I am looking forward to the next Monday. It’s our May 16 debut trial of our COMPAS workshop - a way of giving entrepreneurs a practical approach to marketing strategies that will move their enterprise toward success. The trial takes place near our office in Kingston, N.Y. If you can participate, I urge you to apply. If you cannot, consider another date: we will be rolling out our calendar soon.
For decades me and my colleagues have helped many clients realize remarkable success using PR, promotion, advertising and other communications tools. Like thousands of others in PR and marketing communications agencies did this with sound goal definition, well-aimed affordable and executable strategies, and step-by-step execution.
For years I was frustrated seeing so many entrepreneurs with marketing program that are either stuck or waffling about spending good money and getting static, even declining results. These were often friends, definitely smart, energetic principals in start-ups, micro family businesses or even healthy small businesses.
They either could not afford a strategic agency and did the best they could on their own. Many would rely on specialty tactics of favored suppliers year after year. What once worked was less and less effective as markets changed. Their vendors couldn’t help. Their loyal radio, TV, and newspaper sales reps, well, were stuck selling time and space.
Enough is Enough
I realized that the techniques that work for the big outfits can be put to work for small, micro businesses, as well as not-for-profit groups who in this economy are challenged as never before.
It was my frustration that led to the creation of COMPAS, an acronym for Creative Opportunity Mapping Planning and Strategy.
The name (created by friend and colleague Gretchen Reed when she was on the JMC staff ) says a lot about the depth and power of this approach. The procedures have been improved and fine tuned by another friend and business partner in COMPAS, Marjorie McCord.
The remarkable potential of COMPAS is, in fact, embedded in the name.
* Creative - there are few personality types with the energy, resilience and raw creativity as entrepreneurs! just get into a room of entrepreneurs, and you don’t need electricity. It’s in the air. Frankly, the best creative group in the most prestigious blue chip ad agencies cannot compare to ideas emanating from business owners around the table, working a problem.
* Opportunity Mapping - Experience has shown me that businesses often have multiple “opportunities” they can tap into and spirit forward. Too often, leaders are consumed running their businesses, schedule killing real world demands. The process of going through internal developments, external conditions in the marketplace, changing trends affecting customers, and so forth is what marketers do. With a mix of cross-functional team brainstorming and critical thinking — brought to the party by fellow entrepreneurs, any one of us can generate a bucket of opportunities.
* Planning and Strategy - If my business friends can fill a bucket of opportunities, and then sort and prioritize the TOP opportunities, I have no doubt that with the right planning they can realize the benefits of the opportunities in front of them, one after the other. To accomplish this takes planning and strategy. What opportunities are the low-hanging fruit? Which of them deserve to the placed in the slow cooker, nurtured a while and then brought forth? Just getting our entrepreneurs to step away from multitasking and focus is a challenge.
Thus the workshop format. We will put you at a table with a mix of non-competitive fellow entrepreneurs, get each of you to pause, think, identify and then — in an atmosphere of supportive camaraderie fine tune the opportunities and the way you will go about realizing them. Our patience is short: we are looking to 3-4 month effects. Our scope is practical: your plans must be executable. You will end having identified the steps that you will commit to going forward.
To the degree that your workshop experience needs expertise from our world of marketing, advertising, PR, promotions — whether in print, video or digital — we’ll be on hand to provide experience and guidance.
The goal is to leave with at least one great opportunity you will and can pursue in the next 90-120 days to help drive your success.
You can find more information about COMPAS at our Web site. Also, please feel free to contact us with any questions. We are working with a growing team of collaborators. JMC and the Hudson Valley Center for Innovation (HVCFI) will be scheduling more workshops. And sponsorship includes DragonSearch Marketing and Ryan & Ryan Insurance Brokers.