Dr. Dorian Quinn owns a NutriMost franchise in Portland, Oregon and makes investments every day, in time, in money—even in emotion. When he makes an investment, he expects a return—something of greater value than when he started—that will make his business better.
Each investment a business owner like Dr. Quinn makes is intended to improve the business, in one way or another, and sometimes these owners don’t know where to make the best investment. Without direction, it’s a guess—call it intuition or experience—and good business depends on getting it right.
Investing in Communications
One of the biggest investments for any business is in the communications it needs to reach its customers: all of the different ways a business can reach its target in its market. Some of the channels will reach your customers—and some will not—but all of them will cost something: time, money, or emotion.
As Dr. Quinn shared, “When you’re a small business or an entrepreneur, you check out a lot of things and you try a lot of things. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don’t, but at least you checked it out.” This is a commonly adopted strategy of many businesses: trial-and-error.
With each attempt the business owner asks themselves, at one point or another, “Is what we are doing working? Are we reaching our customers? Are we really prepared to compete in an overcrowded marketplace?”
When Dr. Quinn answered these queries objectively, the answer was, “I don’t know.”
Know your score on The Market Ready Index™
The Market Ready Index™ (MRI) is a best-practices evaluation program designed by practicing communications experts and educators, developed by Ideahaus. Based on these best practices, the MRI Report measures a business’ current communications against the best practices from all types of communications—Branding, Marketing, Advertising, Design, Internet, Social Media, Multimedia, Public Relations, Events, and Sales—to generate a score.
“With the MRI score, the fact that you’re looking at 11 different areas—things I hadn’t even thought about—that was useful,” said Dr. Quinn. “It’s good to know where I’m starting from so I know where to go to. I could see where my weakest links are, and then I can start to work on that.”
As Dr. Quinn notes, one of the major benefits of the MRI is the educational component—providing business owners with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions. The MRI Report is designed to help clients prepare for long-term success by expanding their knowledge and understanding of communications, all while producing short-term results for improving their channels of communications.
“For me, [my social media score] really jumped out,” Dr. Quinn said. “‘Events’ were low too, but what’s easier to get started on? Even though I knew both were lacking, it gave me a focus on where to start first. So I can look at that and say, ‘If I was going to put money into something, where can I start?’”
Each section of the report includes the scores, as well as the details of the issues identified: positive, negative, distinct advantages, and missed opportunities.
Ideahaus Communications Director Kevin Popovic explains, “Ongoing reporting from similar businesses provides ongoing knowledge. Combining like business scores creates an average score which shows how one business compares to other. Then, we take this data one step further to create a ‘target score,’ a metric that shows a business where they should be performing to achieve their goals.”
Dr. Quinn adds, “We’ve always been piecemealing it—you’re in one place at a time. We don’t know what we don’t know. I didn’t realize how much I didn’t know. [Through the MRI Reporting], I learned how involved marketing and advertising really is, and I like the idea of seeing where I am, where the average is, and where the target is.”
Engaging knowledgeable Consultants
With a report completed, the staff at Ideahaus worked with Dr. Quinn to discuss the issues identified and the options for each. Using GoTo Meeting technology, meetings were face-to-face to review the report, share screens, analyze samples, and interact just like we were in the same room. By investing in Consulting, Dr. Quinn was able to get all of his questions answered by people with different expertise, allowing him to make informed decisions that turned issues into action items.
“Most people who own franchises, they’re small business owners, entrepreneurs, and they’re wearing a lot of hats at the same time,” Dr. Quinn said. “You guys are much deeper, more sophisticated than what they’re used to, and the initial threshold in that is higher than what most people want to do because they don’t think it applies to them. But it does—why not think like a big business and get results like a big business?”
“My [Ideahaus Project Manager] is always updating me,” Dr. Quinn shared. “[Other agencies] I worked with were great guys, they’re very personable, but it was still kind of old-fashioned stuff. [Ideahaus] has Basecamp in place, where I can go any time I want and get an update, and I can interact with Ideahaus people. We can all work and make progress at our own pace. For me, that’s a huge thing, but again, people don’t realize that until they get into it.”
Professional Services for Everything
From there, Dr. Quinn moved into Services—executing those action items, changes, and improvements identified throughout Reporting and Consulting in Basecamp.
“I worked with another ad agency, and they were very nice, but it was the same message over and over and over again. The old messages didn’t relate to people, and the impact did start to go down,” Dr. Quinn said. “They didn’t have the production quality [of Ideahaus].
“The fact that this program was customized and it was emotional, that’s what really drew me in,” Dr. Quinn revealed. “It’s the quality of the new material that really sticks out. The ‘Because’ campaign has been consistent. It resonates with people more. Our own patients have their own ‘because.’ I think that’s one of the better parts of all this for me, is having that.”
After expanding his knowledge of communications and better understanding how they work together, Dr. Quinn needed a plan for moving forward. Ideahaus developed a Communications Plan that demonstrated how his communications would work together, with his media, to reach his target audience by using messages from our creative department.
“We not only learn what we need to do better, but then [the Ideahaus team] can alleviate the weaknesses that we don’t want to do,” Dr. Quinn said. “I don’t want to do social media. I don’t want to handle events. I want to have things ready and have somebody who can plug it all in for me really easily. It’s hard to appreciate it until you’re into it, though.”
The tangible return of the investment
“Even though you’re little, you still want to make money like the big guys. I invested in this program, and I found my ROI in the MRI,” Dr. Quinn explained. “The program has been great. The people are professional, they know what they’re doing, and they provide very consistent, timely updates, so that’s been really good.”
Ideahaus has provided clients Communications Planning, Creative Development, and Account Services since 1990. With studios in Pittsburgh and San Diego, Ideahaus can service clients of all types across the United States.
“The main piece of it is peace of mind,” Dr. Quinn continued. “Ideahaus has a whole system—and it’s streamlined, not just random. This is going to be a different approach than most businesses are used to. So people are not going to realize the benefit until afterwards. I know that’s what they’re going to think because that’s what I thought, but I wanted to see where it would go, and I’m really happy I did.”
Get your score on the Market Ready Index™
Visit the Market Ready Index website to learn more about this program, or contact us to discuss how our program can help your business can find the ROI in MRI.