Great marketers think strategically.
This post is part rant and part level-setting (please excuse the corporate cliche :)). Bear with us!
Many times, clients or co-workers or even your boss think that marketing is only about the tactics. We tend to hear some pretty standard questions including:
-How can we increase our followers on (insert name of new social media platform)?
-What are some cool, catchy things we can do to get email subscribers?
-If we run a contest, would that help?
I encourage anyone and everyone to step back and ask yourselves, how will these things help me reach my ultimate goal? If you get stuck here, then we have identified the first problem. Marketing does indeed include the use of tactics to generate the results you want. However, these tactics must come from a specific strategy and the strategy must be tied to measurable goals.
Instead of looking for ways to scream your message from the mountaintop, do you even know who you want to talk to? Who is your target consumer? Are you engaged with this audience? How will you target them? How can you position yourself amongst your consumers to reach these coveted potential customers? If you can clearly articulate answers to these questions, then it is time to move on to the next step – SET GOALS! What are you doing all of these things for? What is the bottom line? What actions do you want these consumers to take so that your goal can be met?
I know all of those questions may seem overwhelming, however they must be answered. Clearly.
Once you have your goals, putting the strategies and tactics together will be much easier. You will know exactly who you are engaging with and what actions you would like them to take that will ultimately help you reach your business goals. At this point you are really just finding the best way to approach these goals.
As a marketer, strategic thinking is a requirement. You cannot start from the tactics and work your way backward. Start with the (seemingly) mundane stuff first, so when you are ready to pull the trigger on that contest, or implement that social media strategy, you can expect a great return on investment.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments!