Keeping your marketing strategy fresh and up to date is vital, especially as new trends or technologies emerge. But making a big change to your current strategy requires some due diligence. The state of your business, your existing marketing strategies, your goals and the potential costs associated with an overhaul are all factors to consider.
Below, nine Forbes Agency Council members outline the No.1 question that business owners should ask themselves before planning a new marketing strategy.
Clockwise from left: Trevor Sumner, John Gumas, Robby Berthume, Stormie Andrews, Leila Lewis, Bernadette Coleman, Michael Mogill, Sarah Mannone, Karen Leland. All photos courtesy of individual members.
1. Is The Effort Better Served On An Existing Marketing Channel?
The most common mistake in marketing is businesses that spread too thinly and don’t get real value out of most of their channels; 80% of the results come from that last 20% of the effort. Setting up a Facebook FB +0.75% page without regular posting gets you nothing. Blogging three to four times per week delivers three and a half as much value as one post per week. Put your effort where it drives results, instead of just checking a box. - Trevor Sumner, LocalVox
2. What’s In It For Our Business Prospects?
Many times business owners believe prospects will listen to everything they have to say. Nothing can be further from the truth. Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes. Prospects need to know what’s in it for them before they will purchase. We tell business owners to discover this critical information first, then build your marketing strategy around this promise. - John Gumas, Gumas Advertising
3. Am I Getting Ahead Of Myself?
Before working on a new marketing strategy, sometimes it’s wise to step back and take a close look at your product or service to determine if marketing is where you should be investing. A new marketing strategy can’t sustain a product that’s losing its innovative edge. Marketing starts with the product. Don’t get ahead of yourself. - Robby Berthume, Bull & Beard
4. What Does Our Ideal Client Look Like?
Businesses often launch new marketing campaigns with the intention of appealing to everyone. Unfortunately, this approach leads to unsuccessful campaigns because it appeals to no one. I recommend creating a fictional representation and empathy map of who you want to attract. Identify what struggles and pain points they would be experiencing as it pertains to your goods, services and solutions. - Stormie Andrews, Yokel Local
5. Is It Worth It?
Some marketing strategies can seem so creative and unique, but at the same time can be time-consuming and expensive to execute. Marketing trends go by quickly, so when you think of an idea, you need to get on it without hesitation. But if you’re limited by finances and time, it’s best to just ask if it’s worth it. If it’s not, move on. - Leila Lewis, Be Inspired PR
6. Where Do Our Customers Consume Their Content?
Many panicked business owners fear they are missing out on the latest and greatest social media platform, or “it” marketing strategy. The first question to answer is where do our customers hang out? How do they consume their content? These answers are what should drive strategy. Don’t be afraid to not participate in something. Popularity doesn’t mean it’s right for you. - Karen Leland, Sterling Marketing Group
Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?
7. What’s My Data Telling Me?
Listen to your data. What is it telling you? Are you generating leads but failing to convert? What channels and tactics of engagement are proving most valuable? Are you spending most of your efforts on these? Starting with data ensures that you properly identify the problem that needs solving in your new strategy and gives you benchmarks against which you can measure your future success. - Sarah Mannone, TREKK
8. What Is The End Goal?
What do you hope to achieve? You have to begin with the end in mind. Then, you can come up with the right strategy based on the goals you have. If you don’t have clearly defined goals, you will not have clarity over the result that you hope to achieve. - Michael Mogill, Crisp Video Group
9. What Is The Sense Of Urgency?
That’s the No. 1 question in planning a new marketing strategy. Everyone wants leads now, but what is the true sense of urgency? How quickly do you need leads and sales? How long can you sustain a budgeted marketing plan? Truly understanding the sense of urgency lets us plan accordingly. We know how aggressively to push each area being measured. - Bernadette Coleman, Advice Local
Catch up on my current posts along with industry articles