Is your marketing based on a detailed, well-thought-out strategy and plan? Or are your efforts simply a compilation of random marketing activities you think you should be doing?
Random activities will keep you busy for sure, but will they keep you focused and get you where you need to go? Or will they just result in frustration and abandonment?
If you want your marketing to be more than just a bunch of tasks on a list, you’ll want to take the time to evaluate what you’re doing. And more importantly, why you’re doing it.
Not sure where to start? Make a list of everything that falls into your marketing bucket, and then ask yourself these key questions for each one:
1.) Does this activity align with our brand?
It’s easy to think that any marketing activity will be good for your brand. But there’s a big difference between brand recognition and brand strength. Just because people know your name doesn’t mean they want to be associated with it.
Some businesses instinctively say “Yes!” to every brand opportunity that comes along, without thinking about whether or not it aligns with their core company values and goals. Sponsoring an event? Partnering with another organization? Considering product placement? It’s critical to evaluate whether or not these things make sense, not just from a monetary and/or exposure perspective, but from value alignment and PR perspectives as well.
Before you do any marketing or sales activity, ask yourself the question, “Does this portray what we want to say about our organizational brand and identity?” If the answer is yes, consider this question again from your target market’s point of view: “Will our key customer demographic feel good about this? Is it consistent with our mission, our image, and our why?”
If the answer to either of these questions is no, strike the activity from your list. And do it completely guilt free. Your time and resources can be put to better use elsewhere.
If you feel good about the opportunity and the value alignment, then by all means, participate. But always assess the activity and the results after the fact to see if it lived up to your expectations and purpose.
2.) Does this activity inspire client engagement and loyalty?
It’s easier to keep a happy customer than to win over a new one. Client loyalty and engagement not only helps you hang onto your biggest fans, they can also lead to genuine, heartfelt referrals. Which leads to more happy customers!
Keep this question in mind when considering any marketing task or activity. Yes, marketing can bring you new leads and customers, but putting the majority of your focus on future clients at the expense of your current clients is a huge missed opportunity.
A single happy customer who consistently sings your praises and recommends you can be much more valuable than a giant pile of cold leads.
3.) Why are we doing this?
It’s easy to get caught up in a set of marketing activities you feel you should do. Some marketing guru says you HAVE to be on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. But do you? It all depends on what you are looking to accomplish.
When it comes to marketing, one size does not fit all. To be effective, you’ll want to center your marketing goals, strategies, and activities around your business model, your ideal customer profile, and your specific objectives. Are you looking to create brand awareness? Generate leads? Build credibility in your industry? Expand your feel-good factor? Depending on who you are as a business and where your customers are, Instagram may or may not make sense.
You can waste a lot of time and resources listening to every marketing recommendation that comes your way. Even more so if you attempt to implement them all.
Before you jump into the next big marketing idea, pause. Back up. Take some time to think about what you want for your marketing, your brand, and your client experience. Then ease back in, choosing your activities carefully and strategically based on those things.
4.) Can we do this?
Coming up with a solid marketing plan is one thing. But implementing it is another. As you are evaluating your choices, you’ll need to consider these key components as well:
- Brand identity – Are you clear on this? Choosing a clear marketing strategy without a defined brand is nearly impossible.
- Staff and resources – Do you have the budget and capacity to take on the marketing activities you’ve chosen?
- Internal processes – Do you have the team and systems you need to follow up with new leads, take on new clients/orders/requests and provide a great customer experience?
- Accountability and results – Are you choosing activities and/or metrics that can be tracked and quantified? If not, how will you know if your work is paying off?
Once you’ve defined who you are, what you want to accomplish, and whether or not you have the necessary tools, people, and resources to make it happen, you can put together a marketing strategy that doesn’t just keep you busy, but keeps you on the forefront of your clients’ minds. And keeps your organization moving in the right direction.
Photo by David Carillet