Posted on Sep 10, 2016 by Carley Fisher
“Marketing is not an emergency. It’s a planned, thoughtful exercise that started a long time ago and doesn’t end until you’re done” – Seth Godin
It’s a common thought process that marketing is something you need when the phones stop ringing, or the door isn’t swinging open as much and sales are down. Businesses of all shapes and sizes walk in to modus HQ believing that reactive marketing will instantly help to solve their worries and concerns about the performance of their business and/or sales team. Immediate marketing can of course help but the challenge for us is to contend with the common thought, “I can wait until I need it”.
Wrong! Planning your marketing activity is one of the most important things you can do as a business. It not only maximises your budget but also gives you consistent brand awareness in your market place through properly planned and placed marketing.
No matter how small or large your budget is or how long your campaign is likely to be, you can still think about your strategy before firing from the hip with your tactics. I write multiple levels of strategic and tactical marketing plans but I always begin with looking at 5 key points. Input from the client at this stage is vital and it can be really useful if they have been considered before hand.
What do you want to achieve through your marketing activity? Knowing this will help us to establish and recommend the right channels to help achieve your objectives.
Having objectives is also important in allowing us to measure our campaign effectiveness and most importantly the ROI.
Who are we? A positioning statement is what helps us determine the message we wish to communicate and is usually created whilst branding the company. However this is not always the case, especially for SME’s. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t already know this and anyone in marketing should be able to help you but it is important to be able to try and determine what this is before your marketing begins to ensure we are consistently communicating the same overarching message across all activities.
Understanding what your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are is really helpful whilst pulling together a marketing plan. It enables us as an agency to establish a comprehensive strategy that will promote the strengths, reduce the weaknesses, target the opportunities, and combat the threats.
Knowing whom we are marketing to helps us understand and identify the right consumers for your products. Once we have this knowledge we can instantly start mapping the consumer journey, tap in to potential buyer behaviour and interpret the best channels to use and when and how to use them effectively.
To learn more about the importance of understanding your audience and 7 top tips on how to map your customer journey follow this link. www.convinceandconvert.com/community-management/customer-journey-mapping/
Question what they are doing better than you and here they are letting themselves down to give us even more opportunities to exploit.
In truth any one who knows their business can sit down and think about the above points in not a large amount of time. The return on this time will be far greater than everyone at panic stations making rash decisions about what is best to do because you “have to do something straight away”. I wouldn’t expect the client to have all the answers, however we do believe in co-creative partnerships at modus and the importance of the client having their input. After all we all want the same thing; an effective and successful marketing campaign.
Personally, I am naturally a planner, it seems to just make things much more digestible for me and I enjoy knowing where I stand at all times with work projects and just organising to see friends. Otherwise I waste time on things that aren’t relevant or are of no real benefit to me. Marketing is no different. It is not an emergency that can be rushed or resolved quickly and pushed under the carpet to be forgotten about until it happens again.
Ensuring consistent, cost effective and sustainable marketing activity is a process that takes time, thought and most importantly planning.