Graham McGregor 's Opinion

A weekly marketing column by Graham McGregor

Graham McGregor: The 1 per cent marketing solution

Add a comment
Chris Froome climbs in the last km of the Mt Ventoux in last year's Tour de France. TTeam Sky has won two tours - with a focus on small, incremental gains across a number of areas. Photo / AP
Chris Froome climbs in the last km of the Mt Ventoux in last year's Tour de France. TTeam Sky has won two tours - with a focus on small, incremental gains across a number of areas. Photo / AP

I read an interesting article a few days by James Clear.

James writes a wonderful blog on health and business success that I really enjoy reading.

Here's the start of James article...

This Coach Improved Every Tiny Thing by 1 Per cent and Here's What Happened...

In 2010, Dave Brailsford faced a tough job.

No British cyclist had ever won the Tour de France, but as the new General Manager and Performance Director for Team Sky (Great Britain's professional cycling team), that's what Brailsford was asked to do.

His approach was simple.

Brailsford believed in a concept that he explained as the "1 per cent margin for improvement in everything you do." His belief was that if you improved every area related to cycling by just 1 per cent, then those small gains would add up to remarkable improvement.

They started by optimising the things you might expect: the nutrition of riders, their weekly training program, the ergonomics of the bike seat, and the weight of the tires.

But Brailsford and his team didn't stop there.

They searched for 1 per cent improvements in tiny areas that were overlooked by almost everyone else: discovering the pillow that offered the best sleep and taking it with them to hotels, testing for the most effective type of massage gel, and teaching riders the best way to wash their hands to avoid infection.

They searched for 1 per cent improvements everywhere.

Brailsford believed that if they could successfully execute this strategy, then Team Sky would be in a position to win the Tour de France in five years time.

He was wrong. They won it in three years.

In 2012, Team Sky rider Sir Bradley Wiggins became the first British cyclist to win the Tour de France. That same year, Brailsford coached the British cycling team at the 2012 Olympic Games and dominated the competition by winning 70 per cent of the gold medals available.

In 2013, Team Sky repeated their feat by winning the Tour de France again, this time with rider Chris Froome. Many have referred to the British cycling feats in the Olympics and the Tour de France over the past 10 years as the most successful run in modern cycling history.

James's article went on to explain how looking for consistent 1 per cent improvements could have a profound impact on many parts of your life.

After reading the article it occurred to me that the same 1 per cent improvement concept could easily be applied to marketing.

So what we look for are dozens of different opportunities to make a 1 per cent improvement in our various marketing activities.

For instance, we could improve the way we use testimonials in our marketing by at least 1 per cent.

For some people this could mean they talk to one happy client a month on the phone. And ask this person what they like the product or service they purchased and why they would highly recommend it. Then put this positive feedback on their website. You will now have 12 new positive testimonials a year and that will improve your testimonials by at least 1 per cent.

You could easily improve your quotes and proposals by at least 1 per cent.

Just include 2-3 glowing testimonials from delighted customers with every quote or proposal you give to potential new clients.

You could easily improve the way your existing clients remember you by at least 1 per cent.

Just send ten clients this week a short hand-written note in the mail saying that you appreciate their business and wish them a positive year ahead.

You could easily improve your sales presentations by 1 per cent.

Just ask one extra question when talking to potential customers.

This could be something as simple as 'why is that important to you?'

Now a 1 per cent improvement in one part of marketing is quite simple to do.

And when you make dozens of tiny improvements like this the increases in your overall results can be spectacular.

'To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.'

Winston Churchill

Action Exercise:

What 1 per cent improvement in your marketing can you make this week?


Graham McGregor is a marketing consultant and the creator of the 396 page 'Unfair Business Advantage Report.' www.theunfairbusinessadvantage.com (This is free and has now been read by business owners from 27 countries.) You can email him at the link below.

Graham McGregor

A weekly marketing column by Graham McGregor

Have your say

We aim to have healthy debate. But we won't publish comments that abuse others. View commenting guidelines.

1200 characters left

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n3 at 15 Jul 2014 03:59:09 Processing Time: 1288ms