Although ‘commitment’ is a word that many often shy away from, I have never been so humbled as I am when I work with small and medium business clients who work around-the-clock to satisfy their customers, stay in the game, and try to reach their goals of success.
What strikes me as ironic is that these companies, which show such a deep commitment to their overall success, often feel that when it comes to marketing and advertising, they should expect quick and immediate results.
Although the media we use today have the ability to promote our brands and spread the word almost instantly, many SMBs have come to expect a return just as quickly. However, in truth, we need to be realistic about our commitment to our marketing strategies, and trust that it takes time to see the return on our branding touch points.
Here are a few tips on what processes and possible pitfalls you need to consider when reviewing the ROI of the tactics outlined in your strategic marketing plan.
- No matter how small the marketing tactic, make sure you have a detailed timeline which outlines development time, implementation time, expected results vs. actual results, as well as roles and responsibilities.
- Assign an internal resource to manage and measure each campaign. If you do not have an internal resource, hire an external marketing company to take care of this for you.
- Ideally, you should have weekly progress reports to see how each marketing tactic is faring. Depending on the length and type of campaign, with a weekly report you can adjust the tactic to impact the results.
- Although everyone wants their video to go viral, most don’t. Make sure you have a detailed plan for your video. Read my blog on online videos for some tips in this regard, at https://creativeworksmarketing.wordpress.com/2012/09/24/online-video-its-not-only-video-production-its-marketing/
- All tactics need to be tied to your strategic marketing plan, which is then tied to your business plan. In other words, an online campaign and an email blast may produce some immediate outcomes, but make sure they support your brand message, and are sustainable for the long term.
- ROI requires actual measurable results, make sure you have these, and know where to access them, so you can determine if they were in fact success or not. For example, if you are running an awareness campaign, how will you measure its success?
- It takes time to build an online presence, so assess the results of each campaign to determine whether it has helped you to achieve your objectives. For example, one online campaign may not yield results, but if it was inline with your brand and your target audience, then consider another type of online campaign.
Protecting and promoting your brand through marketing strategies is a full-time commitment. In a world of known brands, SMBs must be particularly diligent in continually publishing positive company information, keeping your brand in front of your customers, defining your uniqueness in the industry, and measuring your ROI. As your brand grows, so will your company’s success!
Is your business committed to marketing? If so, how has this played out in your business? Please share your questions and comments below.