likely to qualify for a specific new product. Followed up with telephone calls from the branch where that customer banks.

On paper it looks and sounds solid. Problems with personalization of the direct mail by each branch, and other potential mail details, could easily be controlled and solved. What about the outbound telemarketing follow-up program—how is that to be put together? What is the plan?

On the pages that follow is the question sheet put together to determine the details of the facts, the situation, where and how the bank sees itself in relation to strategy and tactics, and a few thoughts about the methods needed to implement the program.

I share these with you because, as you carefully review these questions, you’ll readily note that The 8ight Point Market Action Plan is thoroughly covered. Plus, because this was the first project with this bank, some "get to know you" questions. Here goes:

Questions to Answer as We Plan a Telemarketing Program

I. What is the primary objective of the calls? Secondary objective? What do you want to accomplish—in the short term specifically, and in the long term?

A. What is the design of the planned marketing program?

  1. What market(s) will be targeted?
  2. What product(s) will be sold?
  3. What volumes of calls do you anticipate per branch per program per person within each branch? Over what period of time? Will an inbound 800 number be used, too?
  4. What advertising/promotional marketing materials support the telephone calls? How have you been servicing this marketplace up to now?

B. How do you plan to measure the results of the program? How will you evaluate success?

C. What is the bank’s current marketing "climate"?

  1. What is your prime competition doing?
  2. What is the customer’s knowledge of what the bank offers?
  3. What are your customers’ attitudes toward the bank?

D. Will the telemarketing program be a one-time event, or is the idea to make a commitment to continue calling on all or most projects?

  1. Will programs where telemarketing is used be branch driven?
  2. Will your branch people spend more, less, or about the same amount of time in the future making telephone calls? How much "dedication" to calling will these people have?

II. What job aids (sales support tools) will the people on the phones in the branches have available to work with?

A. Paper and computer oriented tools:

    1. Will they access customer records via computer or from manual printouts? Are telephone numbers available?
    2. Will they have access to a single account record or to a complete customer information file?
    3. What product data is available for the product(s) they will sell—what form is it in?
    4. Are the personnel trained to use the physical resource tools you have available?
    5. Will you also be calling non-customers of the bank? If so, what information and in what format is it available?

B. What advertising and marketing promotional materials (fulfillment) is available? How will it be offered to your marketplace? By mail and/or 800 number? At the branch? Other?

C. What data will you want the callers to collect on each targeted customer or prospect? How will they collect that data?

D. How will the callers keep records of who on the target calling list has been reached? Who needs a callback? When? Who has been sent the fulfillment package and/or other information? Who has bought? Other?

E. Reporting—what would you like/what do you need in the content of reports? How often do you need/want to receive this data? Is there a system for you to get it as often as necessary?

III. What personnel will make the telemarketing calls?

A. Who will make the calls from the branches?

  1. Are they in position at the branch now, or will they be brought in from other areas of the bank program by program?
  2. What are the job functions they now perform?
  3. What is their level of experience with the bank? What is their level of knowledge of the bank?
  4. What portion of their time will be allocated to this calling program? Will it vary by project and need? Will the same people be used for each program?
  5. What is their knowledge and experience with the product(s) to be sold? How will product training be accomplished?
  6. What has been their experience working with customers? With non-customers?
  7. At what level are their selling skills?
  8. At what level are their customer service skills?
  9. Generally, what formal training programs have they had in the recent past?
  1. IV. What is the training program you will take to the branches on telemarketing?

A. How much material do you usually provide in current training programs? Manuals? Tapes? Workbook problems? Test? Role playing? That is, what format are you comfortable with now? How do you want this to fit in with what you are now offering?

B. To whom should the telemarketing training material be directed? To management or those on the phones? Or both?

C. Who will give the program once it is developed—your central training department, the branch manager, other?

D. How long do you want the telemarketing program to be—two hours / half-day / all day / combinations / other?

E. How are existing training program followed up and evaluated? How will this one on telemarketing be evaluated?

V. What else do you think/know is important for us to know that will help us work with you to get this program up and running successfully—quickly?

VI. What is the company organization?

A. How are the branches organized—what is the reporting structure?

  1. Are there areas or regions?
  2. To whom do they report? How does this affect the advertising/marketing/telemarketing decisions to be made?
  3. How many branches do you have? Over what geography?

B. Is there anything else about the bank that may be relevant or useful or nice to know?

Details—details—details! Yes, many, many specific questions. Which the bank answered, one by one. The result being a well thought-out plan was developed and implemented.

It was very much a team effort. The marketing team from the bank and the marketing team from the telemarketing and training/consulting firm. Lots of togetherness. And it worked, because the time was spent in the beginning getting the plan ready.


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