C'mon Spring! Will it ever warm up?
Around this time of year, many of us are suffering from a serious case of cabin fever. Seriously sick of being cold and wet, our souls ache for sunshine, shorts and sandals. Warm weather seems so close, yet so far away. If you're like many companies, you start every New Year with a fresh marketing plan and fresh resolve. And - like the weather that hasn't quite turned warm yet - by this time of year, it can seem like you should have made "way more progress" than you already have.
You might have all the skills to make a difference in company revenues through marketing, you just might need more patience! Whenever you get tired and feel like nothing is moving fast enough or going easy enough, I encourage you to keep in mind three key points.
Planning. Preparing. Executing. Analyzing.
Just as the seasons cycle, you cannot just skip to “Execution” and live there all year round. Even if you live in a year round warm climate, your gardeners and farmers know you have to Plan. Plant. Nurture. Harvest.
You might be able to plan your marketing cycle so that you’re rotating through different campaigns and minimizing lead generation downtime, but each individual campaign needs to go through all four steps.
So many times a client will ask me to “just send an email” – but then what? Where does the email go? What’s the offer? How will we know if it was successful? How will we follow up? What are the next steps? Successful marketing takes time and effort to put together…which leads me to point two.
Boring but important things like scrubbing your list will make all the difference in your results. It's easy to get frustrated when it feels like you have to take three steps backwards to get one step ahead, but it's important. For example, let's say you want to plan a customer appreciation dinner. Instead of just reserving a restaurant and sending out invites, first you have to make sure all the right people are invited. Because not everyone has been putting the key contacts into CRM, you have to send multiple reminders to the team. Then you have to double check with the executives in your firm. All of this takes time, so you have to plan ahead, knowing you don't want that ugly feeling in your chest if you forget to invite the new CEO of your best customer to your event. Slow down enough to do things the right way. It may not always be fun, but it's necessary.
If you feel overwhelmed and like “nothing is working” maybe some of it isn’t. Rather than continuing as planned, it may be time to make adjustments. Test and measure. The Internet contains a treasure trove of tools you can use to see what ads are working, what messages are working and if your site is measuring up to your competitors.
That old saying “April showers bring May flowers” rings true in marketing as much as in any garden. Without adversity, without planning, without slogging through the tough stuff, the beautiful bounty is not possible. The May flowers only bloom because they’ve been soaked by rain (or in the case of us marketers sweat and tears). Endure and the bounty can by yours!
Through marketing training, consulting and copywriting, I help companies find their focus and harness their authentic power to create an extraordinary impact.