How do you kick-off a campaign for your company?
Where do you start digging for those nuggets that might turn out to be pure gold?
Well, before we dive in, let me describe three practices that will help any marketing project …
1. Don’t Treat Marketing as a Crisis.
At the start of a branding or marketing campaign have you ever asked the following? What might go wrong? What if it goes over budget? How quickly can we get this done?
This is a scarcity mindset where everything is treated as a crisis, and you’re focusing on all the wrong things before you even get started.
When it comes to branding, marketing, and the creative process, you can’t ditch uncertainty because it’s always there.
So stop worrying and start acting. Turn “what might go wrong?” into “how do we do this right?”
And realize that marketing is a sustained, incremental process in a digital world where mistakes are easier than ever to fix.
And when you ditch the “how quickly?” mindset, you’re ready to …
2. Figure Out How to Involve Employees AND Customers.
I like the idea of eliminating (or reducing) the “walls” that are erected between departments in a company or organization, especially when it comes to an ongoing marketing effort.
Yes, a campaign needs just a few key decision-makers to keep the project on track, but when it comes to building a brand, creating great content, improving SEO, and more, I want to talk to as many people as I can within the company, as well as current and former clients.
When you eliminate the barriers and start talking to employees (not just management) it’s amazing what bursts forth; great information, valuable insights and things the “higher-ups” haven’t even thought of.
And this teamwork is not just within the walls of the company. In my experience, most satisfied clients are more than willing to tell you how well you treated them and solved their problems. The same for vendors that partner with you.
And if a little constructive criticism surfaces, go back to #1 and don’t treat it as a crisis. Think of it as valuable feedback that can only help you improve your products and/or services.
And finally …
3. Understand Your “Why.”
And if you’re in business, your “why” translates to finding great customers and bringing in more work.
So this #3 is not about why you’re in business (I think you already know that), it’s about why in the world someone would do business with YOU.
And the magic starts when you step out of crisis mode and build a team that will start telling you what that “why” is.
A space where you build the momentum needed for a rock-solid marketing machine.
A world where decisions come easier, because the answers start to appear.
And the answers become your foundation, for marketing that addresses your customers needs and speaks their language.
This post is really a 1-2-3 process I would advise any company to use.
1. Step out of urgent mode, then retool and refocus.
2. Involve more than the usual suspects, including customers and those outside of the company. Interviewing is a skill that brings huge rewards, but many small- to medium-sized companies don’t do it. It takes time, but the rewards can be huge.
This might even become an ongoing practice that will help you develop and sustain a marketing program that works, because …
3. You’ll continually be discovering your “why” and speaking your customer’s language.
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