The marketing yo-yo diet. It goes something like this.
First you increase your marketing activity – networking, publish a few blogs, become more engaged on Linked In, schedule some Tweets related to your article, ask for an introduction to a prospect.
Then after a period of time, you get busy with paid work. You’re literally running to keep up with delivering to your clients.
Marketing goes on the back burner. You couldn’t do any more work anyway, if more came your way.
Then your busy work period comes to an end and it suddenly becomes very obvious that you’re not quite sure where the income is coming from in the next few months.
And so you start to increase your marketing.
Sound familiar? That’s because it’s so common – and understandable - as to be the norm.
There are 6 things which will help you get away from that roller-coaster, yo-yo marketing diet:
1. Start at the beginning. A big mistake some companies make is to put together a list of marketing activities as their marketing plan. That might be the end result of your thinking, but it’s nowhere near the starting point. This is: to be really clear about where you want to end up, what you want to be known for as a business, why you’re doing what you do, what value your product or service gives.
For more on the WHY, see this blog written for Watertight Marketing
Until you’ve spent some time clarifying your thinking, putting together some ideas for how you market yourself won’t have the impact you want.
2. Understand your customers. Many companies I work with have a very good and deep understanding of their customers – what their needs and wants are, why they’ve bought from them, the process they go through before they buy. But, that is not always the case. Even those who are closely in-touch with customers can be surprised by answers to questions they ask. So – check:
- Do you know who your best (and most profitable) customers are and what distinguishes them?
- Are you clear on who your ideal prospects are?
- Do you know what they’re thinking as they move through their buying journey, from interest to loyal customer? (which would affect what marketing you put in place)
3. Agree a marketing plan. Make sure it’s realistic (given your resources; consider outsourcing the planning or the doing or using a marketing mentor to help keep it going). But also stretch yourself. This might mean doing something that’s out of your comfort zone or different marketing to see if it has more impact.
The other element to this is to share this plan with everyone in your business – many of them will either want or need to be involved.
4. Put in place a process and systems. This will help you set up the right foundations with which you’ll be able to be more effective and efficient.
At one level this is using technology in a very targeted way to help. It could be saving time by using something like Hootsuite to schedule your social media posts on Linked In and Twitter. It could be buying in a customer relationship management system to make sense of all your contacts and your interactions with them. It could be using software like Mailchimp to manage your e-marketing.
On a more fundamental level it’s putting in place an informed marketing plan and business development process, knowing what the minimum level of activity is to make it worth your while.
5. Prioritise. Most businesses don’t have the resources to do everything, so prioritise the marketing activities that you feel are crucial to improving your business. One powerful way to do this is to run a Touchpoint LeakTM Assessment which will naturally generate what your priorities are for the next 3 months.
Apart from this, write down your main 5 marketing or sales goals and then against each of these put the 3 marketing activities you think are most likely to support you getting there. It’s a good starting point.
6. Commit. This is probably the hardest part! It means you have to do what you said you would and somehow hold yourself accountable. It could be that a marketing mentor [link] or coach will help guide you and keep you on track; it could be that you diarise weekly meetings with a colleague where you hold each other to account.
And like buying a dog, it’s not just for Christmas. It’s a weekly, monthly, quarterly commitment. It’s the only way to get and keep fit, and avoid that yo-yo, roller coaster marketing diet.