Great marketing is never done


So many businesses only give their marketing serious thought when times are tough. This thinking is not sound because marketing takes time to take effect, and if you wait until you need instant results you will have waited too long. In order to grow a strong organization, you must create an ongoing marketing plan that works seamlessly. Your marketing must be a continual process.
The key to successful marketing is to craft a plan that can be implemented easily and effectively on a regular basis. A good marketing strategy will employ several types of media. So how do you know what media types are right for you? Trial and error is really the only way to know. Stay open-minded. A medium that you may think is ineffective might just work really well and vice versa.

On that same note, make sure you give each medium a fair shot. The value of a medium cannot usually be judged by a one-off attempt. Your message or approach may need tweaking or your timing may be off. Make sure you test and track each approach with a substantial trial. Some staple media are: direct mail marketing, email marketing, paid search advertising and social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.). If there is a publication that is distributed to your target market you may wish to try placing an ad in the publication, but those results will be harder to track. Don’t forget to work cold calling or cold emailing into the plan. Literal one-to-one communication is a dying art, and you will be surprised to find the impact of real person-to-person communication can be very rewarding.

Once you have determined which medium to try, make sure you think carefully about the relevancy of each of your messages for each specific medium. You will probably find that your messaging needs to be tweaked for each media outlet (i.e. direct mail needs to be concise, persuasive and offer-driven, social media might be much more personal and casual, paid search will incorporate keywords and targeted landing pages, etc.).

When you have found a mix of media that works for you, put a plan in place to implement these strategies regularly. This plan should become part of your regular routine and shouldn’t be so cumbersome that you get bogged down by it. A smaller organization’s mix might include 3-4 marketing outlets, whereas a larger organization may include more.

The purpose of the plan is to make your marketing workload predictable, however it is important that you make sure the messaging you send out is not predictable. Branded, yes. Predictable, no. It is vital that, no matter the medium, your content remains fresh and relevant to your prospect’s self-interest. No one wants to hear time and time again about how great you are, but would probably love to hear about how you will make their life better or easier.

You may not see instant results from your marketing plan. Prospects need time to move through the sales process. Sometime they just don’t need what you are offering for months or even years. But when they do, your steady marketing should have positioned you in a prominent place in their minds. Over time, a consistent marketing plan will aid in stabilizing the flow of incoming clientele to your business.

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