We follow the Strategy Before Tactics™ philosophy that is central to the Duct Tape Marketing™ approach, both when consulting to clients and when running our own business. This means that before making any proposal or committing to any plan we must first understand each client’s specific needs so that we can formulate the strategy that is right for the given situation. Part of gaining this understanding includes how best to implement what we propose. We may offer choices for implementation, but the choices we offer will only be ones that serve clients’ needs. Part of the value we offer our clients is that we are a “voice of reason” in planning and implementing their Marketing Systems.
We provide flexibility for how we engage with clients to help them develop and tune their strategy, and also for how to carry out the tactics that put the strategy into play. Options range from clients implementing everything on their own (pure Coaching) to contracting Tylerica Systems to operate as a turn-key “Virtual Marketing Department” (pure Consulting). Of course, there is also the middle ground that we call “Collaborative Consulting” where the client handles some parts of the plan implementation and we handle other parts. We value flexibility, and we strive to provide this to our clients. So, it is important to us to chart courses that give options along the way. This allows clients to follow the general plan but change up how they actually implement it as their skills and needs change.
We will hold some of our meetings face-to-face, but much of what we do can be handled perfectly well via telephone, email, or on-line meetings that allow for more efficient use of our time. Some projects may be better served by incorporating an on-line project management and collaboration tool into our communications methods. If this is the case, we will implement such a tool and provide clients with some basic training in its use.
We document key findings and plans in emails, on project collaboration sites, or with brief reports, but we generally do not generate lengthy reports that take extra time (and therefore money) to compile and only sit on shelves. The exception to this is when we are specifically asked to write a detailed report and then that work will be planned and budgeted accordingly.
Our typical engagement starts with an incoming lead, typically from a referral or speaking engagement, but sometimes from other sources such as our website or advertising. Our first step is to contact the prospective client to confirm their interest and to learn a little about them. We then offer the client a complimentary Signature Brand Audit which is a great way for us to learn about the prospective client’s businesses while providing them a low-risk way to become comfortable with who we are and how we work. The Signature Brand Audit culminates with a one hour face-to-face meeting where we provide our observations about the prospective client’s current marketing, and we offer a few ideas about things that could be improved or added. If the prospective client would like to further explore working with us, we will schedule a follow-up meeting where we present a formal proposal.
Clients that sign to work with us may choose from a number of options, but the “sweet spot” is a program called “The Marketing Catalyst”, or “Catalyst” for short. This is a 12 session private collaborative consulting program carried out over 6 months. Each session is comprised of reading, exercises that produce actionable items, and discussion. The actionable items may be carried out by the client, or Tylerica Systems may be contracted to complete them as program “add-ons”. Once the program is complete, we can schedule periodic reviews and/or additional work items as needed.