Ideas are a dime a dozen. Everyone has them, but it’s how those ideas are executed that is most important – especially when it comes to marketing. All too often, we come across businesses using the shotgun effect, in other words, a business will shoot out whatever idea they think of without any kind of strategy behind it. Generally, this stems from the thinking that they should get anything and everything out there to see what sticks. What does stick, they’ll continue with, and what doesn’t – well – they didn’t really think it would work anyway, so no harm done. This isn’t the way to do smart business.
There is a way to avoid the uncertainty of marketing ideas, and to know exactly what kind of return on investment (ROI) you’re achieving with the ideas implemented. There’s even a way to know which ideas are a perfect fit for what you’re trying to achieve, which ideas will work, and which ones to just throw out and forget about. ‘How’ you ask? By having a team around you who has done this before, and who is on the same page as you. It’s important to have people around you who have gone through the process of creating a marketing plan, because they can sit with you to determine what you like, and be there to help vet ideas.
The Failure to Plan is a Plan for Failure
Before jumping into the pool of creating ideas and figuring out which ones will work and which won’t, you need to build a marketing plan. For the most part, any marketing plan or campaign must satisfy the questions, “Does it directly help me achieve my KPIs?” and “Does my target normally engage with this type of marketing?” Since one of the main questions speaks to KPIs, you need to know what yours are, and if you don’t know, then it probably means you don’t have a goal in mind.
If you don’t have a goal in mind, then you won’t be able to articulate the type of marketing plan you need in place to be successful. This is where bringing in outside help can play a crucial role in getting your business on the right path, and getting you in front of the right audience. Marketers, the outsiders, will be able to help you create your marketing plan.
When creating marketing plans, remember you need to answer the questions of KPIs and defining your target audience. By determining what your success indicators are, your plan will be able to track them properly. You also need to have a plan that clearly defines your target audience, market segments, situational analysis, and more. Once you have a proper plan in place, you will be able to validate your definitions of each component through research and analysis, and take guessing out of the picture.
Tried, Tested and True
Ultimately once this is done, the information will help you define exactly what ideas would be most beneficial to invest in, and clarify which areas to avoid. This means less wasted dollars, and more strategically led solutions. And remember, this is the time to rely on your team. They will have experience as to the types of ideas that typically work in your industry and with your target audience.
Once all of the ideas are put together and incorporated into the marketing plan you have created, it’s time to test. This is where you won’t need to worry about failing – sometimes the best conceptual ideas falter once they hit the market, but that’s ok. Your team can help you see which parts of the idea worked, and which ones didn’t, enabling you to revise the idea until it is absolutely the best idea it can be.
So if you’re ready to take the next step in your marketing plans, and stop being that company wasting money on marketing techniques which aren’t effective, start looking for that marketing agency who will help you with that next step. They can get you to where you need to be sooner than you may realize, and will help you figure out if a marketing idea you have is good or not.
Header Photo: Alejandro Escamilla
If you want to learn more about specific key elements of an effective marketing plan, read our 50+ page booklet on How to Write A Strategic Marketing Plan That Yields ROI – complete with explanations