Changing up your marketing strategy shouldn’t be done on a whim, and it definitely shouldn’t be a knee-jerk response to a specific event. While you have an existing strategic foundation in place, you still need to put the work in like you are building a strategy from scratch by reviewing all aspects of what’s working and what isn’t working, otherwise, you will find yourself in the same place six months from now, needing another big change.
The need for a marketing strategy change can be triggered by a number of different factors such as industry developments, audience needs, market trends, a change in service offerings, etc. You should be reviewing your current strategy to ensure effectiveness on a quarterly basis to make sure that you are still on track to hit milestones and that you haven’t lost sense of the goals you are trying to achieve.
If you are at a point where it’s definitely time to change things up, here are four things to consider.
Gaps are where there is a need that is not being met. It could be something that is customer facing like lack of engagement on social media, slow-to-respond customer service, too many outstanding customer service issues that were never resolved, a lack of education about your product, etc. It could also be operational and related to a skill set that is lacking on your team, misaligned strategy and goals, a lack of financial processes, etc.
To identify any gaps in your marketing strategy, you first need to assess what is working and what is not working. To do this, you need to analyze data related to all aspects of your marketing. For example, you might look at engagement on social media, website traffic and where it is coming from (or lack thereof), and conversion rate (those who go from browsing to a sale). Once you figure out where your strategy is lacking you can identify solutions to fill those gaps.
Approaching your marketing strategy change in this way will help you base your new strategy on fact-based needs rather than a gut feeling. While you should definitely not ignore what your gut tells you, your ultimate decisions need to be well-thought out.
What are you trying to achieve with your marketing strategy? You need to identify how this strategy fits into the overall big picture of your business to ensure you are working towards growth. When you are building on your current strategy or tweaking it to get better results, you need to identify tactical marketing changes that will help you reach your business objectives more effectively. In many cases, there is a misalignment of strategy and objectives and all that is needed are a few small changes to really see results.
As you are setting your marketing strategy objectives, make sure that they are quantifiable so you can measure your progress. You should also identify both short-term and long-term objectives.
After setting both short-term and long-term objectives as well as identifying your tactical changes to your marketing strategy, build out a timeline to help you implement and track your success. You can always tweak the timeline as necessary, but it will keep you and your team on track. Be sure to include things like major deliverables, growth targets, and strategic decision deadlines.
Let it breathe
The hardest part about starting something new is waiting to see if it will work after you set it in motion. Depending on your goals (short-term vs. long-term), your strategy can take up to 6 months to see full results. That’s not to say you can’t tweak things along the way, but you do need to give it time to settle. In the short-term, an example would be Facebook Ads. Once you launch your campaign, a lot of people suggest that you leave it for up to three days before changing anything.
Adjust expectations accordingly to allow for your new marketing strategy to really get going.
Changing up your marketing strategy can be a necessity, but remember that you aren’t throwing everything out the window only to introduce a whole new strategy. You need to reflect and build on past marketing efforts to make it fully worthwhile.
If you feel like your current strategy is just not cutting it and you are ready for a change, we’d be happy to spice things up for you. Give us a call, and we’ll talk strategy.