Guest Post: Ken Robbins | Author of GoodFatROI.com | CEO of Response Mine Interactive
How do you build a DTC build to drive for growth? It takes organizational commitment, that’s how.
This post is going to do double duty. Not only am I going to show you a new great management tool to drive new initiatives, I’m going to give you a basic DTC marketing plan to boot.
First, the one-page strategy tool.
I discovered this device in reading a book on operational excellence written by management consultant Dieter Legat. The book, Surf The waves of Opportunity, explains how to devise a strategy that focuses the team on solving the next problem next to get the fastest implementation. It’s basically an advanced course on critical path implementation.
In his book, Dieter explains that while any new project can have a lot of complex interdependencies, management needs a simple device to clarify the priorities for every meeting and employee interaction. This device is the one-page strategy operational plan.
Why one page? Because it forces you to focus on the briefest distilled label for each part of the strategy. It also shows you clearly and quickly what must be put in place in order to achieve the goal.
Here’s a blank sample of a one page:
As you can see, there are just three columns and it reads right to left. Here’s how you set it up:
- State a clear, well-defined goal. You can’t just say “more sales.” You need to say “$10MM in e-commerce sales by Dec 31.”
- Next, you list the building blocks that must be true in order to hit that goal. These are called critical success factors. Don’t overdo this. You can’t have twelve critical success factors. Your limit is eight, and it’s better to have five to seven. (A pro tip: state the goals in the present tense as if they are true now.)
- Now, list all the necessary conditions in order for the Critical factors to be true. This becomes the project list you assign to team members. While these examples show three necessary conditions, you could have ten to twenty as you desire. Just cram them to ensure you only use one page.
That’s it! We use these in meetings all the time. Once I had a senior executive announce his departure. Right after he gave me notice, I walked into my office and drew up this very device in about fifteen minutes. The goal was “Successfully replace XXXXX with a suitable, growth-minded leader.”
For management, a device like this is indispensable from holding the team accountable to getting things done. Once you assign the necessary conditions, it’s pretty easy to agree on where to start.
There’s one more lesson I took away from learning about this one-page device. We as business leaders tend to over complicate things. We want a large-scaled, well-architected plan. That’s often necessary– a detailed plan covering the entire wall. But a device like that is for the details and to cover contingencies. This device, the one-page strategy is about implementing.
Now, you are ready for the direct-to-consumer plan. As a marketing agency, this is what we do– implement DTC marketing and scale it up to hundreds of millions (and sometimes more) in sales. Our clients are product companies and retailers alike with a common theme– they need their online sales and channel sales to grow.
Here is a basic plan for starting or perfecting your direct marketing for your health brand.