How has your marketing been lately? Are you smashing targets or smashing your head against the wall in frustration? Although there’s no exact science to marketing, when things aren’t going well, it might be time to take control in a different way.
Sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint exactly where things are not working. You know that something needs to change but it can seem bigger than the things you have day to day control of.
In marketing, as we know, many aspects across the company can affect the success of what you’re trying to achieve. For example, internal teams being misaligned or indecision at board level. This cannot only affect the rationale you’re given as to what your marketing needs to achieve, but it also causes conflict during the process. Everyone should be on the same page to get those results. So maybe the change that’s needed is to unite everyone in one direction?
Maybe the conflict comes from somewhere else. Perhaps you inhabit a brand that employees don’t feel connected with? As much as we need our customers to connect with our brand through marketing, we also need our internal customers (employees) to connect too. It’s just as important to bring them on the journey.
Change could be driven from the outside world too. Companies can often struggle with stand-out and articulating what makes their offering different. With growing competition, it can be harder to find distinction between your brand promise and that of your competitors. There’s rarely a big difference to point at these days. Differences are smaller and more fleeting. They tend to be made up of lots of tiny constituent parts that make the whole.
Or perhaps there is a desire to change perceptions to avoid missing out on potential customers, or a need has arisen to future-proof the brand and business?
There are a multitude of reasons for change and it can seem daunting as to what to do. But as marketers we’re in the best position to tackle it.
Let’s look at the outline of marketing strategy: we identify a problem, then we do our research to get an objective viewpoint, then we create strategy that will help tackle that problem, and finally we put together an action plan that will deliver the strategy and overcome the issue.
If things aren’t working as you’d expect them to, then that is a problem you’ve identified in itself. Recognising that it’s time for change is the starting point. Then your research is finding out what is at the core of the problem. Is it that internal teams need aligning to prevent further conflict, or do you need to clarify your brand proposition to improve your chance of sales? Maybe it’s a combination of a few things?
Once you’ve established the issue and what’s going on, then you can decide what action to take. You have the power to make change happen, whether it’s working with an external partner to help or managing the change yourself. The action plan has to be the process of how you’re going to make it happen. What is it that you want to achieve and how are going to achieve it?
Change isn’t something we do before our marketing begins, it’s part of the marketing process. How we work with peers is just as vital as how our customers perceive us. So next time you see something not working, don’t get frustrated, treat it like marketing strategy and make that change your next campaign.