There are lots of examples of marketing life cycles out there, but I want to talk about one that we see all the time, that’s really important. And they’re very different to customer life cycles, and they’re probably very different to what you might have seen as a marketing life cycle out there. But it’s important to us, so we wanted to share.
In your business we think marketing works on three fundamental and cyclical levels.
The first is strategy;
The second is operation;
The third is trends.
Now strategy is about a few sub elements.
- The first is story, which is your core, the core of your business. The Bible if you like. Something you should never really deviate from.
- The second element of strategy is brand. This is the content core. This is the Wow, the USP, the strapline, the brand. This is what we call the brand architecture.
- The third is into content. This is expanding your content core from your brand into a content strategy.
- Last but not least, in the strategy, is campaign strategy. This is about how do we design campaigns to get your ideal customers coming towards you for more information, so that they can fill your pipeline.
So that’s strategy.
The second piece was operations.
Operations is all about planning. And planning is all about structure, and realism, for us.
I’ve seen so many marketing plans that are just ridiculously overcooked. Just a phenomenal amount of work, that the business is never gonna be able to cope with.
And then they’re gonna say:
I didn’t do it;
It didn’t work;
They were crap.
Well why would I ever want anybody to have that opinion of me?
It has to be realistic, you know? Has to be achievable, it has to be doable, and affordable as well.
The next part of operations is execution. This is about making it happen. This is about if you like, time-management. Getting it in your diary. Having effective meetings. Making sure you’re moving forwards. That you’re not being paralyzed by decision-making processes, because everyone is terrified of making a judgment call.
It’s the worst possible place for your marketing to be.
Your marketing needs to be fluid, and active, all the time.
Beyond execution, you have to have an element of quality control in operations.
You have to ensure that you’re moving swiftly, but that the right corners aren’t being cut. That you’re not affecting the quality, affecting the outcome, affecting how your customers or prospective customers receive and perceive you. It’s really vital that you don’t cut the wrong corner.
There are some corners to be cut.
There’s lots of time to be saved, and money to be made in marketing, but you’ve got to do it, not at the expense of your customer, or prospect, because they’ll just think worse of you.
So we’ve had strategy and operations, the next element, the final element of this is trends.
Now trends are focused on a few sub elements as well.
- The first of which is KPIs; Key Performance Indicators.
What are you measuring? And why how does that bear any fruit for your business?
If you’re measuring something and it doesn’t actually add value, in terms of revenue, reach or data, why are you measuring it?
What’s the point?
Some people just get stuck in measuring for the sake of measuring.
I’ve seen so many people come unstuck just measuring stuff because they feel that the more they’re measuring the better things are. On the contrary. It can go the opposite direction. So measure what matters. What are you measuring? And why are you measuring it?
- Then it’s about the measurement methods.
How are you going to do it?
What’s the outcome of all of these data points that you’re collecting?
How do they bring benefit to your business and to your customers?
How can you improve?
And again going back to what you’re measuring, and why, being at the core of that. And then ultimately all of that feeds up into the ability to get to the smart bit. Which is drawing conclusions, trending, looking at things that are going to matter in the short, medium and long terms.
The key to successful marketing is working out where your cycle is breaking.
Where in strategy, operations and trends is it falling over?
Because wherever the chain is coming off, when you’ve broken it down into those three phases, and you walk through each one, when you get stuck, that’s where the blockage is. And you need to fix it ASAP!
Delighted to help you more.
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