Stop planning the fun out of marketing, and just DO marketing
When I’m about to go on a long solo paddling trek, I pack and plan for hours. I check tide charts, load supplies, make sure there’s a spare paddle tied to my boat, check the weather, pack my safety line and duct tape, test my dry bags, fill my water bottles, and on and on.
It can take four hours of preparation and packing for a four-hour paddle. If I get into an emergency situation, I need to be able to save myself and get back to shore quickly.
If I’m going to play a round of golf, my prep time is under 15 minutes. I load my clubs in the car and throw in my shoes and sunscreen. My chance of dying on the golf course is infinitesimal, so my readiness process is significantly shorter than when prepping for a solo kayak trip.
Marketing planning should be commensurate with the risk you’re taking
While I’m a huge fan of crafting strategic marketing plans, they are not needed in every situation. In fact, continual planning can be a creativity suck and your team will get burned out.
If you are going to spend 15% of your revenue on marketing or develop an $80K website, then you should absolutely take the time to craft a plan and have a strategy. You are taking an immense risk.
However, if you are launching small A/B marketing tests or dipping your toes into sponsored content campaigns, then minimal planning and auditing will do.
Are you ready to just DO marketing?
A helpful, quick evaluation can give you peace of mind. If you can answer YES to at least ten of the questions below, then you are ready to get going with tactical campaigns and tests.
- Have you identified your smallest viable audience and target personas?
- Can you list a few attributes your targets have in common?
- Can you name specific problems you are solving for your targets?
- How are you changing your little slice of the world? WHY are you in business (other than making money)?
- Do you know what hot buttons you can mention that will get adopters emotionally invested in your product or service?
- Can you intelligently speak about (and write about) your company?
- Do you have a website you’re proud of?
- Do you have at least a handful of quality durable and real-time content pieces that can be used in campaigns?
- Have your customers commented positively on your site and content?
- Are you planning to spend less than 2% of your revenue on marketing campaigns?
- Do you know the max you are willing to spend on tactical campaigns this year?
- Are you willing to fail and tack quickly when specific marketing campaigns don’t work?
- Do you know how you’ll measure the success or failure of campaigns?
What happens next
If you had at least ten “Heck, yes” responses to the above questions, then you’re all set to start your tactical marketing engines. If you waffled on questions, pondered the answers for more than five minutes, or had a lot of “No way” answers, then you still need a bit more planning time. Let us know if you need a hand!