I love talking about marketing strategy.
Every business has its own products and consumers and decides how best to build a business strategy, utilizing the various marketing options available to them.
There are a plethora of ways to invest marketing dollars, numerous means of tracking, and new marketing options that come online almost daily. With all these options, all the algorithms, all the tracking, consumers often feel like they’re fish in a barrel.
But talk to any serious marketer, and while consumers think marketers have it all dialed in, knowing exactly what to say, how to say it, where to say it, all in a succinct elevator pitch…obviously, that’s not the case.
So, what gives?
In this blog I’m going to walk through two issues I find most common in building successful marketing plans and working with a marketing budget. Next month, we’ll explore how to make that data work for you.
The Two Most Common Marketing Problems
The two most common marketing problems I encounter are either a unique amalgamation of fear and laziness or the Streetlight Effect.
Fear and Laziness Doesn’t Help Your Marketing Budget
Fear and laziness might be two very different emotional drivers, but they have the same outcome – no change to your marketing efforts.
If you fear putting marketing dollars into new efforts like paid social, mobile advertising, geo-targeting consumers, or IM on your website, you’ll be missing potential opportunities.
Fear shouldn’t stop you from testing this brave new world of advertising.
The only thing worse than fear is laziness.
I’ve talked to companies, and behind a veil of static metrics, their marketing is doing the same thing they always have BECAUSE it’s what they’ve always done. The problem inherent with both states is even if you’re currently in the black, you won’t be for long.
Competitors will capitalize on new marketing opportunities and if you’re not actively testing, you’ll be boxed into old marketing modalities. Then, when you’re forced to change, you won’t know where to invest and those test dollars become make-or-break investments for your company.
Not a fun place to be!
The Streetlight Effect: Is this your Dilemma?
The second common problem I encounter is the Streetlight Effect, also known as the Drunkard’s Dilemma. You’ve likely heard the following joke before:
A policeman sees a drunk man searching for something under a streetlight and asks what the drunk has lost. He says he lost his keys and they both look under the streetlight together. After a few minutes the policeman asks if he is sure he lost them here, and the drunk replies, no, and that he lost them in the park. The policeman asks why he is searching here, and the drunk replies, “this is where the light is.”
While humorous to read about someone else, when talking with companies about how they found their target consumer, what they did to identify their business goals, and how they are building marketing plans to achieve those goals it’s not as funny to realize that the success metrics they decided upon were set over a decade ago.
Or they haven’t ‘looked for new consumers’ digitally in years, and have never gone back and re-evaluated their marketing plan to confirm it’s running as efficient as possible.
Refocusing Your Efforts
To refocus the joke a bit, new marketing ‘keys’ are being found all the time, the question is: is your business set up to regularly ask the right questions and reevaluate your goals to make the most of every marketing dollar you spend?
Next month we’ll dive into different ways to align strategic goals with marketing efforts and build a simple, but effective, framework for reviewing both aspects on a regular basis.
With marketing constantly changing, and our consumer’s expectations in flux, we – as effective marketers – need to similarly match these rhythms if we don’t want to just meet goals but exceed them!