Four Must-Ask Questions To Amp Up Your Marketing

We’re huge advocates of planning, especially when it comes to marketing strategy. But the problem with formal plans is that they can be restrictive. No, scratch that. The problem with formal plans is that people feel too restricted by them. They assume they must stick to the plan no matter what; that there is absolutely no room for deviation.

We sit in a different camp: we believe a marketing strategy should be flexible. It should give you room to adapt and course correct as circumstances change. And let’s be honest. In the world we live in, they often do. Faster than anyone can usually predict. With that also comes the belief that you should check-in with your plan and review your progress. Regularly. Then determine what more can be done to enhance your results. This is especially critical if your marketing is not producing the returns you hoped it would.

So if your marketing efforts have left you wanting for more lately, simply ask yourself these four questions. You’ll be surprised at how easy is to uncover the adjustments you brand needs to improve its performance.

#1 How have we failed?

Too often businesses approach marketing by looking at what was done previously and then replicating it. But to really set your brand up for success, look at the goals you haven’t achieved, then figure out why they aren’t happening. By digging deep into the detail of what isn’t working, you’ll uncover where you need to reallocate resources or where you need to try something completely different.

A good supplement to this is to also think in terms of how the competition sees you. By acknowledging your weaknesses and actively addressing them, you can mitigate the tactics your competitors will use to try to overstep you. Always keep them top of mind and you can ensure you are fighting back harder than they’re fighting you.

#2 Do we really know what to do with social media and video?

Despite being a key driver for consumer engagement, a lot of brands – surprisingly – still lag in the use of social media and video content. The good news is it’s quite straightforward to start. We suggest looking for the interesting, personal stories that exist within the everyday operations of your business and then sharing them with your online community. Remember social media is much more than just another outlet to push promotions. It’s a forum for relationship building, understanding your customers and target market, and delivering value in the form of tailored, personable content that people can relate too.

As for video, it gives your brand the power to connect in a way words can’t. A well-produced video can be used for multiple purposes and will give you a return far greater than its cost. At the very least, if you don’t have one video telling your organization’s story on your website, make it a priority. Now!

#3 What more can we get for our media spend?

When it comes to media buys, the best attitude to have is “everything is negotiable”. And if it’s been a while since you’ve asked for more, it’s time to do so. Lower rates and fees, more value-adds, and better frequency should all be on the table. Consider working with a media buying pro. They have substantial relationships with media outlets and therefore greater power to negotiate for a better result.

Also, let go of the belief that you must have a presence in every medium. If your budgets are limited, select the channels with the strongest opportunities for your brand. You’ll not only avoid sacrificing results from spreading yourself too thin, but you’ll find you are also better placed to try new approaches and take bigger risks. It’s the most effective way to get to the bigger pay-offs.

#4 Do we need help?

Time is one of the most valuable assets for any organization. Freeing yourself of high-effort, low-return obligations gives you the opportunity to focus on the items that will yield a bigger payoff for your input. You’ll be amazed at how far you can advance by actually having time to THINK rather than just putting your head down to catch up on an epic to-do list.

Look at it this way: if, right now, you can’t be proactive about getting ahead or improving your performance, find a partner that can take on that responsibility. They can provide fresh insights and help carry the load, allowing you to focus on the higher-level initiatives that will propel your brand forward. More often than not, it’s a trusted partner that gives a brand the competitive edge it needs.