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We're always thinking, discovering and sharing our knowledge of how to connect with customers in the digital age. Here we share some of those thoughts.

Having the Wrong Goals Can Be as Bad as the Wrong Plan

Having the Wrong Goals Can Be as Bad as the Wrong Plan

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To be effective, marketing teams have to continually fire on all cylinders—from data collection and analysis to strategizing, concepting, deciding which channels to target, development, deploying and tracking results, and back around again.

There’s no tactic that a marketer can put into play, then sit back and reap the rewards. In fact, your best tactic is a delicately balanced web of interdependent strategies that all hinge on a proper understanding of your company’s business goals.

Without that key alignment to overall business strategy, marketing efforts are ineffective and budget shrinks with the company. When marketing efforts are aligned, they make budgets — consumer engagement grows, revenue grows, re-investment grows and, ultimately, the company grows.

There are plenty of pitfalls that will distract you from your goals, divert resources, and have you running your team in circles. You just need to know how to avoid them.

Don't rush from channel to channel.

There's an old, tongue-in-cheek saying in the Midwest. Don't like the weather? Just give it a minute. It'll change.

It's the same in marketing. Too many marketers devote too much of their budgets into chasing the hot channel. What app is everyone using now? What's the Next Big Thing? Where can I find the BBD (the Bigger, Better Deal)?

Don’t fall for that trap.

Yes, you should be keeping on top of consumer trends and the continuing evolution of social media, but you shouldn't be sprinting from this channel to that. That's operational lunacy.

Instead, keep these questions front-of-mind:

  • How does this channel serve (or not serve) my overall business goal right now?
  • How might it serve (or cease to serve) my business goals in the future?

When a hot new app or platform hits the market, go ahead and stake out your company's claim to it. But don't let your marketing team get bogged down in developing that channel.

Build capacity first. Then, analyze your current and future needs, compare them to your consumers' demonstrated behaviors, and set your plan based on all the channels you have at your disposal. Always take a multi-channel approach; integrate your content and strengthen your sales funnel.

Don't reach for new customers at the expense of your best customers.

We must stay relevant! We need to stay young and snag that 18-35 demo!

How many marketing leaders have heard their CEOs or shareholders scream something like this?

Smart marketers know that revenue is the goal, not image. Image is fleeting. And it costs more to gain new customers than it does to keep existing ones.

If you’re focused so narrowly on making your brand attractive to younger consumers at the expense of your loyal customers, you’re actively working against yourself.

While business growth is the goal of your marketing, the above method is counterproductive.

If you’re looking to expand your audience, look at where your current customers live. It’s people like the ones who are paying you now that make the best (and most profitable) targets.

No, there's nothing wrong with cultivating relationships with younger or different consumer segments. But do it steadily and organically. Flashy doesn't translate to long-term popularity; genuineness does.

Don't throw over the folks who are already on board. Set marketing goals that satisfy and expand your base segments and leave the door open for new audiences.

Don't hyper-focus your marketing on your company's latest widget.

Your company is launching a new brand, product, or service. You want to get the word out about it — now, as wide as possible.

But these kinds of efforts shouldn’t take away budget from proven marketing efforts that are bringing ROI.

Too often, leaders devote large amounts of time, money and team energy to launches, diverting these resources from their proven revenue drivers. New widgets are great, but it means that you're spending a lot to chase after an unproven market.

Even if you've done all your market research and you're convinced — absolutely convinced — that your company has developed the next Tide detergent, or the next iTunes, or the next Facebook, you're not in control of consumer behaviors.

Because for every Coca-Cola, there's a New Coke. And for every Snapchat in 2016, there's... well... there's a Snapchat 2017.

Never market the new at the expense of the proven. If the product or service is good, market it with your existing line. Your followers and customers will tell you in short order whether it's worth upping the spend.

The right marketing plan is holistic and careful.

Step back from focusing on short-term goals. It can be all too easy to get tunnel-vision. Look at the larger business picture. Examine your brand's presence across all its channels. Shore up your foundation.

That's where we can help. Our Cleriti digital marketing consultants will sit down and listen to you, map out realistic, achievable business goals with you, and help you develop an accurate picture of your brand's reach.

Then, we'll help you develop a multi-channel marketing strategy that sets you up for continuing, sustainable brand success.

Ready to grow? Then click here.

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