Keeping Track of Promotion Allocations and Commitments
October 31, 2007
Last Revised: May 23, 2012 4:50 PM
Marketing is the key to our survival given that our technology of oral chelation and related health products works.
We have that technology -- oral chelation -- and we know it works. We also know that not enough OTHER people know that it works.
The job of Marketing is to disseminate our proven knowledge to those others so that they become certain, also, of the workability of our products, use those products to their own good results and tell others.
Marketing consists of many actions described in many Company Policies. The importance of MARKETING has been so obvious to me that I have actually written very MANY Company Policies that, if studied and applied SHOULD assure our success and expansion. Some of those are here:
Philosophy of Health Care
Marketing and Bulk Mail Out
Word Of Mouth Marketing
Creating Interest In Others
Collection Of Identities
The Vital History Of Our Success
Analysis Of Contribution of Web Sites To VSD
There are literally dozens of other Company Policies published on the web, available on your home PC with direction that can be applied to marketing activities. When and as the business stats are down, the executives in charge do NOT need to dream up some clever new policy, but to reread and apply those Policies that will be found to have been dropped out of daily thought and action.
The overall activity described here is "marketing" or "promotion." These activities must be planned WITHIN Company Policy, but also must be fueled with MONEY for the related costs of paper, printing, postage and outside services where we do not have the staff ourselves to implement some part of a marketing plan or campaign.
The incentive pay plan carefully allocates a percentage of weekly income to marketing and promotion plans and programs. There is an executive judgment of how much money should be allocated to marketing, but that judgment is normally within a range of a few percentage points, with 20% of CGI as the usual amount allocated for marketing.
It is a sin to fail to allocate money for marketing, but it is also a sin to allocate and not spend that money.
This Company Policy starts with an emphasis on the next above paragraph. A wonderful marketing campaign, even with money allocated out of current and future income, but where the money is not committed or spent means that the work for that campaign has stopped even though the plan was in place and the fuel to get it moving has been found and set aside for the campaign. The subjects of allocated and committed are vital to our marketing success, particularly in reference to the planned target date for expected results.
You can have a well-planned marketing campaign with many steps. Some of those steps may have included the assignment to an outside design firm for the production of a brochure, and the expectation of paying for printing and then postage to get the brochure sent out.
If the plan was brilliant and money set aside for the outside work, but the money was not committed or spent, the "outside work" which is mostly unseen within the Company, will not even start, the entire project will be delayed and fail. "No Money Equals No Marketing."
The person in charge of a marketing campaign MUST be sure he has the money allocated to meet the approved costs, but he must then also be sure it is committed and spent by the dates necessary to have the entire campaign move forward to completion without delay.
Failure to PLAN, failure to move forward ONLY when necessary money is assured of allocation, and then failure to spend that money -- these will each be found to be caused by failure to understand this and other Company Policies.
Failure to understand and apply Company Policy is often traced to not having even read it, but much more commonly traced to some word in a Policy that was not understood -- thus the very senior importance of the Policy that every staff member must become proficient in the technology of study, and specifically do the many electronic, interactive educational courses designed by Karl Loren. The first general reference that should be done by every staff member within a short time of arriving for work at Vibrant Life is HERE.
Company Policy, when issued, will generally be distributed to all staff members and applies to each of them, as may be described in that Policy. This distribution is facilitated via the Company Web Site. On the web version of Policies there is often found a "test icon" near the top of the page. If you click on that icon it takes you to pages for an electronic course on the words and meaning of the particular Policy which you are reading. This is highly recommended for any person reading any of these Policies. (source)
The actual courses are presented within a "Learning Management System" where you register as a student, select and do various courses -- here.
With this background of the importance of marketing and the related importance of allocating AND spending money for marketing, there is then need for a simple system of keeping track of various targets connected with any marketing plan or campaign. The full responsibility for "keeping track" of these targets, even on an Excel Spread sheet, published where any authorized staff member can review it, that is the central core of this Company Policy.
First there must be a written Marketing Program or Campaign which names the persons responsible for various parts of the campaign.
That Program or Campaign must include a projection of expected money costs for items such as printing, postage, outside services and such. This projection of money needed MUST also have exact dates by which time the particular target is DONE, including when an outside service is PAID or COMMITTED, then when it should be DONE.
Descriptions of projected targets for elements in the campaign and the money aspects are short but complete and include an exact target date and a "product" that can be measured when DONE.
Mr. Hubbard defines a “Product” as
A product is a finished high quality service or article in the hands of the being or group it serves as an exchange for a valuable. (Admin Dictionary) (source)
THIS Company Policy describes ONLY that part of a complete Marketing Plan or Campaign that has to do with the allocation and commitment (spending) of money. There is MUCH more needed for a full, written Marketing Plan, Program or Campaign.
My written references to "Programs" are not in final form, but can be found HERE for reference.
We do not have a formal "purchase order" system yet within Vibrant Life, but the less formal term, "commitment" should be clear to your understanding.
When we want to get something printed (as for a marketing campaign) there is always some usual method of making a commitment to some printing company. The commitment may be verbal, but SHOULD be in writing, even if it is as informal as an eMail winch refers to a verbal discussion.
