The following guest post comes from John Joss, a regular commenter here at TAC
Having seen, read and enjoyed the earlier TAC book, I willingly signed up to receive the new, expanded and improved edition. Imagine my disappointment, then, when after three attempts to execute the 'order' I found that there was no apparent, obvious way to send it.
This failure to devise a complete system that works end to end and would enable a person to become a 'customer' is symptomatic of the current trends in sales, marketing, advertising and communications in general: the failure to devise an effective, bullet-proof system for delivering to customers and assuring their long-term satisfaction. If there is any one single essential to business success, it revolves around the painstaking process of devising, executing and nurturing fully integrated systems for turning prospects into customers, recalling the age-old dictum that a customer is someone who buys again (first-time buyers are often mere tire kickers).
The agency bears responsibility in the creation of the sales system. The key account people, from the CD on down to the designer(s), the writer(s), the media buyer(s) and even the receptionist should have a close, involved understanding of the client's key staff, products, services, needs and SOPs. If anything is lacking, it must be identified and fixed (just as, in context, TAC needs to fix his book-ordering process).
This takes time, trouble and expense but the beautiful part about it is that it works, regardless of the client, the product or service, the market and the customers. It has been time-tested as the single most effective way to turn buyers into customers.
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TAC appreciates and welcomes guest bloggers. It's hard writing this thing every day.