Staying on track with marketing plans is increasingly more difficult for businesses due to the plethora of digital marketing technologies now available, which seem to constantly change. How is it possible to stay on top of all the new marketing techniques? Should we even take notice? Short-term it’s best not to get too distracted, but long-term we don’t want to be left behind.
Video, live video, voice, messenger bots, chatbots, artificial intelligence, emotional intelligence, funnelling, pay-per-click and storytelling to name a few.
Lots of businesses make plans but find them difficult to stick to for whatever reason. The constant stream of new technologies and fast-moving digital landscape makes it even more difficult.
How can we plan whilst still being flexible in order to take advantage of new things as they arise? How can we stop ourselves from being attracted to every 'shiny new object' (technology) that comes along, which may not deliver the results desired.
With the digital world evolving so fast some businesses may not plan at all. Looking after the day-to-day operations of a company, finances, staff... marketing is yet another ball to juggle.
Marketing Planning or Freewheeling?
Plan too much and half the year might drift-by before making a start. Then the firefighting starts and the plan goes out of the window! Projects are at risk of slipping and needing more resource to fulfil the plan, or not happening at all.
Plan too little and brand, consistency and image may drift.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ― Benjamin Franklin.
Mobile devices enable us to market our businesses anywhere on the go. Live video streaming, social media, cameras and photo editing tools available on mobile phones have resulted in marketing messages going out thick and fast, not always considering if messages are ‘on brand’.
That said, by 'freewheeling' any opportunities are explored immediately, which can lead to competitive advantages and seen as innovative ‘embracing new technologies’.
However, 'going with the flow' and slotting in activity can make budgetary control very difficult and there's a danger that the desired results may not be achieved.
The perfect solution for planning marketing is probably achieved by combining both styles – planned and freewheeling. That way the destination is clear, but while on the ‘journey’ plans can have fluidity and be adapted to take advantage of new ways of marketing.
It is important to have marketing goals as a statement of the desired results to keep plans on track. When considering the suitability of any new marketing technique always keep the essence of the business, the product or service sold, the target audience, at the heart of everything you do.
When new techniques are added to the marketing mix, it’s best to experiment and don't implement too many at once. Keep a stable foundation of 'tried and tested' activity. Try not to be distracted by every 'shiny new object'. Think what is right for you brand, target audience and undertake thorough research.
It is worthwhile reviewing regularly to analyse and assess success rates and outcomes. That way campaigns can be monitored and tweaked for maximum success.
With the injection of social media and online campaign planning into today’s marketing mix, these tools require constant attention – execution, measurement, optimisation and adaptation.
Social strategy constantly evolves every 6 months with algorithm changes (as seen recently with Facebook) and introduction of new tools in the interim. The added complexities of analysis, conversion tracking pixels and SEO it is sometimes easier for businesses to consider outsourcing elements of their marketing such as social media, digital marketing and content strategy.
Clear Goal Marketing aims to support businesses with their marketing and offers a jargon-free, concise and no-nonsense solution.