A commitment does NOT need to be a disbursement, but could be.
In other words a printer who demands "cash in advance" could well consider a printing job to be "real" only when he gets the check.
Sometimes a "commitment" can be so vague that you feel you could 'back out of' whatever promise may have been made:
Mr. John Printer, you have the job to print 5,000, four-color, heavy paper, the design you already have, and deliver them to us by October 23, 2007, our delivered cost of $4,500 "as soon as I give you the final 'go ahead' by eMail."
In a legal sense this is not a formal commitment, but it may be enough to get a printer started working on the job without the final commitment. We cannot afford to use this method lightly and be seen as backing out of promises made.
The FIRST item in this "track system" is the CGI for each week from which a Financial Planning Committee has decided that a marketing percentage allocation should be made.
You could have, for instance, a "marketing campaign" that is targeted to "start on Saturday, October 6, 2007, but the Financial Planning Committee may have also decided to allocate money from the CGI for the week ending Friday September 28, 2007, when the CGI was $18,000.
Since weekly CGI would always be based on a "week ending Friday," the SECOND week of CGI that could be allocated would be for the Friday,end of week, October 6, 2007.
The allocations from each week's CGI could be different, or the same. For purposes of illustration I'll use a fixed percentage of 20% of CGI each week for allocation to marketing.
"Allocation" does NOT mean either committed or spent -- it is held in our cash accounts until disbursed and it is considered "available for marketing purpose only" until "committed."
If the marketing division is lazy and fails to plan a campaign, even when money is allocated for the campaign, the Financial Planning Committee can remove the money allocated for marketing and assign it to some other place.
Vibrant Life has a business checking account with the name "marketing" at Cal Nat bank. We can and should "allocate" money each week, from the CGI, and based on a FP Committee decision, into this account. It could be committed by any system that is easy enough and accurate enough. The Excel Spread Sheet attached to this Company Policy is designed to keep track of those allocations and commitments.
Once money is allocated the "commitment" could be in the form of a formal "purchase order" or informal "eMail, but must only and always be approved in writing by the person in charge of the campaign AND, as ordered possibly by the ED.
That commitment should then be entered into the "tracking system" to show that some amount of the allocated and available funds (not yet committed) is now committed and not available for any other use, even if the cash has not been disbursed.
"Disbursements" or "expenditures" mean ONLY that the money has been removed from the control of Vibrant Life, and is no longer in the bank account.
If a marketing item is "paid" with our business Amex Card, it is formally committed but still not disbursed from our checking account until we pay the Amex charge -- that would often be some 30 days later.
Normally the Marketing Campaign I/C will not be concerned with disbursement. That would be an action and date selection by the Treasurer, and would be based on the due date for the credit card statement and the flow of cash. (Even when money is allocated for marketing and physically moved into the "marketing checking account" it is still within our power to take money out of any account for any purpose, and to put money into any account, from any other location without informing a Marketing Campaign I/C. That is the province of the ED and Treasurer.
If some outside supplier insists on actual check payment before he feels committed, the Marketing Campaign I/C may request (CSW) the disbursement from Treasury.
An important part of any organization and also of any executives skills is the ability to predict -- generally and specifically for income and expenses.
The percentage of CGI allocated for marketing is based on actual "in the bank" money, not projections of future money. However, a good executive can "plan" income just as he plans expenses. The Marketing Campaign I/C should be predicting future income so that he can, in the same vein, predict future CGI and therefore even predict how much marketing money might be allocated each week for several weeks into the future.
He cannot "commit" money for future expenses when that money has not yet become real in-the-bank money.
But, he can spend some time planning "what if" marketing.
Within the general marketing campaign, he may have an approved commitment for printing 10,000 brochures, including the cost of postage and handling them. He may even feel very confident, from past experience, in predicting the type of response he will get and the general profitability of the campaign:
The Marketing Campaign plans to expend $14,000 for printing, postage and handling a mailing to a purchased list of 10,000 names. Based on past experience with the same source of names, this mailing should produce sales within 90 days of $90,000, on which our usual net profit will be $20,000.
IF WE HAD an extra $10,000 to spend we could increase that mailing to 25,000 names (a less expensive per mailing cost) and increase our sales to $225,000 with an expected net profit of $ 50,000.
The Marketing Campaign I/C will keep track of actual CGI figures for each week which will be used to contribute allocations for this campaign, but will also predict how much may become available for the Campaign.
He may see a "sales trend" developing which suggests a larger than original budget or a smaller than original budget for an adjustment in allocations for the Campaign. (He may well have to compete with other staff members who expected to use those larger than usual sales figures to be used for THEIR project.
The illustrative tracking system presented here does not include all the date targets and campaign step completion dates that should be kept track of by the Marketing Campaign I/C.
Click here for that illustrative tracking system. You will probably be asked to provide your access code: userid: staff, password: 12345. When you wish to leave, click the X (close button). This spread sheet, initially, will NOT allow you to edit the form. The work sheet is in the "protected mode" and requires a password to "unprotect" the sheet.
Better you should download the form, get the password for changing the "protection" status, and revise it or use it locally.
Quotes from L. Ron Hubbard are copyright 1994 © by the L. Ron Hubbard Library. All rights reserved.