Here’s the truth: companies and people get lazy. So do marketers (yes, it’s true). So what do you do when the marketing plan no longer inspires internally or externally. Here are 5 steps to take when the “dollars out” are no longer bringing “dollars in”.
Is your marketing plan working? Or has it stopped effectively introducing your brand or business to new customers?
Maybe your marketing plan was never really much of a plan to begin with…
And now it’s like a rusty old wrench in your company’s tool bag.
Regardless, this post is less about “why” and more about what to do and how to fix it. I’m suggesting a strategic pause to remind your team about the purpose of your business, who needs your products or services and the most effective and ways and places to reach them.
And it’s not about calling out or criticizing anyone in marketing, sales or executive management. I know what it’s like working on the inside as a marketer and company executive.
It’s about getting it fixed. And employing smart ideas to grow your business.
So here are 5 steps to take if your marketing plan appears to be a little rusty:
1. ASK WHO: Do you remain sure of your customer target? We all need someone to write for, create for and serve. Who is that for you? Who has the pain that your product or service relieves. Is it still obvious or is it time for a little research to confirm? Maybe the pain is still there, but it has shifted from the leg to the arm.
2. ASK WHAT: Is your product line and message still relevant to this target? So you’ve decided that boomers are it. No question. But how has the boomer population changed since you last reviewed your marketing plan? How are they doing financially, what’s happening in their personal lives that might affect their buying habits? And what about your brand personality? How does that fit?
3. ASK WHERE: Are you marketing your products or services in places where your target lives? If we’re still talking boomers, where are they spending their time? On the golf course, on dating sites or sports sites/shows like ESPN? Where are they positively predisposed to getting your message or brand promise?
4. ASK HOW: Are you using tactics that will engage your target and keep your brand or business top of mind? Perhaps your traditional marketing plan takes advantage of someone’s strength in traditional consumer marketing tactics like outdoor advertising, the sides of buses, coupons in the Sunday paper or a good old-fashioned ad in the yellow pages. Well, guess what. There’s a whole new world out there. Are you using Facebook or engaging on Twitter? You should be.
5. ASK WHY: Do you remember once really believing in this marketing plan? What originally sold you on it? It’s time to get re-inspired. To remember what you were creating or sharing at the time the plan was hatched that had you smiling. And finding that magic once again. Maybe it will take you and the team heading out in to the woods for a day or into a foreign conference to find that magic once again.
So be ready to re-invent your marketing plan. And make sure that every penny going out the door is working hard. And getting a result you can appreciate.
Get rid of that old rusty wrench. Replace it with a new shiny one. At least spray a little oil on the old one to clean it up until you can afford the new one.
Or ask me for help.
Thanks HVargas for the great image from Flickr