Is Marketing Optional?
Spoiler alert: no, nope, never!
But, marketing professionals see it happen all the time.
Certain marketing technologies or channels are cherry-picked and focused on. When those shiny new things don’t perform, focus shifts to the next thing on the horizon. Or, blame gets thrown around.
“That 90-day SEO campaign was a waste of money.”
“We have wasted time and money on social media with no results.”
While it’s true that not every marketing tactic is right for every business, it is also true that marketing should be treated as a function of your business. Just as you would treat accounting, operations, sales, customer service…you get the idea.
Marketing isn’t something that you tap into when you have some free time.
Let me say that again: Marketing isn’t something that you tap into when you have some free time. Especially, if you hope for success.
Marketing is an ongoing, incremental long game that shows results in direct proportion to the effort that you put into it.
Humor me while I share one of my favorite analogies…
I often get questions about a specific tactic or too.
“Do you like this CRM tool?”
“Do you recommend automation for my social media advertising?”
“Do you think I should create more videos for LinkedIn?”
And so on and so on…
While, yes, I do have opinions about these things and will always do my best to help you apply answers to the unique schematic of your business, I will typically answer you with a thought to consider:
“If you had a weight loss or fitness goal and you purchased a treadmill, but weren’t very dedicated to using the treadmill. What would your opinion of the treadmill be when you didn’t reach your goals?”
Okay, if you’ve been paying attention, you probably know where I’m going with this. Tactics are essential to your marketing success.
Yes, of course, they are, but what comes first is your marketing strategy. Before you ask which CRM tool is best for your business, define your marketing strategy. Let’s iron out what that means.
What does a marketing strategy look like? Marketing strategy doesn’t take a look at tactics, technologies, and tools first. Marketing is a function of your business, right?
So, your marketing strategy is the roadmap of where you want that aspect of your business to go. It happens when you take a step back, look at the view from the top and define your plans.
Before tapping into a marketing tool, ask some poignant questions. When considering a marketing tactic: consider business objectives.
- What is my plan for growth related to this tactic?
- Will this tactic support my goals aggressively?
- Am I looking to create organic growth?
- Am I focused on creating more efficient processes, stronger internal culture and/or innovation through fostering team empowerment and collaboration?
- Will this tactic contribute to my goals?
But don’t stop there. See your marketing strategy all the way through.
- How will it be measured?
- What benchmarks will you set in place to analyze it?
- What will your ROI look like?
- Does the expense (or time required to be effective) outweigh the customer acquisition cost?
Here’s a great example: there is no point in spending lots of money on monthly SEO work if your clients are in a market that relies on word of mouth. That doesn’t mean you don’t optimize, but where your limited resources go should be where they can have the most impact.
Stay focused. Keeping up with the latest marketing tactics is fun and essential to staying in-the-know as you grow your business. A certain amount of tunnel vision, however, is needed to avoid jumping on to the latest bandwagon that comes rolling in.
If the latest marketing tactic passes your acid test of mapping to your overarching marketing strategy and business objectives, then (and only then) should it be explored.
Don’t put baby in the corner. In this case, the baby is your marketing plan. It’s a common scenario for a small business.
The business is booming and marketing is left by the wayside. The reason cited – no time for that right now. Then, IT happens.
A new competitor arrives on the scene, a change in the marketplace takes place, an economic downturn pops up (I don’t want to mention things like pandemics happening but…) – and things happen that make the business less busy.
Then, the question of how to implement a marketing tactic arises.
Of course, you can start anytime, but please keep in mind results are not overnight and it’s best to be strategic and consistent about your marketing.
Jackie Awve Marketing specializes in helping businesses break through the noise and hone in on a sustainable marketing strategy that syncs up with their unique business, industry, and budget. With our guidance, you can explore new marketing tactics and ensure that your business is ready to grow steadily and measurably toward your goals.
Let’s connect and talk strategy soon!