Appreciative Inquiry Engagement Strategy

Most people want ideas and applications that I would propose before we start working together. I equate that to starting on the right side of the A3 (with the answers in layman terms). So recently I have developed a structure that makes more sense. I leave the customer determine the price and budget for the encounter.

I believe in creating a Lean Marketing system. You can’t write and teach Lean Sales and Marketing. It is a Learn by doing approach. What I do is provide you a platform for co-creation through joint experiences and incorporate feedback as we put them into practice. The steps of Lean Sales and Marketing are first you go and create a current state. Second, you form a working vision from the user (customer) experience, an ideal situation of where the user wants to go. Third, you visualize the user’s process. If you do that, it’s more obvious to see what your next reaction should be and when to trigger it.

Many people respond to the latest fad or solicit the cleverest idea to implement some sort of solution, thinking it will make them better. What makes your marketing better is understanding the user or customer experience and their processes. Then with hard work, take the time to figure out how to engage with them. It’s this process, that empowers you and which leads you to create better and more performing processes. Using this approach, a Lean system will outperform any other approach in engaging the customers you need, maintaining customers and working with people you like and who will be loyal to you and refer others to you forever.

This is the initial sequence of steps we use to create a Lean Marketing System in an organization. It ensures we carefully think through what outcomes we want to create, what supports and barriers we need to plan for, and who we have to involve within your organization to guarantee success. Our starting point:

  1. (Definition) What are you presently doing and how do your clients and organization feel about them?
  2. (Discovery) What is your present value proposition for retaining customers? What is your present value proposition for acquiring customers?
  3. (Dream)What are your targets? How will we measure success?
  4. (Design) Do you understand your customer’s decision making process? For each product/market segment?
  5. (Destiny) What’s your investment strategy – not only in media, but in time and events?

What I ask for is simply a marketing budget for me to manage. We allocate a percentage of the budget for fees, creative and production, with the balance going to media, materials, internet presence and other out of pocket expenses. At the beginning it is slanted towards the fee side and overtime shifts as we don’t need to recreate materials and programs from scratch. It can be very cost effective if I am able to use my own resources and fold you into existing processes. I host and manage websites, post products to Amazon, handle news releases, create interview opportunities, host guest blog posts and podcasts, orchestrate events, create info product and manage shopping carts at little if any additional costs. There is little time spent by the client except for telephone interviews and final review of materials.

P.S. What I will not do is masquerade as your persona in social media. I believe that this typically backfires both in creditability and expected results.

Unbeknownst to me what I described in the starting points is the outline for Appreciative Inquiry. In parenthesis above; Definition, Discovery, Dream, Design and Destiny is the AI Process, which I detail below:

  1. Definition: What frames our inquiry?
  2. Discovery: What gives life?
  3. Dream: What might be?
  4. Design: What should be?
  5. Destiny: What will be?

Never knew I was an Appreciative Inquiry guy!

Related Information:
Accentuate the Positive, Eliminate the Negative
Getting Resistance to Appreciative Inquiry?
Lean Engagement Team Book Released
Appreciative Inquiry instead of Problem Solving

2 thoughts on “Appreciative Inquiry Engagement Strategy”

  1. Hi Joe, i have been following your podcasts and materials, such a great source of inspiration, congrats!

    I have been practicing Business Model Thinking here in Brasil. And guess how i got in contact with Alex Osterwalder book ? This happened when my father was attending an AI class last year in US.

    AI gives the positive path. Most of time we already apply the principles in an intuitive way (like AI, Lean,BMGen) but when we get in contact with people that did observation and put into a structured way enable us to feel that we are on the right direction.

    Cheers from Brazil.


  2. Thanks Renato,

    I have just had my 2nd engagement using AI and the buy in has been outstanding. Very impressed with the result and the attitude going forward. Can’t wait to use it more.

    Thanks for listening and following!

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