Strive to Keep Your Marketing Momentum
A Commitment to Marketing
It happens all too often. Marketing initiatives begin with energy, enthusiasm, and excitement and then somehow lose momentum and effectiveness as the weeks and months pass by. Daily distractions divert attention from important, longer-term marketing tasks that are easily put off until tomorrow. People lose direction, lose enthusiasm or don’t feel confident that the marketing plan is working. Small businesses are extremely vulnerable to this as the marketing function isn't as formalized within the company and they typically have fewer resources. Medium and large companies can fall victim to this, too. One day you realize that a lot of time has passed and your marketing has been on autopilot for who knows how long!
The simplest recommendation that we give is to remember that marketing is an ongoing activity.
Yes, an activity. One that requires devotion, time and effort, just like going to the gym, earning a college degree or planting a home garden. For the sake of your business, please keep your commitment to marketing! Don't wait until business slows down to renew your marketing focus. A little bit each day can make all the difference.
Part of the problem is one of management. Many owners and executives insist on being involved in marketing. That's fine, but due to busy schedules, marketing meetings and decision making often gets delayed, subverting the overall effort and dampening initiative. There are many simple and routine marketing activities that can be delegated to others. Remember, there is a big difference between the strategic decision-making level and the tactical activity level. Specifically, what to do depends on the size of your company and your industry. Also, your own skills and those of your staff. We offer these eleven general guidelines that can help you keep on track while managing your marketing momentum.
- Set goals. Goals are the foundation of marketing success. Without them, your team may not be working toward the same ends, thus causing frustration and confusion. Goals are essential: you can’t accurately measure progress in your marketing effort without them.
- Review marketing plan on an annual or quarterly basis. If you don't have a marketing plan, make one! Then keep it handy. Don't let it get buried somewhere to be forgotten. Get it out and check your progress regularly. Businesses change and evolve and your marketing plan should, too.
- Study the calendar and create a schedule. Stick to the schedule. So much of marketing is time-sensitive and thus, maintaining a calendar and schedule is very important. It helps keep people organized. Deadlines help with getting tasks done and with accountability.
- Complete tasks and achieve milestones. This is where project management comes in. In many cases, marketing teams can manage themselves, assuming that goals, tasks, and schedules are clearly outlined. In other cases, a project manager may be required to coordinate efforts and hold team members accountable.
- Make use of marketing tools, email marketing services, social media management software. In this digital marketing age, software tools can help keep marketing activities organized and increase efficiency. Consider using a trial or demo before fully committing to a solution so you have time to safely evaluate the tool. Then, put it to use.
- Quality control. Always take the time to review the quality of work before publishing in print or digital formats. An extra set of eyes on something is always a good idea, as mistakes are often overlooked, especially if you're in a hurry to meet a deadline.
- Regular meetings. Weekly or monthly marketing meetings are a great way to keep a team on track. Reinforcement of strategy and goals is a common theme. Brainstorming and ideas can flourish in the right setting. Regular meetings encourage people to get tasks done because they don’t want to be the only one who didn’t get their action items taken care of.
- Delegate and develop internal staff resources. Assigning routine tasks to employees throughout your company can help speed up your momentum. Writing website and social media marketing copy, taking pictures, entering data, creating reports. These tasks are easy to train people to do and often don’t take a lot of time. An added benefit of getting others involved in marketing is that you often get new ideas and input from people who are familiar with your business and have insights from dealing directly with customers. Plus, shared involvement can give your employees a greater sense of ownership of and enthusiasm for the marketing process.
- Hire to a defined job position. As companies grow, enough marketing activities pile up that one or more people are needed to keep the momentum going. Hiring the right person at the right time is a critical success factor.
- Outsource work to an agency or niche/boutique marketing firm for specific activities. Whether your company is large or small, outside marketing agencies or smaller boutique firms can be a tremendous asset. They can provide new creative energy, take on bigger projects, get them done faster, and bring their specialties and experience to the table.
- Have fun! Marketing meetings shouldn’t be drudgery. Brainstorming ideas and collaborating with your team can be a fun exercise, especially if it’s encouraged. Your customers will appreciate a little lightheartedness in your advertising and promotions, and maybe even enjoy something completely ridiculous every now and then. So will your employees. Humor can and should be part of the mix.
Hopefully these guidelines are helpful. Best of luck in your marketing efforts!
At Crown Point Solutions, we are re-thinking marketing management for the Internet age. We have developed many new insights we’d like to share. Let us know if you'd like to have a more in-depth conversation.