As I journey through the surrounding business landscape, I encounter many clueless inhabitants. These savvy business men and women all seem to be struggling with one fundamental aspect to running a successful business: their marketing direction. Very few have a strategy, and most are overwhelmed by options. In particular there is confusion about the digital landscape. There are so many acronyms and buzzwords flying around that it’s all more than a bit stressful.
Perhaps what holds back many professionals is the fear of doing something wrong. Often, in the effort to not waste money, there is little cohesion in the approach taken. Guess what? In this non-strategic approach, more money is thrown away, and this is often where the purple widget pops up - that thing each business owner was sold as the fix. In some cases (very few cases, actually), the purple widget is exactly what is required; however, what I mostly see is that the purple widget is just something that sounds and looks good but has very little practical application or use.
The fix to your marketing dysfunction is a REAL strategy. A strategy is not something that can be developed by taking an expert to lunch and picking their brain (yes you are all guilty of trying to get this for free). A cohesive strategy will cost you money, and this strategy might be complex or simple based on goals and resources, but it will give you a road map to your goals. And ultimately, it will let you know whether the purple widget is a good part of the strategy or just something that sits pretty.
Once you have a strategy, it may be time to bin the purple widget. Following the road map from month to month provides direction. There will be a need for changes and improvement, but that’s the beauty of having a process in place. A digital strategy can be changed very quickly and resources can be redirected as more relevant technologies come to mind and goals evolve. Following the plan will provide valuable data. Analytics and metrics will help refine the direction you take, making the outcome more successful. It doesn’t happen overnight, but with the right strategy, it does happen.
Monthly review and reporting is essential to the success of your marketing strategy. If you don’t review the successes and fallbacks of the campaign, you won’t know what gives the best ROI (return on investment). There will be areas that prove more successful than you expected, and some areas will fall short. When implementing elements of the plan, 90 days is the absolute earliest you should begin to reevaluate, but honestly, 180 gives you a more accurate picture.