What do ‘Supernanny’, Gordon Ramsey and excellent marketing have in common?

OK. Here it is.

“My name is Chris Jenkins and I have a guilty TV pleasure.”

I’m fascinated with the program Supernanny where Jo Frost takes seemingly uncontrollable children and turns them into well behaved cherubs over the course of an episode.

I am captivated by the way that the kids can change so much over such a short period of time. It left me wondering, how on earth does she do it? Is it witchcraft? Does she slip something into their bedtime milk?

Having watched a few episodes, the secret to her success struck me like a Teddy bear being hurled across the room (Episode 7).

All she does is implement a system for the kids to follow where good behaviour is rewarded and bad behaviour carries a specific set of consequences that are always followed up on.

Sounds blindingly obvious?

It really is that simple. Bad behaviour is followed by a seat on the naughty step. Good behaviour means a trip to the park.

Look at other TV experts that turn around seemingly impossible situations and one begins to see a pattern emerging of simply implementing a system and following it.

“Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares.” What does he do? Follows a system: Cuts down the menu to a few simple fairly technically straight forward dishes, switches to fresh local ingredients, makes the place look a bit more inviting and then wheels in the hungry customers to judge the results.

Great marketing follows exactly the same principles.

No matter what business you are in, B2B or B2C, find a system to follow and follow it.

For example: In our old property business, our system started with running advertorials in the evening newspaper. The call to action was to request a “free information pack” from our website.

The information pack was followed up by gentle, non-sales orientated emails and letters. The success of this system was phenomenal but it didn’t come straight away.

There were a fair few marketing activities that were tested but didn’t work. Yet because of a scientific, systematic approach we were able to analyse their success, reasons for failure and either drop them, or run them again with a different message.

The role of great marketing professionals should always be to find that system that works as quickly and cost effectively as possible.

Once the system is found, just run it over and over again so you can make it more and more efficient over time. When selecting new marketing mediums to test out for your own system, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Will the marketing medium really reach my target audience?

  2. Is there an easy way of tracking how successful it is?

  3. Is there a trial rate that I could negotiate?

  4. Can I talk to people who have used this type of marketing before?

  5. Am I willing to test this new method knowing that it might not achieve the desired result?

Only if you are satisfied with the outcome of each question should you then go on to start thinking about your message, copy etc.

Then, armed with the relevant steps required, you can start to build your own phenomenally successful marketing system, that can automate your sales process, turn around failing restaurants and stop children from drawing on freshly painted walls.