Stop Using Marketing as a Band-Aid and Start Being Strategic.
Marketing should be a part of company culture and your sales plan. Branding, Content, and Lead Development take time to strategically develop and require a deep-dive understanding of the consumer and the market.
Typically, consultants are brought on for a variety of reasons. Mostly because they have a unique and specialized expertise set, and the company needs them to identify problems within an organization and create change.
However, identifying problems and changing the culture takes time; time that companies don’t have and/or don’t want to put in. So marketing is often time used as a Band-aid. Sales are down = Band-Aid. Morale is down = Band-Aid.
It’s not surprising really. It’s like when you’re about to go on a beach vacation, so you hire a personal trainer to speed whip you into shape, fixing 40 years of bad eating habits and no exercise, in 2 weeks.
Does this mean that marketing is pointless and won’t yield results? No. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Marketing is vital to sales, which in turn is essential to company’s success. But when implementing new marketing tactics, notably when one has lacked for long periods of time, you must be able to give the programs time to generate leads and effect change before deeming that they didn’t work at all.
So what is an acceptable timeline and what should you expect from your marketing?
The discovery phase is unequivocally the most critical phase, yet one that companies find most comfortable to skip. This is the time to learn and understand the company, products, culture, process, market, and buyer personas. A brand audit should be performed with the results presented to the management team. This phase alone should take 30-60 days.
Once you understand your customers’ needs, industry outlook, and product, you must map out your goals and objectives. You can then start implementing campaigns based on those goals and measure all your efforts against where you want to be. Without a strategic plan and calendar, implementation and analysis will not be successful.
There are multiple ways to implement marketing strategies. However, they should be agreed upon, have key team members for each effort, and clear goals to measure and continually check on. You should also refer back to your calendar planning to ensure you are hitting milestones in an appropriate timeframe to keep efforts organized and assuring company buy-in. Creating a great plan is one thing, but successfully implementing these plans is a whole new level of skill sets.
Campaign + Analysis
Once a campaign is running, it needs to be monitored, and when required adapted to improve tactics and build on your early planning. Benchmarks can then be generated, business decisions can be made based off of actual data instead of assumptions, and you can continue to grow your sales and marketing.
As you can see, marketing efforts should be researched, planned and executed strategically and continually monitored. If given the proper attention, it realistically can be a 6-12 month investment before seeing significant results. It can be hard to invest the time and money to get to that point, but it truly is worth it to see the exponential ROI it provides in the long run.
About Holly James
Holly James is a strategic, senior marketing professional with over 10+ years of marketing development & management experience.
As a marketing strategist with proven marketing skills, Holly pairs companies’ unique identities with their target marketing. She works with clients to create and grow brands, increase communication with customers, & implementation of processes that drive quantifiable results.
Holly also provides marketing consulting services to companies looking for outside counsel on analysis, brand strategy, customer motivation, long-term goal planning, and strategies to improve business function. You can learn more about Holly on LinkedIn or more about her marketing consulting services at www.TheMomInStilettos.com.