Monthly Archives: July 2010

Lessons learned: building on success with marketing post-project reviews

Lessons Learned: Building On Success With Marketing Post-Project Reviews

In business as in life, learning from our mistakes and successes is the best way to improve. As marketing consultants, the most informative feedback comes from our clients. That’s why formal project reviews are one of the best ways for marketing consultants to get better at what they do.

Post-project reviews (PPRs) also give your clients an opportunity to share their perspectives on what went right and what went wrong over the course of a project. Every client wants to be heard, and a client who knows that you value his or her feedback is more likely to appreciate your professionalism and recommend you to peers.

While it’s important to hear from your clients, you’ll also want to take an objective, internal look at your own performance and that of your team members. It may be hard to step back and objectively evaluate your own work, but doing so provides valuable lessons you can use to provide even better service on your next job.

Get Your Client’s Perceptions

Plan ahead for your project assessment by including it as the last step on your initial project timeline. Letting your clients know that they’ll have a chance to provide feedback once a job is complete gives them a chance to think through their feedback ahead of time, and demonstrates how strongly you value your client’s opinion of your work.

Once you’ve delivered your marketing product, set up a formal assessment meeting with your client. Be sure to invite all the key stakeholders in the project, such as the project manager and account manager who were involved in the job.

Your first goal is to evaluate your client’s overall level of satisfaction of your performance. Have both general and specific questions prepared, such as:

- Did you meet the client’s marketing or project goals?

- What did the client think of your process overall?

- Did you communicate effectively with the client? (Drill down to details by asking how they felt about your weekly status e-mails, meetings, the approval process, and other process specifics.)

- Is there anything the client would ask you to do differently if he or she had a chance to start over?

Next, hone in on your client’s perceptions of you and your team. Specifically, find out if the client felt that:

- His questions were answered completely

- Your team members responded to his requests in a timely manner

- Problems were resolved fully and to his satisfaction

- The quality of your work met his expectations

- There were any areas where your team fell down on the job

Ask for specific recommendations on how to improve upon your deliverables, processes or the customer service you provide. And be sure to take these suggestions to heart when it’s time to begin your next engagement.

Afterward, thank the client with an e-mail, note or gift, depending on the depth of your relationship and the size of the project. Let the client know how much you appreciate working with him and value his honest opinion.
Take a Look Inward

While your client’s feedback is extremely valuable, your own internal assessment of your work is equally important. After the wrap-up meeting with your client, take some time to meet with your own team to conduct a project review. Talk about what went right and wrong, with a goal of learning from this project and ensure 100 percent client satisfaction on your next job.

First, take a look at how you handled the financial side of the job. Did you go over the budget in any areas? If so, why? How accurate were your estimates? Did parts of the project require re-work, and if so, what was the financial impact? What could you do differently next time to ensure that your estimates more closely align with project realities?

Assess how the project grew and evolved from start to finish. Did the scope of the initiative change? If so, were you able to capture, track and bill for the additional time spent? How can you predict or account for similar scope changes when estimating for future projects?

Next, it’s time to get personal and examine the performance and service levels provided by yourself and your team. Ask your team members to help you list three things that went right with this engagement, as well as three things the team could do better on next time.

Think about what you’ve learned about project management. Were you able to book resources at the right times? Did you keep the project on schedule and deliver by deadline? If not, why? Were these factors within your control? When scheduling the next project, how can you build in extra time to address similar setbacks that might arise?

Your internal project evaluation is also a good time to spruce up any standardized template documents you consistently use. Think about the lessons you’ve learned from this engagement, and try to incorporate any new information into these documents that might help you better manage client expectations or improve your performance next time.

Finally, conclude the meeting by reviewing your client’s post-project feedback. Honestly evaluate the outcomes, both positives and negatives, and share ideas for how to avoid making the same mistakes twice. But be sure to also talk about the successes, and congratulate your team – and yourself – for a job well-done.

Increase profits and growth by adding knowledge for your stakeholders

Increase Profits and Growth by Adding Knowledge for Your Stakeholders

Provide knowledge-development for stakeholders, and you have a much more vibrant strategy. For example, immigrant communities in developed countries often pool excess funds to stake entrepreneurs to start small businesses, which often employ some of these same immigrants. Think of these pools of capital as being like fish ponds.

In the process, immigrants learn entrepreneurial and work skills that provide them more ways to earn a living. The successes the borrowers and their workers enjoy with this learning create even more funds, which can be reinvested for other purposes and other harvests.

