“Tactics, Tactics, Tactics…. Everywhere I look, all I see is tactics!”
Perhaps you have also felt that same way recently. We hear about tactics across nearly every marketing channel out there. QR Codes. Personalized URLs. Augmented Reality. SMS/Text-Messaging. Mobile Email. Social Media Advertising.
Those are just a few of the terms that we hear and talk about quite frequently in the marketing world. I know that I can often get quite excited about them!
But, while there is nothing wrong with diving in and understanding specific tactics, we run the danger of thinking of those things as bright and shiny objects that can solve all of our problems!
Instead of falling into that trap, we must be willing to increase the amount of effort and focus that we put on having a strategy.
Long-Term Solutions Come From Having a Strategy
If our business primarily consists of providing marketing services to our customers, we certainly need to pay close attention to new tools and technologies that could improve our offerings.
However, we must ensure that the things we do add (for example, a QR Code or PURL on a postcard) are not treated simply as add-ons. Rather, we should focus on integrating them into the overall marketing strategy that supports our customer’s goals.
Often, the development of a strategy will consist of us asking critical questions. The answers to those questions will not only help us decide which tools and technologies should be used, but also, how should we best use them.
Yes, I realize that some clients may come to you with a fully thought-out marketing strategy. But in today’s world, many CMO’s are running around at a frantic pace; thus, they could benefit by having a service provider offer some consultation and suggestions. If you do find yourself in that position, here are 4 steps that could help you develop and/or analyze a marketing strategy for your clients:
- Describe the Business: This sounds simple, but it’s crucial. It may help you to define key characteristics that affect branding and messaging.
- Define the Goal: The goal will help us to avoid using a new tool or tactic simply because it’s new. Rather, it will help us to ensure that the reasons we decide to do (or not do) something are done for a reason.
- Understand Who the Audience is And Where They Are: Think about QR Codes for a second. If your client is going to be placing print advertisements inside of a subway station where there is no cell service, do QR Codes really make sense? Or, if you are going to send information that is highly sensitive or private in nature, will a personalized URL actually cause people to not respond?
- How Will You Measure Success?: As a service provider, we may be constantly looking for ways to demonstrate and prove our value. However, in the rush to incorporate a new tactic, we may overlook what steps are necessary to help us measure the effectiveness of a specific tactic. By answering this question ahead of time, we will increase our chances of being able to present valuable data to our customers during the marketing campaign.
These are just a few of the questions that can help us to develop and deliver solutions that increase our revenue now and in the future. I hope that you find them find helpful! Yes, there will be always be new tactics that catch our attention, create some buzz, and get us excited (me included!). But no matter what the tactics are, having the right strategy will help to put us on the right path.