Whether you’re seeing a steep, sudden decline in results or a gradual dip over time, even the most hard-working marketing plans flatline over time.
It could mean you’re in need of a complete overhaul of your current practices, or maybe it's a matter of simply adjusting a piece of creative. While I can’t diagnose the problem in 500 words, here are a few tips to help you get your marketing back on track:
- Start with the basics.
Clearly define your brand as it is today. How do you bring value to your customers? Do you truly understand what sets you apart from your competitors? Do you have clear and measurable objectives? The answers to these questions could be different from last year, or even last quarter.
- Avoid marketing on autopilot.
Be honest – do you remember why you’re investing in your current marketing efforts? Does each tactic ladder back up to a specific objective? If the answer to either of these questions is "no", it’s time for a new plan. Your strategy should evolve over time, and what’s worked before, even with dazzling results, will fall flat without continual refinement. Marketing is a process of change. A solid marketing plan will allow room for adaptability as you determine the messages, channels and markets that are most effective for your business.
- Don’t miss the forest for the trees.
It’s easy to get bogged down in the details and focus on just one or two specific KPIs or tactics to evaluate success. But remember that a successful marketing strategy should take a holistic approach, with clearly defined objectives, strategies and tactics that work together seamlessly to reach the right audience, with the right message, at the right time.
- Focus on quality over quantity.
Traditional advertising was based on casting the widest net possible, but today we target individuals, not demographics. Audience segmentation and focused messaging will deliver better results than a one-size-fits-all, blanket approach. Rather than trying to reach as many people as possible, take time to research and assess where your brand can have the most impact.
Here at VI, we put a lot of weight behind our strategic planning process because we’ve seen the clarity it brings to even the most difficult marketing problems. As agency partners, our job is to cut through the clutter and develop solutions that will allow your marketing (and your budget) to work smarter, not necessarily harder.
(To learn more about VI's marketing services, click here)