More recently, this capital-and-human-talent-improvement-pool concept has been applied within some rural parts of the developing world by the Grameen bank in Bangladesh to provide micro credit. To get some sense of what is involved, begin by realizing that a typical loan is less than $100. That size was way too small for the overhead of an existing bank business model to afford. How could such small sums be profitably provided?

The bank was founded in 1976 as an experiment, and went on to become regularly government chartered with ownership held 90 percent by the saver/borrowers and 10 percent by the government. Local community savers are happy to provide the time and expertise to decide who gets the loans and to oversee their repayment, much like the dolphin experiment volunteers do for Earthwatch.

Often, farms and homes are improved with these loans, and local businesses are established as well. These investments in turn help not only the borrowers, but also those who are employed by the borrowers or sell goods to them. Because the decision to give credit usually involves most of a village or small community, borrowers are most anxious to repay both because of social pressure and their desire to be deemed creditworthy in the future.

As a result, default rates have been unexpectedly low considering that these are almost all “character” loans without collateral. According to the Grameen bank, the default rate has been as low as 5 percent. A default is counted after the loan is more than 2 years delinquent in payments. Bangladesh is subject to horrible floods and storms, and default rates usually grow after these natural disasters occur.

Not being satisfied with the single harvest that providing capital makes possible, the Grameen bank seeks to teach its borrowers and owners how to ensure future economic success in other ways. For example, borrowers are encouraged to plant more vegetables than their families can eat and sell the excess.

The bank’s other principles relate to important lessons for better living such as encouraging the use of clean water and sanitary facilities to limit disease; repairing and building better homes; helping one another when trouble arises; avoiding capital-draining dowries; and keeping family size and expenses down.

Most significantly, the bank puts a high emphasis on helping children acquire and pay for an education so that new kinds of human and economic harvests can be created in the future. In essence, these educational activities are also indirectly providing a base for finding and implementing new business models in the future that will provide multiple harvests as well.

With all of these ways to cast bread upon the waters and build a better tomorrow, you can see that there exist many opportunities to create hybrid business models from these successes. Consequently, these new business models will ensure even larger harvests by expanding the community of those who can imagine better ways to create them.

Copyright 2009 Donald W. Mitchell, All Rights Reserved

I'm 25 and i own acne

I'm 25 and I own acne. What is the best product?

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How to become a successful artist

How To Become A Successful Artist

There are a number of people who have the talent to be able to draw a portrait of somebody or to paint a beautiful picture of the landscape. Having this gift is not always enough to make a career out of it. You need to have the passion and the smarts required for business. Luckily these are things that you can learn through experience and some helpful advice.

The best way to create a name for yourself is to have your own artwork that is unique to you. Everybody has talent – but frequently we should heighten that raw gift and expand upon it. Search for universities that are in your region and go for an undergraduate program in art. You need to be taking studio classes and cover any technical info that will aid you to understand new techniques.

Try to accumulate slides of your best artwork. Try to provide a assortment of paintings, drawings, and pictures if you have them. A number of undergraduate programs will want you to provide a portfolio along with the application to the school.

While you are in school attempt to make yourself well-known and look at other more popular artworks. Visit art galleries and look at what people love the most. Look at the colors, patterns, and landscape paintings. Apply this to your work – but make it unique to you.

Along with art classes you must also apply for a business class. This will assist you to understand how to manage a business of your own. It also helps to put this on your resume when you are looking for a job in an art gallery or other places. Be sure that you supply any job with your artwork portfolio.

How to get free product samples on the internet

How to Get Free Product Samples on the Internet

How to get free product samples on the internet. A free product sample is a portion of food or other product which is given out in shopping malls, grocery stores, and other venues. Sometimes samples of non-perishable items are included in direct marketing mailings. The purpose of free samples is to acquaint the consumer with a new product. Free product samples are a marketing tool to advertise something. The concept of a free sample is not unlike that of a test drive, in that a customer is able to try out a product before purchasing it. Many websites like http://www.mysavings.com offer free samples from companies.

Internet shoppers use the web to find free samples of products from companies. These offers are a great way to save money as they allow you to ‘try it before you buy it’. This is a great way to cut down on unnecessary spending, compare a new product against one you usually buy and discover new items you really can use.

Because manufacturers are anxious for you to try and then regularly use a product, many couple online offers for free samples with coupons. These promotions are especially good money-savers and help you make a decision on a purchase.

There are many distinct types of online coupons such as Free coupons, available shipping, first-time client coupons, and available giveaways. In grocery, with regard to printable coupons, a voucher is the stake pace that the issuer pays the grocery store

Print Coupons and Save ! Enjoy free samples, free product samples, food coupons, printable restaurant vouchers are all forms of printable retail store marketing

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