By Becky Carr
We thought the paddleboat was securely tied to the dock and were enjoying an evening cocktail on the porch when a group of intelligent and worldly adults noticed the boat was adrift. Quickly surmising the situation, four discussed the strategy by which to rescue the run away boat. Two offered to swim out to save it. They put on life jackets and set off after the boat. Two more didn’t wait to participate in the strategy and took off down the closest route – a treacherous cliff – and one of them ended up in the hospital with a broken wrist. While both the swimmers and ‘acrobats’ accomplished the same goal, the ones who adhered to the well-thought out strategy avoided weeks of rehabilitation.
There are always multiple ways to accomplish the same objective but inevitably the most well thought out strategy wins out. Why is it that we sometimes take the short cut to achieve speed to market?
Today marketers are under so much pressure to deliver in seemingly unrealistic timeframes to stay ahead of the competition that they often rush into “random acts of marketing”. In order to fully maximize results, marketers must stop to develop a ‘roadmap’ for each campaign and plan for the ongoing nurturing of leads. They must leverage every medium at their disposal to captivate their audiences who have unique ways in which they consume information. Lucky for us, we have more resources at our disposal to achieve these objectives.
Gone are the days when marketers would report their results based on the number of people to attended their trade show booth, or opened a direct e-mail or clicked through on the website. We are now held accountable for defending the ROI of our marketing budget and those metrics are a radical departure from the past.
In order to deliver a true ROI on marketing campaigns, marketers can’t take the fastest route. They must step back and assess their audience and messages and proliferate their campaigns across a myriad of vehicles. Taking the time to develop that roadmap, setting specific goals and executing consistently will yield the best results.
While launching a social media/inbound marketing campaign may seem easy – just start tweeting, or post a blog, or create a Facebook page – it’s not going to be effective unless you’ve thought through the next steps. If someone reads your blog and wants to learn more, you need to have your website and resources aligned. If they react to a tweet, you need to be prepared to respond. You need to have thought through the lifecycle of interactions that eventually nurture each lead into a sale. To learn more, I encourage you to read “The 10 Step Program to Jump-Start your Inbound Marketing Machine” by Anne Marsden.
Don’t take the short cut that just allows you to ‘check the box’. Do the work and create a multi-faceted plan to maximize coverage, nurture potential clients and deliver real world marketing results.