The “Big Picture” is Clear…
When it comes to Marketing, strategy is the difference between businesses that thrive and those that flounder. In fact, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2015 Benchmark Report, marketers with a documented strategy are not only more effective, but are also less challenged than those with without.
So, you already know that you need a “big picture” strategy in place to get real, predictable results from your marketing efforts…
But, What Does this Look Like Day-to-Day?
The question now is, how do your daily marketing activities fit into your “big picture” growth strategy?
Even with a detailed long-term marketing strategy in place, it’s extremely easy to get off track with your day-to-day marketing activities.
I often say that your tasks will expand to fill the time allotted to them. And this is an easy way for your marketing efforts to run off-course, BUT there’s a far worse productivity pitfall that affects many marketers…
“Random acts of marketing” that derail your strategy and prevent you from growing.
“Random acts of marketing” are low-value, low-leverage activities that keep you busy but don’t actually GROW your business. Spending too much time on these pointless marketing activities (think: aimless Facebook posts, ads with no call-to-action, unmeasurable campaigns and other unnecessary marketing activities) is an all too common problem and one that can easily disguise itself as productivity.
But, being busy isn’t always enough, especially if random acts of marketing are taking your time away from high-value activities that have a direct impact on the growth of your business and your clients’ businesses.
So, how do you stop day-to-day “random acts of marketing” from getting in the way of your business growth?
Overcoming “Random Acts of Marketing”…
First, you need to get your entire team clear on your business’ purpose.
Once you’ve distilled this purpose down into a clear mission statement, you should define 1-3 key goals that will help you accomplish this mission. Make sure that each team member is completely clear on these goals so that they can assess the value of their day-to-day marketing activities in relation to these goals.
Let’s take a look at this in practice. Here are a couple of real-world examples of purpose-driven marketing principles that you can use to avoid the low-value activities that are slowing your progress down:
Example 1 : Does It Sell Cars?
An example that I think is really useful comes from the marketers at McLaren Automotive.
They ask a simple question of all of their marketing activity to keep it on track:
“Does it sell cars?”
It’s a basic question to ask of their marketing activity to ensure it’s of real value and is serving the business’ big-picture purpose.
You might be thinking “there’s more to marketing than just making sales” and you’re right. But, an acronym like “DISC” ensures that you keep your business’ purpose front-of-mind and that all of your marketing activities are directly impacting the growth of your business (and you’re NOT wasting time on random acts of marketing).
Say, for instance, you decide to create a viral video for your business. You get a sense of the content your target market loves to share and you get to work planning the video that will sweep the web –
Does it “sell cars” (to use the example above)?
No, it doesn’t. Trying to go viral is, for most businesses, a waste of time and resources and makes no measurable or meaningful contribution to your business growth.
Now say, for example, you’re working on an end-to-end campaign to re-engage existing customers. You may not think that engagement alone “sells cars”. But, consider the place of this engagement in your broader strategy: engaging your database of existing customers is an great way to generate active leads, who you can then nurture into repeat customers for your business. And, as you know, repeat customers are your most profitable customers – just a 5% increase in customer retention can increase business profits by 25-95% (Source: Harvard Business School).
So, does that campaign sell cars?
If it’s done right, then yes, it does.
Example 2 : Objectives and Key Results
Another great example of purpose-driven marketing is the concept of OKRs, or “objectives and key results” – an idea developed at Intel and used by Google.
The idea behind OKRs is that the company as a whole and each team within that company has one main objective and three measurable key results. If you achieve two out of three of these results then you’ve achieved your overall objective and if you achieve all three, well then you’re really at the top of your game.
It’s clear how this principle works as a top-level idea to keep teams on track in a big organisation. BUT, you can actually use this idea right now, no matter what size your business is, to keep your team focused on the highest-value activities for your business. Here’s how:
Making the OKR process work for you:
- At the start of each week have your team members set objectives that speak to your or your clients’ growth goals (this can be done individually or as a team depending on the objectives).
- Then outline the three key results that your team members expect to see by the end of the week – keep these clear and measurable. By documenting this process at the start of the week, you and your team will find it easier to avoid low-leverage activities and “random acts of marketing” and focus on activities that will help you get the results you need to reach your bigger objective.
- As the week progresses, you should be checking your predicted results against your actual results and adjusting your action steps accordingly.
- (Note: this process can be done bi-weekly or even monthly for larger projects, but should be revisited regularly in order to keep all marketing activities on-track)
In order to avoid wasted time, wasted investment and missed opportunities to achieve REAL growth, it’s really worth taking the time to assess the value of your marketing efforts and refocus on the select few activities that will make a significant difference to the success of your business.
Fun endnote: We may not be in the auto industry, but the team here at JTN & Associates likes the DISC acronym so much that we often ask each other “does it sell cars?” as a reminder to keep our own daily marketing activities on track. If our activities aren’t actively contributing to the growth of our business or our clients’ businesses then they’re either labelled low-priority or scrapped entirely.
This post first appeared on James T Noble | Smart Marketing For Agencies & Tra, please read the originial post: here