Systems make Marketing Effective

I recently attended an Internet Marketing seminar here in Calgary which included  an excellent lunch. It was presented in a meeting room attached to a prominent Calgary hotel restaurant. Allow me to state that the presentation by David West of eKzact Solutions Inc. was very informative and well received by the attendees.

On the other hand,  the venue for the seminar was not appreciated by the guests as the comment sheets collected after the presentation clearly showed. There were 2 obvious concerns that the attendees pointed out and both could have been easily avoided by the restaurant staff if they had simply taken the time and initiative to pay attention to the clues being  offered by the individuals seated around the table.

Like many restaurants I have been to, they were playing loud music in the background to create some sort of ambiance that one would hope was designed to give the main room an appealing atmosphere. I love music and always enjoy having some in the background when I am eating. It is a welcome distraction when conversation ebbs or I am alone with no one to talk to.  However, it is a disruption when it is too loud or the beat inappropriate for the  majority of the clientele. I can’t recall the last time I was out to dinner and the diners jumped up and started dancing  wildly between the tables to some  rock ‘n’ roll song or rap music instead of enjoying the food and quiet conversation. I have been to more than a few restaurants where the music and the volume are obviously selected to satisfy the tastes of the young waiters and waitresses  with no regard to the patrons who pay their wages and tips.

The largest number of customers were in the back room area  attending the seminar and several complaints were made with requests to turn down the music resulting in a token response which was rectified later when the 12:00 lunch crowd of 8 to 10 guests arrived and the volume  increased to previous levels.  The result was that often the seminar attendees had trouble hearing the presentation. I am amazed that no serious consideration was given to the fact that seminar presenters will often return bringing guests who may also return if the food and atmosphere are satisfactory. This is the basis of simple referral marketing.

Even worse was the fact that the serving of the food was also a major distraction. I have presented lunch and learn seminars myself where the staff delivered the food to the guests so efficiently that I barely noticed they were in the room. They had  a system of delivering the meals as ordered without interrupting  the speaker or the recipient beyond the time it takes to place the food on the table.  This system was not complicated.  It consisted of 3 steps.

  1. Provide each guest with a menu/order form that they could mark their lunch selection on in advance.
  2. Number the order forms to match a chair location when collecting them.
  3. Deliver the requested food to the guest seated in the numbered location that matched the order form.

How brilliant is that?

This simple system was not applied at this venue.  Only step 1 was used. After that was chaos. The waiter wandered from seat to seat bringing food to people who didn’t order it, disturbing them and the presenter  asking people if this was their selection or who had ordered the meal.  He tried to go on memory and failed. He actually told the presenter after the seminar that the guests had changed seats.

Whether you use marketing systems, customer service systems or  tracking systems, the easiest way to guarantee success is to duplicate processes that have proven effective and keep them simple.

The key is that Success in Business is based upon applying  easy to use systems  and tracking the results to confirm the results.

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