What I am trying to point out is this… Back in 2001 we developed our message, sent it out and waited for response. Today while this may still apply in some context, responses come faster, the amount of channels are greater, and we are not in total control of our ability to impact.
So why was this top of mind when the topic I was covering was about building a plan? Planning is the simpler part, sticking to your message and building the continuous momentum is the bigger challenge.
Take the necessary time and think it through
Let’s face it – with some extra effort, I can build a new campaign and begin executing almost overnight. But just because the execution time can be faster, we should not cheat ourselves on the time needed to develop a well thought-out message. Who are you targeting? What are customers already saying? What will they respond to and why? Think through your message, don’t just throw it against a wall and see what sticks.
Reinvent along the way
How long should you wait to see if we have right message for your market? I would argue this takes time. If you don’t see the results you are expecting in the time frame you’ve planned, think about adjusting your message instead of abandoning it. Marketing is a metric driven practice. Coordinate your reporting from demand to sales and use the information to help determine how to build your message to be successful.
Don’t allow flexibility to bring chaos
There are many factors driving us; budget restrictions, sales requirements, corporate branding, just to name a few. All these factors influence our message and our ability to stay on path. Changing course is much easier and there is tremendous value in this flexibility. But don’t let this ability to adjust cause chaos. Quick wins are never better than long-term success. Establish your message and stick to it . How long you stay on course is up to you. Factor in your sales cycle and make sure that your message stays around long enough to impact deals.
So, while I applaud those that build a solid integrated plan, I give a standing ovation to those of you who take the time the build your plan around a well articulated message and stay on course long enough to drive real impact.