Sharing information to the team is something many business owners struggle with. How much information should you share? Do you tell them about sales, profits, product mix, or future plans? What information do you need to give them so they can do their job?
Things have changed in the past several years, and today’s employees want to know more about how the company is doing. Data shows today’s employees work better when they know more about how the company is performing – whether it is good or bad.
The Best View is an Unobstructed View
So, let’s talk marketing specifics. Marketing may be a key part of your company, and though marketing for a local business may be a bit tougher to measure, it needs to be measured the best it can. If you are big enough and you have a decent marketing budget, you will want to be involved with the marketing person or team, onsite or offsite, inhouse or outsourcing a company like Louvre Media, and receive feedback on what is happening and the results of your marketing plan. Your people want you to win. If they can see the results, they can self-manage, self-direct, and be more independent than you may think.
There is a story which comes right out of the One Minute Manager book by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson. It was originally published in 1982, so it might sound like the information in this book is outdated, but it is still applicable today. The year may be different, and the times may have changed, but the general principles of this 112-page, easy-to-read book, haven’t. There have been some updates to the book in recent years to reflect some changes in wordings and the times, but the basics are, and always will be, the basics.
The story references goal setting, and it likens it to the sport of bowling. Even if you don’t know much about bowling, this should still make sense. We’re paraphrasing from the book here. How much fun would bowling be if you couldn’t see any of the pins getting knocked down? What if your view was blocked and you didn’t know how you were doing? It probably wouldn’t be a very enjoyable experience, but it might be a bit better if you were kept updated. If someone yelled out “you missed three pins,” or in a more positive light “you got seven pins down,” you would at least you knew how you did. But we all know that the thrill in bowling is seeing those pins get knocked over. If you remove the blockage and let the bowler see how they’re doing and how close they are to success, they’ve have a much better time and be motivated to do more. The message here is that when one can see the results of their efforts, they tend to try harder to improve.
What Should Your Marketing Team Know?
How does this apply to marketing? Your marketing team works with you on the plan and then works with implementing this plan. For example, let’s say you have a couple of billboards up around town and the plan is to have them up for a period of one year. How would you measure their success when customers don’t mention they saw the billboard when they come in or when they call to book an appointment? You’ll have to rely on other metrics. There must be some objectives set as to what having the billboard will do, and the marketing team should set these objectives, though you may need to facilitate a conversation around the right questions if they are newer or don’t know. Branding is a bit tougher to measure but it can still be done. If you own a restaurant and are promoting a specific dish, do more people order the dish than before the billboard? Are these billboards in a specific area and can you see sale results by zip code?
Let’s use the zip code, say for a service business, and the business knows where appointments are booked and the sales from these appointments. If you could look prior to starting the billboard and do a sales-by-zip-code type of report, you could see how the sales differed in the areas with the billboard compared to the other areas. This would give you a relative idea of how the billboards are impacting the results. Now, there may be more to this. What other marketing is happening? What marketing happened the year prior? There are other factors, but at a good level, this is a good way to measure the results for a local business on whether a billboard is doing what it is expected to do.
What Information Does Your Marketing Team Need Now?
This depends on if you want to be the one who blocks the pins from their vision or if you want to be the one who lets them see their own score. If you want them to be able to see the results, they need to have access to the sales reports know how to run the reports. This will help them learn if the billboards are working and decide if they are a good choice of marketing for your company.
Sharing results is truly important in today’s world, and the more information you give to your team about the company’s successes, the higher the likelihood their performance will be even better. By allowing them access to the information they need to measure their results you will help them see how they are doing and instill a sense of ownership with them, which is what you really want, right?
We have all heard the expression “Sharing is Caring”. This is so true when people on the team have the information they need to make decisions for things under their control. The more they know, the better the performance is. What you’ll get is a team of people who care about your company and work together to accomplish their goals.