If you are communicating with people you are marketing. If you aren’t communicating you aren’t marketing. OK, this may be a statement of the obvious but sometimes I find people get stuck in deciding what to do next in their marketing and having a simple priority can help unblock the blockage! While communication might be the essence of marketing, the art of marketing is about making that communication as effective as possible. The danger is that by focusing on striving for effectiveness perfection, you never quite get around to the communication bit. Alternatively, so much effort (and time, and money!) goes into planning a campaign that when you launch it and it doesn’t quite deliver as expected, everything (including communication) is put on hold while you start the planning process again!
A different approach?
A. Create a communication platform
Let’s accept that communication is at the heart of marketing so, if nothing else:
make sure you are actively communicating with your customers, prospects and contacts.
The key is to be communicating in a way that isn’t too demanding of you time or money so it is easy for you to keep going. It doesn’t really matter how you communicate:
- Direct Mail
- Face to Face
- Telephone (yes, some people actually like cold calling!)
- Social Media (as long as you aren’t blindly posting stuff that nobody responds to)
Different people like different things but the bottom line with all of the above is that you are engaging with people so there is a possibility they might want to do business with you!
B. Build structured marketing planning on top of your communication platform
Once you are actively communicating, then start thinking about improving effectiveness by looking at the classical elements of marketing:
- Target markets
- Channels etc.
Once you start this, you will quickly highlight if there are any major issues with your communication platform. If there are, you need to go back and focus on your communication platform, in the light of your new-found knowledge. The main thing is that you don’t just stop communicating because you have decided it isn’t effective enough. Certainly change things but don’t stop!
Refine and develop your communication
Assuming that you are comfortable with your ongoing communication then as your plan develops you can implement your ideas through your communication, whether as a refinement to your networking, e-mail, telemarketing or whatever you are doing, or adding a new/additional channel to your communication. By giving yourself time to think and plan your marketing you have a chance to improve your communication By making sure you keep communicating, you have the opportunity to achieve your objectives! I know I’m not talking rocket science here but so much marketing is wrapped up in technology and complexity that it is easy to forget the basics. If you are communicating with your markets and your planning makes your communication effective, you really can’t lose!
If you want to get the right balance of planning and communication action for your business, give me a call