A Strategic Marketing Plan Lets You Focus on Marketing Tactics that Work
Shiny object syndrome keeps you from focusing on what matters
What if I told you that you don’t have to post on all social media networks?
Really. You can stop now.
Not every company needs to be on TikTok. Not every company should have 100,000 subscribers to their YouTube channel. Not every company should even be using marketing emails. And dear lord, not every CEO should be on Twitter. We’ve all seen what happens when people of influence let it rip on Twitter. The internet doesn’t forget, folks. This isn’t Vegas.
Look, I’m all for adding new tactics, but it’s like I tell my kids…you can get a new toy when you’ve given away an old one. When you shut off something that isn’t working or have optimized it so much that you earned some time and money back, then sure, let’s try something new. But let’s be a little strategic about it. Let’s not launch a merch store over the weekend just because we thought of a clever t-shirt no one will buy.
Keep your focus on your target markets
Just because there is a cool new app with a free trial that promises to automate your marketing and bring in a boat load of new clients doesn’t mean you should spend your entire day playing with it.
It’s easy to get distracted by the newest, flashiest thing out there. Shiny object syndrome occurs when people focus all their attention on something that is current and trendy but then drop it as soon as something new arrives.
It’s easy blame the C-suite for introducing most of the shiny objects, but target markets are the real culprit. If they are unclear, undocumented, or just plain wrong, you have no litmus test for the new tactics.
Fortunately, there is an easy fix to limit distractions and test out new tactics. Once you develop strong, detailed, well thought-out target markets, your tactical decisions become easy. New idea? Great! How will that resonate with our target audience personas? How should we go about executing it to delight the target market? Who else is using this tool for this audience?
See how that works?
A strategic marketing plan limits the chaos
When your tactics are all over the place, it feels like a three-ring shit show. Nothing takes priority. Everything is rushed because you’re doing too much. You feel like you’re not doing your job if you’re not everywhere. In other words, it doesn’t feel great. It’s damn near impossible to be successful at executing everything when you can’t focus on anything.
When someone asks if you’re doing a specific tactic, refer to your strategic marketing plan.
Make them feel heard and appreciated, but don’t derail your team to go down a research rabbit hole.
Practice this phrase:
“Wow, that’s a great idea. Thank you for sharing it. That’s not in our immediate marketing plan, but we will definitely keep an eye on it and dig deeper when we build our plan for next quarter.”
See how much easier that is than burning an entire day (or more) trying to find a reason to do, or not do, a new tactic?
Use meaningful tracking to develop a strategic plan
When your tracking isn’t meaningful, you waste a ton of time, money, and resources.
But when you know which tactics are bringing home the bacon, you’re able to direct your focus to tactics that work.
We often see companies feeling pressured to try a new tactic after a board of directors meeting or a leadership offsite. Why? Well, people like to be “in the know” and want to know why a company isn’t doing something they see all over the news. It sounds like, “Hey, how come we’re not on XYZ network?”
If the marketing team doesn’t have a plan and doesn’t have those target markets at the ready, then how can you tell the VP or C-suite exec or board member “no” to an idea? If you do have your target markets handy, then you can simply say, “Glad you asked! I agree that’s a super cool network. However, our target market, ABC, isn’t adopting it just yet. We’re keeping an eye on it in case it starts to trend that way.”
See that? Problem solved.
What are scattered tactics costing you?
We need to talk about morale.
The perception is that marketing staff are a dime a dozen. They aren’t. The good ones are hard to find. Really hard.
If your team is scattered, job satisfaction will likely dip to dangerous levels. You’ll end up spending precious time trying to restaff your department. We all know what a setback that can be.
If your staff sticks around, begrudgingly, chances are nothing is getting done well. Maybe it’s passable, but it could likely be much better and more effective if the staff only focused on the tactics that really mattered. Sure, the fun stuff is awesome, but try to optimize the tactics that are working well first.
Swap out scattered tactics with purpose and design.
Can you see how disorganization can make you feel like you’re living in a three-ring circus? If you feel like you or your team keeps getting distracted by shiny objects, it’s time to develop a strong plan. A well-thought-out, detailed strategic marketing plan will keep you from chasing squirrels.
We are always happy to talk through what tactics you should focus on and how. We can do that during your free consultation.
Originally published at https://www.foundationsfirstmarketing.com on September 8, 2021.