Some businesses have a marketing department or person but no marketing strategy. The marketing department is seen as a tick box or as I have frequently heard the ‘colouring in’ department.
I was in sales for the first few chapters of my career and probably always viewing marketing a little like that, I think because I was always out with customers and the marketing guys weren’t. I started to think “I’m the closest person to the customer/end user and their needs, I am better placed to create b2b & b2c marketing than you lot sat in your corporate ivory tower”.
I still stand by the fact that you cannot create productive, forward thinking campaigns and strategies sat on your bum at a desk without full research and understanding of the client.
If you try to create something from a previous blueprint or a template you are creating issues for yourself. Every business is different, every consumer group is different and every story is different.
I never use the same approach that I have used in one business, with another. I learn, don’t get me wrong but I ensure I wipe the slate clean and treat the business I am dealing with, with the respect and attention they deserve.
Marketing and sales are so intertwined that you cannot create things in marketing without full buy in and involvement from sales. These are the people using the tools you create, daily. These tools and stories need to convey the heart of the business and encourage customer buy in (or buying of).
These are my 6 basic steps to avoid failing at your marketing.
Stick to your vision
Ensure you truly understand what your business stands for and stay true to who you are.
Reactive businesses are unprepared and often spend more longer term than they would have done had they planned ahead and forecast. Get proactive and save money – you’ll know exactly where you are at all times, it’ll keep your FD off your back too.
Stuff happens. Macroeconomic events will affect your pipeline, competitor activity may affect your brand perception from customers. Think ahead and as much as is possible look at what could occur and have a contingency for how you would deal with it. Create roadblocks to stop things getting that far where possible.
Be consistent and accountable
This is the big one, no more posting on social media every now and again, no more doing the odd quarterly newsletter that actually goes out once a year. Make a plan stick to it and stand by your word. Have some marketing integrity.
Don’t sit in your box thinking because you have a shiny new marketing plan you’ve done what’s needed and the rest will take care of itself. It won’t.
Take everyone else on your journey with you. You’ll have a better chance of the outcome being more successful and profitable if you do.
You can’t write a 12 month plan and assume that that’s the way it needs to stay – you need to be steadfast but flexible with the nature of your business. To show progress and learn for the next 12 months you need to review with everyone involved. What has worked well what hasn’t and why.
If you would like an informal chat about anything mentioned above get in touch