Tuesday, September 15, 2015

What Does a Squirrel Crossing the Road Have to Do with Marketing?

By Connie Roberts, Independant Marketing Statigist
September 2015 ~ Shared by Permission

While diving down the road one fall day, I glimpsed a squirrel fidgeting on the side of the road. Suddenly, he jumped right in front of my tire and I had no time to break or avoid hitting him.

It made me think about long-term vs. short-term planning. In the frantic pursuit of his short-term objective of getting that nut on the other side of the road, he lost sight of his long-term goal, which was to survive the winter.

It’s easy to get distracted by the newest tool, fad or even changes in the marketplace. Technology is rapidly changing customer behavior, and the tools for reaching them.

This is where the importance of having a strategic plan comes into play. I’ve read that as many as 50 percent of small- to medium-sized companies don’t have a marketing plan in writing, and that number is higher for a digital strategy.

Creating the hierarchy of goals, objectives, tactics and best tools to execute across multiple platforms, audiences, time, and geography, plus organizing into to a written document and developing budget, is a big task, but well worth the investment of time.

Marketing has become more complex these days. The array of tools and buzz words is dizzying: integrated, automated, online, offline, inbound, outbound, CRM, personas, assets, and many more.

When you take a disciplined and thoughtful approach to planning, picking the tools and tactics that support your objectives, your customers’ preferences and behaviors, and your ability to produce, execute and sustain, you are better equipped to execute on plan, while continuing to evaluate new tools and market shifts in real time.

I like to plan annually, test and tweak constantly, and measure results at least monthly or per campaign against the objectives. As tools, markets and behaviors evolve, I look at incremental changes needed to stay on track for achieving the objectives that support the goal. And these decisions are always best made in a calm moment based on performance and results, not in the heat of the chase.

There are many shinny objects (and nuts) out there calling out to the chasers and early adopters in all of us.

Are you chasing nuts or executing for the long term?

Follow Connie via this article at LinkedIn.

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