This morning I read an article in AdAge about the new MillerCoors CMO discussing MillerCoors’ marketing initiatives over recent years and his plans for moving forward. In the article, he mentioned that the company’s marketing initiatives had been too scattered over the past several years.
The comment got me thinking a bit about the way that startup and early stage companies and nonprofits approach marketing. Most startups and nonprofits don’t actually have any real marketing leadership – no directors, no managers. If they’re fortunate, they can afford to hire an assistant to handle social media and email marketing, but no one to really guide them strategically. As a result, they often times end up scattering their marketing efforts – bouncing from campaign to campaign and strategy to strategy.
Tell me if this sounds familiar (and be honest):
“This month, we’re going to focus on really building our social media following – we need more engagement!”
“Not sure that social’s working anymore, let’s see if we can get any response from our email list.”
“We got a little from our email list but not as much as I was hoping. Do we need to do more blogging?”
It’s way too easy to whip yourself into a frenzy and bounce around from strategy to strategy, hoping that you’ll find the silver bullet. As you do, though you’ll quickly find that you’re putting in a lot of effort with no real results leading to my favorite quote:
“Marketing doesn’t work for my business”
Here are a few tips to follow to prevent scattered marketing:
Create a Marketing Calendar
You should always have a master calendar that you’re working from for the “30,000 foot view”. This will tell you, by the month, what you’ll be focusing on. Does your product have different features that you want to highlight? Are there major milestones or events that you have planned for the year? Get them into a marketing calendar so that you can plan out your marketing.
Create Editorial Calendars
From that master calendar, you can develop weekly editorial calendars with daily tasks and topics to focus on. This is where you’ll decide what you’re posting to which social networks, when you’re posting blog articles about which topics and when you’ll be sending out emails to your database.
Follow the Plan
You can do all the planning and create all the fancy calendars you want but if they sit in a pile somewhere, nothing’s going to get done. Once you’ve built your calendar make sure that the various tasks (including planning tasks) make it into your calendar and task list. If you have a tradeshow coming up, you don’t want it to be a failure because the planning time didn’t make its way onto your calendar.
Scattered marketing can spell disaster for your growth. Don’t fall into the trap!