Tuesday, May 13, 2014

How Too Many Marketing Ideas can be Bad for Small Business

When it comes to marketing, ideas are a dime a dozen.  

It is easy to come up with ideas. There are so many options.  Often the result is too many ideas. 

marketing ideas graphicToo many ideas to sort out how they all fit together and to know which ones to do.
For small businesses and organizations doing their own marketing, it often becomes too time consuming or overwhelming as there are too many ideas, too many platforms, and too many other things requiring the business owner's attention.  And usually too many ideas to implement with existing and fixed fiscal and human resources.  

When businesses are busy with their day-to-day activities, marketing becomes less important. This is how too many marketing ideas can lead to no marketing. Busy companies tend to stop promotion and advertising. However the marketplace is ever-changing and marketing needs to be considered in both slow and busy times. 

The value of hiring a marketing consultant instead of doing it on your own for many small organizations is not just in the capacity to keep the momentum going over time, it is in the tracking of results and the realistic evaluation of the marketing ideas for their potential return on investment at the beginning.  A professional's evaluation is based on a variety of experiences through years of implementation and by keeping up with the best techniques and technologies of today. 

An external consultant can help clarify the best strategies and tactics to make your marketing successful, and can help with the discipline required for implementation and measuring results. 

The best place to start is with purpose.  Clearly defining the purpose of a marketing campaign is critical to help define the strategies.  Is it Brand Awareness? Attracting Customers? Introducing a New Product? Building your Email List? Influencing Stakeholders? 

Second, determine which metrics matter in assessing the campaign's success. These measurements could be survey results, clicks, hits, purchases, subscriptions, enrollments, followers, etc...whatever call to action you are encouraging.  They have to be trackable and there should be starting reference numbers in order to know what difference the campaign has made.  What is success for your investment of time and dollars? 10% increase? 25% increase? 1.5% increase? Our company has run advertising campaigns that returned less than 2% increase, but when the needle is already set at 97% moving it to 98.8% was a significant change for the client.

Of course the marketing ideas that are best for your campaign consider a lot of others factors such as target audience, budget, timing, competition, market environment, owned/earned/paid channels, among others. 

Once you know how your marketing campaign has made a difference, you will gain insight on which ideas are worth repeating.  We hope you'll share your ideas on how you make marketing decisions for your business or clients in the comments below.