Planning for growth: stepping back to achieve marketing success

“Can’t see the forest through the trees.”  We’ve heard it a hundred times, and we know it, too. Yet as much as people like to dive into the doing of marketing, it is essential to step back and look broadly before doing.  Why do companies get caught in the weeds?

  • Many marketing activities can feed the ego. Ads, emails, social media, events, tradeshows… As a one-hit wonder they can make a company or leader feel acknowledged. It is something you can point to that everyone can see – the outward result of an effort.  However,  as one-offs, these activities typically have little to no ROI. They only pay off when attached to a larger program or campaign.
  • Check that box. It’s easy and low-cost to try something once and not support it.  Leaders often say, “Let’s try this,” or encourage a marketing team to dabble in an activity without throwing proper planning and resources behind the effort. The result is teams can “check that box” and say they tried something.  It feels good without doing much good.
  • Measuring things is boring. There is glamour and glory in pulling off the perfect event or tradeshow. Social posts, emails and direct mails can make you feel good, but if you don’t measure them, then you don’t really know if they were good and how to make them better. Measuring can take the glory out of the tactic.  But measurement is where the glory actually lies.  Knowing what worked and didn’t, and how to improve, tweak and test makes marketers into heroes.

We recommend stepping back. Defining goals (for the organization and the tactic). Gaining agreement on expectations and results. And then diving into the implementation of the tactics.  This makes winners out of all of us.