Six tips for keeping your marketing fresh

I always look forward to summer – barbeques, light evenings and beer gardens. And in theory it should be an ideal time to review marketing strategies. If you do find chance great, but more often than not, your marketing department can get decimated through holidays and before you know it, September is here and your workload is going crazy again. But you MUST find time to review your marketing direction. Here are my top tips for keeping it fresh and effective.

 

  1. It’s not (just) what you do, it’s the way that you do it

 

It can be easy to jump straight into planning tactical initiatives but your marketing strategy needs to consider approach, tone of voice, who your customers are and their needs as a starting point. For example, if you were a wealth adviser, targeting mature high-net worth individuals you wouldn’t write collateral in a really informal tone or highly technical language. Don’t ruin your hard work by building on unstable foundations.

 

  1. Get some perspective

 

The problem with ‘living’ the marketing plan day-to-day is that it can be very difficult to view your company from the customer’s perspective. One way to do this could be to open up the process to senior people from other parts of the business, commercial partners or an external consultant. This objective viewpoint will show up how robust your marketing strategy really is.

 

  1. Never stop learning

 

In a busy business it is difficult to take time away from the day job and devote time to learning from your competitors and also other sectors. However this valuable insight is vital to shaping your thinking and driving innovation. For example could you learn from Coke’s ‘Share a Coke with’ campaign and adopt a more personalised approach to your content marketing?

 

  1. Is it working?

 

It is always easier to make decisions based on data, rather than instinct. Does your Google Analytics show that your social media efforts are driving more visitors online? Are people opening and reading your e-newsletter? What topics and types of content are of most interest to your target audience? If you set the right objectives and performance measures as part of your marketing dashboard, it’ll be easier to determine whether you are putting emphasis on the right tactics.

 

  1. If it isn’t working, change or stop it

 

This may well seem obvious, but it is amazing how many teams and companies do things because “we’ve always done it that way” or “everyone else does that”. You only have a finite amount of time, budget and resources so make sure you aren’t investing this in unproductive tactics.

 

  1. Get out!

 

Set two or three review dates for the next 12 months and get your senior team out of the office to review your plan. Not only will you be away from internal distractions but the new surroundings will help foster fresh thinking. And switch off phones, tablets and any other devices that will potentially divert your attention (you might feel liberated!).

 

Regularly reviewing your marketing strategy will make your business more agile and able to cope with changes within your industry – whether they are driven by the customer, your competitors or outside influencers (e.g. technology). Don’t do this and you risk being left behind.

 

This article was originally produced by Marketing Communications Consultancy, Freshfield.

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