Marketing planning isn’t easy – even for great marketing managers
1. Whatever your first idea; you’ll launch something different. And that’s OK if it shows that you are listening and responding to what the market is saying. But not if you are only reacting to the opinions of colleagues.
2. Taste has no place when evaluating creative. Don’t tell me you don’t like it. Tell me why you don’t like it. In customer orientated terms. And no, “I just don’t” is not customer orientated.
3. Irrational beliefs have no place at all. Challenge the expertise and rationale of people who have opinions. And only listen if they express a rational opinion about their field of expertise.
4. Marketing requires commitment. Even the best plan will fail if you give up. Augment, alter, adjust, amend. But never abandon.
5. No plan survives contact with reality. Or as Mike Tyson eloquently said “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”. So learn to “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee” [Mohammed Ali].
6. Consistent execution matters. It takes between 7 and 20 touches – depending on what you are selling and to whom – before a new customer will buy from you. Never fall off their radar.
Budgets should be like playdough not stone
7. It always costs more than you think to establish a new product or service or brand. That’s because the world doesn’t work in the way marketing plans say it should. So re-budget as soon as you get measurable results
8. You can save money by peeling back to essentials. Will a custom photo on that Tweet get more clicks than a stock photo? Will more people enter to win an XLS sports car than the same model but the XL version? Probably not.
9. Marketing spend is investment. Optimise the return. If you can’t see how it contributes to profit then don’t invest in it.
If you are in the comfort zone you aren’t improving
10. Comfortable isn’t always the best option. Just because you are used to that particular digital marketing agency, or that distributor, or that supplier doesn’t mean that they are the right choice every time. Always question the comfortable.
Experiment, experiment, experiment. And learn.
11. Be prepare validate your hypothesis through marketing experiments. Keep at least 10% of your marketing budget available to try something new. It’s the only way you’ll really learn.
12. Somebody, somewhere already knows how to do it. Every marketing tactic you can imagine has been tried, researched, analysed and written about. Benefit from someone else’s mistakes. Read up on it before you try it.
13. Wheels are round for a reason. Don’t ignore what the folks in the offline world know. Great copywriting still pulls regardless of the medium, strong value propositions translate across to digital marketing, strong PR still creates engagement and so on.
14. Be a bit magpie minded. If you like a bright, shiny idea then pick it up and keep it until you need it. It’s not plagiarism, it’s inspiration.
15. But not everything shiny is brilliant. Don’t follow the band. Wait until you start to see real results supported by hard data being reported before you jump on board.
16. There is a reason why everybody does it. Never discount a tactic no matter how worn out or tired you may think it is. There may be a reason you keep seeing it.
Research is king, data is a prince and intuition is a beggar.
17. In an argument between what they know and what the market says, great marketing managers shut up and listen. Right or wrong, the market is always right.
18. Measure, measure and measure. Only if you measure can you test, optimise, maximise, invest and de-invest. And justify your job to your CEO.
19. A penny spent on quality research is worth a pound spent on communications. If you don’t have the product right, if you don’t understand the customer, if you don’t know where they congregate no amount spent on marketing will generate enquiries.
20. Asking one sales person is not market research. Neither is asking your entire sales team. Nor listening to the HPP*. Remove the filter and talk to the customers.
It’s more about the experience and the journey than ever before
21. Multi-channel communications outpulls single channel every time. People are busy. Unfocused. Where do they get information from? They get bits here and bits there. Then they put them together. Don’t leave them a piece short of a jigsaw.
22. Omnichannel communications outperform multi-channel. People like personal. Flex what you show them next based on what they have already seen. Yup, it’s hard work but it’s worth it.
23. Customers demand substance. Sell the sizzle not the sausage? Rubbish. People nowadays are too smart for that. Great marketing managers sell the sizzle and the sausage.
24. What happens after the sale is what really matters. Do all you can to retain customers: they cost less to market to. And welcome complaints and returns: they are user experience opportunities.
25. You don’t own the brand. No matter what you do, how customers interpret the brand is based on all of their experiences with it. So it’s your job to interfere in every department and make every experience a good one.
* Highest Paid Person