It’s been almost five days since we concluded our projects in Arequipa. After we finished, five of the Symantec Service Corps traveled to Cusco, Perú to visit Machu Picchu. Three days later, I’m the only SSC team member left in Perú—all have traveled home or are on vacation in other countries—and I’m sitting at a Starbucks overlooking the Plaza de Armas reflecting back on our project work at Paz Perú.
First, I have to give great credit to the Symantec Service Corps team that worked on the Paz Perú project—Joe Ferrar from EMEA, Alicia Pereira Pimentel from BDA (living in Brussels), and Ashley Savageau from Corporate Responsibility who led the Symantec Service Corps project. I’ve worked with many talented people in my career and I have no hesitation in saying that these three are some of the best—incredibly sharp marketers, committed, passionate, responsible, and a lot of fun to be with. We often ate our breakfast at the hotel early before being picked up at 8:30am. In Perú, most eat lunch at 1pm. We were typically starving by 11am. Joe started a trend of making a sandwich at breakfast and bringing it to Paz Perú. We all took his lead and began a tradition of “sandwich time” at 11am (which Joe referred to as “elevensies”). We often asked ourselves “is it 11am yet?” To give our brains a break, we started watching various comedy clips on YouTube during sandwich time—like Eddie Izzard’s Death Star Canteen (“this one’s wet; this one’s wet; did you dry these in a rain forest?”). We often had to shut the door as our laughter got fairly loud and we didn’t want to disturb the office workers. I will very much miss our “elevensies.”
Our client at Paz Perú openly accepted us as part of their family, which made us feel even more committed to them and we readily got information to define a clear scope and deliver strong results. Paz Perú is a complex organization—they have multiple services that help at-risk children of Arequipa including a shelter for girls who have been physically and psychologically abused (“Casa Isabella”), a low-cost healthcare clinic (“Policlínico”), low-cost orthodontry (“Clinica Odontológico”), low-cost housing (“Sonrisos”), solar water heaters (“SwissSol”) and a clothing manufacturing division (“Confeccionnes Suiza Perú Textile Paz Perú). Paz Perú is a self-sustaining NGO, meaning they take profits from their businesses and use them to help the local community. They receive low-cost loans from a Swiss Federation to help maintain their services but they pay those loans back. Paz Perú is in the process of opening a new factory that would enable them to increase capacity of their clothing manufacturing business by three times. It was our job to produce a marketing strategy and plan to help them drive new business to this new factory.
In our first week, we discovered that a local consultant created a business strategy for Paz Perú that included marketing strategies. We reviewed it in detail and realized it was quite strong, but very high level. Unless you were an experienced marketer, you wouldn’t really know where to begin.
We shifted our focus to transforming that high-level strategy into a marketing execution plan. In order for that plan to work, Paz Perú had to hire a marketer who would be 100% focused on executing the plan. We learned that they were going to hire two more sales people and we advised them to focus one sales person on only getting new customers and allow the second sales person to focus on nurturing the existing customers. We felt immediate success when the CEO of Paz Perú told us that they planned to do exactly that. I’m not sure whether it was “cause and effect” or just “great minds” but we were excited to hear the news as it meant there was hope our execution plan would actually be executed.
Marketing Execution Plan with a full year of marketing programs
Our first deliverable was a concise and very actionable marketing plan. We defined four objectives and set criteria for success—how would Paz Perú know that they successfully achieved that objective?
As we looked into the primary position and messaging around the clothing manufacturing business, we found complete confusion—multiple different logos, different ways of talking about the business, and a lengthy name (6 words in the name: Confeccionnes Suiza Perú Textile Paz Perú). We decided to propose a simplification and after doing a competitive analysis and talking with current customers, we recommended that Paz Perú focus only on the clothing business first and foremost with potential clients, simplify the name, and simplify the division’s logo. We delivered a positioning recommendation and key messages.
“How To…” documentation
From the start, the Paz Peru team told us that they wanted to learn how to do specific marketing processes so that they could apply them to their other businesses.
In that light and to make sure they could execute the plan we outlined, we created a few “how to” documents for the team and walked them through each one:
- How to create a marketing plan
- How to measure ROI
- How to leverage social media
- How to run a Quarterly Business Review for marketing and sales
Program briefs for selected critical programs
There were several programs that were critically important to execute—those that took advantage of the Peruvian culture of a “word of mouth” way of doing business (referrals and case studies), customer engagement (awards program) and those that were not good investments at this stage of the clothing manufacturing business (in our opinion). We decided to formally write program briefs for these programs so that Paz Perú had a clear idea of what we meant by these programs and how they fit within the overall plan:
- A recommendation on advertising
- Referral program
- Customer Reference program
- Awards and Anniversary event
- Job description for a mid-level marketer
Created collateral and tools to get them started
As a team, we also felt very strongly that we should develop some collateral pieces and sales tools to get them started on execution. For sales tools, Joe redesigned their introductory letter with the key messages we outlined in our messaging document. He also created a Sales presentation for a first-time meeting. Ashley wrote their first customer reference case study on their biggest client (Ricco Pollo). Alicia created a presence for Paz Perú on LinkedIn and Facebook. Together, Joe and Alicia created a basic web page—all of which is based on the new name we suggested: simply “Confecciones Paz Perú”.
And one of the best parts was presenting all of this completely translated and collated into three binders—thanks to our interpreter (Dylan Anderson-Berens) and his wife Susel who spent a long weekend translating everything. We also had Alicia who speaks fluent Spanish and she translated the marketing plan, Funnel Man’s final document, and created all the digital presence in Spanish from the start.
I am so proud of this team and what we were able to accomplish and deliver for Paz Peru. I truly believe we’ve made a big impact—we created a strong marketing plan that’s on-strategy and actionable, and we gave them everything they need to simply execute it. All they really need to do at this point is just start executing.
We are very optimistic that the Paz Perú clothing manufacturing business will grow significantly in the coming year, and I believe part of their growth will be due to our work for them as part of the Symantec Service Corps.