Do you get excited about a new marketing strategy or tactic and act on it without clearly thinking it through? Are you using “flavor of the day marketing?”
(Part 4 of 4 of the ‘Marketing Recipes for Failure’ Series)
Flavor of the Day Marketing
Before we begin this discussion, let’s do some housecleaning. First, let’s define ‘Flavor-of-the-day Marketing’ as unplanned, spur-of-the-moment marketing. You get excited about a new marketing strategy or tactic and act on it without clearly thinking it through. You do it to ‘keep up with the Jones’s’ so to speak – justifying it to yourself by thinking “they’re doing it, so I should be doing it too”. This is typically caused by the lack of a solid marketing plan and/or the lack of discipline to follow it. Additionally, if you’re guilty of ‘Flavor-of-the-day Marketing’, most likely you’re worrying too much about what others are doing and not necessarily what’s best for you.
Second and last bit of housecleaning is that we need to make a few assumptions about your business:
“What” – your vision of what you want your business to be, do, and have
“Why” – the reason your business exists in the first place.
“Who” – the target market you will serve.
“He who fails to plan, plans to fail”Author Unknown
If these 3 core concepts are currently not clearly defined for your business, please for your own good, take the necessary time to define them now – it will be in my opinion some the best spent time you will ever invest in your business.
Now that our housecleaning is complete, it’s time to lay out your game plan, your driving directions so to speak to help you move effectively and efficiently towards your vision of what you want. To do this you need a solid plan, more specifically a solid marketing plan that provides your “How” – a step-by-step roadmap that you can follow to lead you from where you are to where you want to be.
“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.”Peter F. Drucker
Trust me, you do not want to ‘shoot from the hip’ here – that’s where the big marketing and financial mistakes are made. It is incredible how much money is spent by businesses every day on poorly planned ‘flavor-of-the-day’ marketing strategies and tactics.
So what should your marketing plan consist of? At a minimum it should spell out what marketing strategies and tactics you will use, where you will use them, when you will use them, the forecasted dollar amount you are setting aside to carry them out, who will be responsible to ‘champion’ them, and who will hold your ‘champion’ accountable for getting them done.
Take It Up a Notch
To take it up a notch, I would recommend that you define what would constitute success for your business in each of those marketing strategies and tactics, set goals for each of them, and put mechanisms in place to track and measure their effectiveness.
Now we can go on an on here with more of what else could be in your marketing plan however, your marketing plan does not have to be elaborate to be effective – It just needs to be well thought out. Keep it simple! There’s no need to over-plan here. Get it on paper though because for some reason once it’s on paper, it becomes real.
In parting, I’d like to leave you with a pair of key distinctions: First, your marketing plan is a living document. It should be tweaked as needed to keep you on a straight-line path to getting what you want. And last, it’s important to understand that no amount of planning in the world is going to help you achieve what you want unless you take action based on that plan – so in essence, pave your way to success by planning your marketing and working your marketing plan.