By Billy Jennings on 3/15/22
Referencing If You Market Podcast Episode #157: Inside Out Marketing, Forget About Your Customers, with Tim Parkin
On this episode of the If You Market podcast host Sky Cassidy talks with Tim Parkin of Parkin Consulting.
Inevitably in business, we all encounter setbacks and dead ends. With this, Tim encourages business owners to look within the company and start from there.I believe it was Bob Proctor who said something along the lines of “if we want to see change on the outside, you must first make them on the inside”- the same could be true for business. There is always room for improvement and Tim is here to point those out.
When we say marketing, a lot of us would initially shift our mindset to selling and gaining more customers through the typical outreach channels of running ads on social platforms. There’s more to marketing, of course, than what we common people know. As Tim said, oftentimes, there are two parts in common marketing: First, spending money and time doing the wrong things (no impact, no bearing, no results). Second, doing the right things only poorly. This is where Inside Out Marketing comes in: the goal is to address the two issues above by focusing internally and then externally. To make this happen, there are also two things one must focus on: 1. Optimizing campaigns, strategies or tactics, and marketing approach, and 2. The people in the process. If we’re looking for some revolutionary, golden ticket grand answer to our problems here then we should be relieved it all goes back to the basics above. You could have the biggest budget and the greatest marketing game plan of all time but if the team in place can’t execute it properly, it’s all for nothing.
Tim mentioned, “If you really care about the customers, you have to be talking to them nonstop.” Commonly in marketing and advertising, once a business acquires customers and deals with them once or twice they tend to stop worrying about them, perhaps even taking them for granted since they already “have” them- but the point here is that it is vital for the business to retain those repeat customers and to KEEP them. “A lot of companies are purely focused on growth, on acquisition, acquiring new customers and they ignore retention… You have to keep filling this ship that’s leaking.” For some, customer feedback doesn’t seem to be a huge priority but Tim says otherwise and referred to this as a “pure gold mine.” It is a new starting point as we look into the inner workings and might be the potential cause of a problem the business is facing. What your customers are saying about your solution or product is literally a concrete way of streamlining your processes, defining problem areas, and gaining an edge over competitors.
“The formula for performance in my opinion is people plus process equals performance. You need the right people because you have to have good, smart, intelligent people who can do the right thing and you need a solid process. And if you have great people but not a good process, you know, that’s not gonna work out for you, it’s going to be unreliable and sustainable… you can get consistent results, but it’s only if you have exceptional people with a really well-defined process that you can achieve substantial and incredible growth as you need both those components.” With this is mind, it’s also important to remember that even if you don’t have the best team or maybe you can’t afford to go all out on a campaign, you have to at least be knowledgeable of who brings what to the table and have the ability to adapt in a fluid manner based on what people and resources you DO have.
Another aspect Tim addressed is internal communication issues: “If you’re having more than a few meetings a week, if you’re having to meet on the same thing multiple times, if you’re having to follow up on tasks or projects or if you don’t have insight or ideas about, you know, how the performance of your campaigns are going now, those are obvious indicators that the people in the process within your organization have issues and have inefficiencies that you can address and you know, and oftentimes these organizations operate based on assumptions and common knowledge rather than documented processes, principles and procedures.” Indeed, communication plays a huge role in making Inside Out Marketing happen — or even barely just running the business itself! Inside Out Marketing requires a solid foundation and again, it should start within. As a former project manager at a major event-planning company based in Las Vegas a few years ago I just had traumatic flashbacks to when our longest-tenured coder put in her two-weeks notice. My former boss wrongly assumed that a) she would never leave and b) that everything she was doing could be spread across the remaining 3 coders. The training for those coders to take on more work was implemented via notebook paper and a powerpoint presentation. There were no processes in place to ensure a smooth transition and to nobody’s surprise, that wing of the company imploded literally the first Monday we had without our team member who left! This company no longer exists, by the way.
Going back to success, Sky hit on something interesting as he mentioned continuous and consistency in a business in which Tim expounded: “A growth is not growth for the sake of growth. You know, we’re not just trying to create the biggest business ever. Growth is about long-term sustainability, it’s about the survival ability and becoming a dominant player in the industry. And so it’s not necessarily about going from 0 to 500 million in two years, it’s about, are you successful?”Quick success can allow for complacency to set in and for things to grow quickly stagnant within an organization. Inside Out Marketing is crucial for combatting this.
“Marketing needs to be who you are, not what you do.”
Sky and Tim then stressed the importance of who your teams should be comprised of when hiring. “The best organizations, the most successful organizations are built on marketing. And so marketing right now is in a silo and inside of companies and it should not be. And one of the things I talk about as part of this is that you know you should hire people who are your customers because they understand your customers, they are their customers.”
Sky and Tim also touched on how social media influencers are changing the game. I love influencer marketing but I have to wonder how effective it will be in the future as more people grow wiser to the facade influencers put on when suggesting a product or service. In order for it to be most effective, you really have to tap into your desired niche with a trusted figurehead so to speak of that niche.
Tim also addressed what most marketing organizations lack using the acronym “TEA”- which stands for Transparency, Expectations, and Accountability. Talk about a simple formula!
Tim leaves us with some great words when it comes to inside out marketing:
“Marketing inside out basically why you should not be thinking about your customers or forget about your customers as it’s been put. There’s a lot of it around efficiency. I think efficiency is the how, but then what is about, you know, achieving rapid growth that a lot of organizations are trying too hard to grow and they’re looking outside and not inside. And if you look inside first, you’ll find tons of opportunities to build a strong foundation that will help you grow a lot faster. And so this is really ultimately about working smarter, not harder.”
Meta Description: In this episode of If You Market, Marketing Podcast, host Sky Cassidy sat down with Tim Parkin of Parkin Consulting and tackled what it means to do Inside Out Marketing, how it works, and how to make it happen.