Does Your Team Think a Tornado Hit Your Marketing Plan?
Someone told us this week that the pictures of a tornado’s aftermath made him wonder if the disarray in the company he works for might also be the result of a tornado. To be sure, natural disasters can take a severe toll on businesses. However, the kind of disarray and dysfunction our friend referred to is more likely to result from issues internal to the business. If your team thinks a tornado hit your company, it might be time to initiate a thorough and systematic investigation.
Our conversation about corporate damage focused on the firm’s marketing strategy – or lack of strategy. Our friend described the firm’s marketing efforts as “scattered” and “disconnected,” with “everything knocked off its foundations” and no way to determine “where they are going.”
The first two things required for a successful marketing program are goals and a sense of direction. Two old adages of marketing are: (1) If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll never know you have arrived; and (2) without a sense of direction, you don’t know how to get where you want to go.
Agility may be the name of the game today in marketing and that can be attained as businesses Buy Instagram Likes. This makes it more important that your marketing plan has a clear set of goals and a trajectory into the future. It also makes it more important to have a sense of direction against which you can measure new opportunities. Unless you have a sense of direction, clear goals, and a solid strategy, there is no way to evaluate your success.
Your marketing plan needs management to keep it on course, to keep each program or campaign aligned with your key goals, and to ensure that you measure each marketing activity against realistic and appropriate key performance indicators (KPIs). Marketing is increasingly a multi-platform, multi-channel effort that must be coordinated and consistent. These efforts will be more effective if implemented by cross-functional teams within your firm. Organization and collaboration require management of the strategy.
Your company also needs to cultivate a marketing culture in which everyone understands the importance of marketing – including branding – and understands their unique role in reaching your marketing goals. Cross-functional teams work best in a culture of cooperation and collaboration. This kind of culture can only exist in a company when there is executive leadership.
If someone says they think a tornado hit your marketing plan, start cleaning up the mess. Bring together the right people, and rebuild the plan you need to implement your strategy and achieve your goals – or start over. Ensure that every marketing activity has a justification and a clear purpose. Ensure that all activities are working together to maximize the impact of your plan. Clarify your messaging and make it consistent across all platforms and channels, and protect your brand.
An effective marketing plan requires strong management, keeping programs and people collaborating and creative. Management also must ensure that the components of the plan and all of the activities are logical and justifiable. Thinking of marketing as a neighborhood, in which each house or structure represents connected activities can help people see the connections between activities and channels. Start with a firm foundation in your strategy. Build with care according to carefully defined goals. Keep communication flowing along the connecting streets and lanes.