September 18, 2023

Clown Show

How do you know if your business strategy qualifies as a "Clown Show"?

Well, that term is a bit harsh. Let's not say something nasty.

You can find plenty of businesses that are mismanaged, however.

  • No program to quickly convert a first-time buyer to a second purchase. This is the period when you can make the biggest difference in the trajectory of your relationship with the customer.
  • A fundamental misunderstanding of how sales are generated. One company I worked with craves customer relationships - and doesn't have many of them - they sell stuff the customer simply doesn't need very often. Management simply does not understand that the customer does not need what the brand sells very often. It would be like if your microwave broke, you bought a new one at Best Buy, and then Best Buy sent you incessant messages encouraging you to purchase another microwave ... just a fundamental misunderstanding of how sales are generated.
  • Now a diversified marketing portfolio. You'll see this in Customer Acquisition counts, where two sources account for 85% or more of new names.
  • Too few unattributed new customers. When a brand tracks 80% or more of all new customers to a source, the brand has no "word of mouth". That's a bad thing. It means the brand does nothing that causes prospects to talk.
  • < 25% of sales come from email marketing. Yup, that's a problem. Your email marketing program should be your primary vehicle for having a relationship with a customer (with socials being second). It's even worse if < 25% of sales come from email marketing and the brand sends 2-3 "blasts" per day.
  • Declining sales from new items (new in the past year). A sure sign of mismanagement and a fundamental misunderstanding of how success is derived over time.

Maybe a business that possesses these attributes isn't technically a "clown show". But it is mismanaged.

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