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E173 | There’s a hole in your Bucket with Bryony Thomas

This episode of Mind Your F**king Business Podcast is actually a recorded webinar we held called ‘There’s a hole in your Bucket’ with Watertight marketing methodology creator, Bryony Thomas. 

Bryony cut her teeth as Divisional Director of Marketing for Experian before leaving to found her own company in 2008. She took everything she’d learned from doing business development i.e. getting on the phone and doing sales, and joined it up to create the concept called Watertight. 

The idea behind Watertight is that there’s no point filling your bucket unless you plug the holes first, otherwise your money will simply run out of the bottom. 

In this fabulous episode, Bryony walks us through some elements of her programme and in particular she asks, how would you steal your neighbour’s cat? 

Intrigued? Download and listen to find out how you can apply the Watertight marketing methodology to your own business. 

On today’s podcast:

  • What is world-class marketing performance?
  • The four foundations of healthy, and sustainable, sales flow
  • First Flow Foundation – The Right Work
  • Second Flow Foundation – Balanced Routine
  • Third Flow Foundation – Baseline Rhythm
  • Fourth Flow Foundation – Maintain Momentum
  • Your Marketing Flow Score


There’s a hole in your Bucket

Bryony Thomas is an award-winning Vistage speaker, and best-selling author of Watertight Marketing, a methodology she designed and refined over two decades, and which is now in use by over 2000 organisations. 

Today, Bryony joins Dom to talk listeners through ‘There’s a hole in your Bucket, a fast paced webinar for CEOs and MDs of businesses looking for long term growth. 

Having opened the session with the question ‘how would you steal your neighbour’s cat?’ Bryony wants listeners to leave the session understanding how and where marketing can move your business from good to great, or from great to world-class.

The four flow foundations

In the Watertight marketing framework there are 4 flow foundations. What is flow in business? Flow means sales, and making sure you have a steady pipeline flowing with sales. The four flow foundations are the pillars on which successful marketing is built. 

The four flow foundations are: 

  1. The Right Work
  2. Balanced Routine
  3. Baseline Rhythm
  4. Maintain Momentum

If you think about a healthy growing business, you want to be nourishing it, 80% of the time, with clients that are good for it. 

“You need clients that come into your business that sustain you, economically, energetically. I might also say ecologically.”

Finding the right clients is all good and well, but you need a balanced routine to help you get to where you want to go. And you need to know what goals you need to reach. Are you just a little startup looking to get out of the starting blocks? Or are you a national business looking to expand internationally. Depending on what you want to achieve from your marketing routine will determine the balance of your routine. 

Next, you need a baseline rhythm. You can find the right clients and put in place a balanced routine, but if you only do the work once, you’re not going to get anywhere. You need to get into a rhythm of making regular commitment to your marketing goals. And finally, you need to maintain your momentum, and for that you need to have a purpose i.e. your reason for doing what you’re doing. 

“That’s what’s going to get you up on the days when it’s hard. That’s gonna re-energise your business when you’re knocked down because business is tough. These four flow foundations are the foundations of truly successful marketing.”

The similarity between stealing a cat and marketing

In the steal the cat analogy, you need to understand the cat, you need to put out his treats every day and wait for it to come to you. That might not be on day one, but if you do it regularly with a baseline rhythm, it will. 

Marketing is just like this. You need to understand where your customers hang out, and then leave little trails of treats back to your front door. You win the cat’s love and affection every day by putting in the hard work and earning its trust. 

“And I want you to think about your customers as cats. I want you to know that they have choices. And you win them every day.”

Just don’t assume that your customers are going to be loyal to you and you alone. They’re checking out your competition, they’re seeing if they have any tasty treats, and, says Bryony. Going back to the cat analogy, if you let the cat get hungry, it’s going to be out there visiting other houses. Whereas if you have a fat contented well fed cat that’s very well loved, it’s going to be much harder to entice it over to someone else’s house. 

The fat cat is the customer you want to win. You want brand loyalty like that. 

The 13 touch point leaks

“In 2011, I did my first piece of research where I looked at all of the ways that people step out of their buying decision. And that became the 13 touch point leaks. I’ve now extended that research to over 2000 organisations. And there truly are 13 areas where without good marketing tools and techniques, people generally step out of the process.”

When you’re thinking about how to fix the leaks in your bucket, you need to map your customer’s journey going forwards, but build the path backwards. 

More than that, says Bryony, you need to think about how you create your path to purchase, even if you’ve only got a limited budget. 

To use the cat analogy again, you need to create a path of treats leading from your front door. You don’t want to sprinkle them on the ground where the cat hangs out and then run out halfway to your house. The cat won’t know how to get to your house. Whereas they might smell the treats and find you. In essence you have more chance of success if you build your path backwards. 

“It stands to reason that if you’ve got a hole in your bucket, you don’t run expensive taps. And so we start with this bucket, which is about keeping the customers you’ve already got, keeping that cat curled up on your sofa, loving and loyal.”

Once you’ve got your bucket watertight, don’t run the tap straightaway. What you want to do is create channels, funnels and filters that allow you filter out the stuff that’s not right for your business and keep the good stuff that is. 

3 core leaks

There are 3 core areas where marketers can plug the bucket to keep people loving and loyal and in turn, increase long term customer lifetime value. 

  1. Forgotten customers. Remind customers why they bought from you, why they love what they bought from you, so they can recommend what they bought from you. 
  2. Poor onboarding. Put in place marketing that warmly welcomes people so that they use what they bought from you. 
  3. No emotional connection. Make sure people feel like they’ve made the right decision to buy from you. 

“Move the energy from lead generation through to your buckets, keeping people who love what they’ve bought from you, so that your customer lifetime value is increased. If you have a hole in your bucket, there really is no point in turning the taps on.”

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