As marketers, we understand that time is valuable. That’s why we spend so much time carefully crafting content that will grab - and keep - the attention of our customers. We know that if we offer them something worth their time, they’ll provide us with something of value as well: their contact information or even a purchase of our products or services!
But, as much as we prioritize creating investment-worthy experiences for our prospects and customers, we don't always protect our own time as carefully. Instead, we have a tendency to do things like misapplying tried-and-true resources because they're familiar and available, rather than investing in tools that will help ensure we spend our time on value-add activities.
Not sure what I'm referring to? Tell me if this sounds familiar: When you need to tackle a new problem and want to brainstorm solutions, do you reach for Post-it notes and giant notepads? When you want to map a process, do you open PowerPoint and start drawing arrows and boxes? Are you someone who has Excel at-the-ready when you need a Gantt chart or planning calendar? All of these are examples of habits that cost us time and energy on things like formatting and information capture and recapture, that should instead be spent on strategy and analysis.
Let’s get back to what we love doing: great marketing!
Read-on to learn how you can start accomplishing that goal, with highlights from a few of the numerous visual tools, process maps, brainstorming diagrams, and forms available in Minitab Workspace that can be incredibly useful for marketers.
Get Started Faster with a SWOT Analysis Template
The SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis is one of marketers' standbys. We're constantly using this method to evaluate our products, brands, competitors, and market segments.
Yes, at first glance it seems relatively easy to build the square SWOT and its quadrants in PowerPoint, and most of us have done it. But let's be honest, those pesky text boxes become awfully painful to size "just so" (and resize and then resize again). Even worse, have you tried creating one in a PowerPoint table?! Good luck!
Surely we can all agree that the hardest part of conducting a SWOT analysis shouldn’t be formatting it.
Avoid the headache by using the SWOT tool available in Minitab Workspace. All you need to do is open a new file, select the SWOT Analysis template, and you're ready to go spend your time on the insights and analysis themselves.
To learn more about SWOT analyses, check out my blog with examples in healthcare, marketing, and more:
Save Setup Time with Process Mapping and Flow Chart Tools
We marketers love our charts. We build charts to visualize anything from conversion funnels and nurture campaigns, to maps of our ideal customer journey. Building charts and diagrams in PowerPoint is even more painful than building SWOT analyses, as you constantly copy/paste to rebuild and organize shapes, size and arrange arrows and lines, and experiment with whether to use "simple" text boxes or "Smart"Art. It all takes so much time.
Wouldn't you rather use that time to focus on developing ideas for getting potential customers into and through the funnel instead?
Minitab Workspace is built to accommodate complex process mapping, so using it is as easy as point, click, and build. In fact, we used Minitab Workspace to build a process that incorporates this blog as part of a product awareness campaign. Proof that it works: You’re reading this aren’t you? 😊
Prioritize Efforts with Kano Models
Now for a tool that might not be so familiar to you.
Marketers obsess about Net Promoter Scores - and they should! NPS is a valuable tool for understanding a customer's satisfaction with your products or services, as well as that customer's loyalty to your brand. But measurement is only part of the goal. We also need to know how to improve the scores by understanding why customers are so loyal to, or disappointed with, us. Enter Kano Models.
If you don’t know what the Kano Model is, I'm going to help you up your game. (Though chances are that if you're a marketer, you’ve probably been using Kano lingo without even knowing it.) Professor Noriaki Kano developed the Kano Model in Japan in the 1980s as part of his work researching customer expectations and the factors that contribute to their satisfaction and loyalty, with a goal of helping organizations categorize and prioritize improvement efforts. The Kano Model identifies five categories of reactions that potential customer may have to a new offering, ranging from dissatisfaction to excitement or "delight."
According to the Kano Model, product or service features can be grouped into categories, which can be incredibly valuable for marketers to consider that teams will want to create and develop:
Attractive = “Delighters”, the things that make you go, “oh wow how cool is that??” but if you didn’t have them, you probably wouldn’t notice. Apple has long been known for creating delighters. For example, the scroll wheel on the original iPod. You didn’t need a scroll wheel on music players, and wouldn’t have noticed if it didn’t have it, but once you DID have it, you LOVED it and it was what made the iPod special. For marketers, these are the things that you want to shout about from the rooftops.
Performance = The more the better. A phone that has 8 hours battery life is better than a phone that has 6 hours battery life. For marketers, these are the things that you probably only want to talk about if you’re best-in-class.
Must-be = “Table stakes”, the things that users expect you to have. Imagine a car manufacturer advertising that they have power windows. Um, great? Everyone else does too. These are the things that marketers probably shouldn’t talk about because it might just draw attention to the fact that you DIDN’T have this basic, expected feature before.
Indifferent = Unremarkable. No reason for marketers to talk about these, because no one cares.
Questionable = Illogical, like if someone said that they’d really like it if a toaster toasted bread and they’d really dislike it if a toaster toasted bread. What??
Reverse = Users like it when the feature is broken, or at best it’s a controversial feature. I once had a washing machine that played this 20-second jingle whenever it finished a load and I couldn’t figure out how to turn it off and it made me DESPISE that stupid washing machine. Obviously marketers should not talk about these features.
Ultimately, the value in using a Kano Model is to prioritize efforts by preventing time that might be wasted working on attributes that will leave customers indifferent or even displease them. Instead, teams can focus on identifying and developing the must-have features that will satisfy their customers' expectations, and on creating the true "wow factors" that will keep them coming back for more.
The diagram below is a sample Kano Model:
Now, here's an example to illustrate how the Kano Model could be applied.
Imagine you’re part of a restaurant's marketing team, and you're trying to understand how to differentiate the restaurant from its nearby competitors. To accomplish this, the team conducts a customer survey asking about some ideas of ways to increase satisfaction with dining experiences at the restaurant. The questions focus on the importance of seating availability, interest in readily available free bread, and whether offering free appetizers would be an attractive new feature.
Using the Kano Model in Minitab Workspace to analyze the survey results, you and your team discover that offering free appetizers will truly delight your customers and potentially help differentiate the restaurant.
With some practice, the Kano Model is a powerful and clear tool to help you prioritize your many opportunities. What better combination could you have to save time and focus on finding the answers to guide your marketing strategy?