Recently, I had a conversation with a colleague of mine. We are both in the marketing field, and so we typically discuss various issues that come up with our clients. This type of sharing has the benefit of bringing in a fresh set of eyes on the situation, often helping to determine a new approach to a given issue.
Now, in the interests of respecting and maintaining privacy for both my colleague and his client, certain circumstances in the following story will be altered.
But the essence and the lesson remain the same.
This client approached my colleague with a relatively simple project about two or three months ago. There was a fairly tight budget involved for a specific scope of work to be undertaken to complete his part of the project. Over time, this project has ballooned in size and scope, but the budget has failed to increase at the same pace.
The changes to the project are not unusual or unreasonable, and in all likelihood could develop into an even better final product. The problem with the changes is that they are just being thrown out there, apparently on a whim.
When this project was first brought to my colleague’s attention, it seemed to have a clearly defined purpose and budget. However, now it seems as though whatever the project lead dreams about suddenly becomes part of the project.
This approach to marketing is doomed!
I’ve written in the past about what I term “ad hoc” marketing; its problems and its pitfalls. And what is happening with this project is a prime example of ad hoc marketing.
Too often, business owners are quick to say that marketing doesn’t work, or it doesn’t give them a proper return on investment. And while there are certainly some unscrupulous marketers, just as there are unscrupulous people in every line of work, it’s important that these business owners take responsibility when the failures rest on their shoulders.
No marketing campaign will ever work without first developing a proper marketing strategy. What is your budget? Who is your audience? What is your timeline? What is your message?
Sometimes, of course, things can change as a project gets underway. There is absolutely nothing wrong with changing your strategy if you find that circumstances have changed. But again, you don’t throw out your original marketing strategy and run with whatever idea crosses your mind at the moment. Stop and look at what remains beneficial in your original strategy and plan appropriately to incorporate the changes.
Whether you run a large corporation or are a one-man show, you will never obtain the results you want if you do not take a strategic approach to your marketing.
Until next time…
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