New Year. New You? Not so fast...
Don’t do it just do it. Don’t just throw everything out. Don’t do too much.
This post mostly coming from my project management background and not my creative… foreground :) but that is actually a good way to approach “marketing”.
As a reminder marketing is not adverting, promotion, design, public relations, sales, etc. Marketing is the plan that links all those efforts and services. I have explained that more in past post.
In my experience, there are typically two approaches to change. Hell no. or Hell yes! This time of year we are all about the hell yes. Don’t get me wrong you should embrace and be excited about change but that excitement should be managed and measured, measured in both its pace of implementation and evaluating the results. Part of project management is the change management process. Change is a thing, it's a process and experience that has contributing factors that must be address and often “managed”.
When change is finally embrace people often get over zealous in its implementation and they want to change everything or at least a lot at first. It is best to implement separate and measurable changes.
For instance, if your goal is growth you should not implement multiple growth promotion measures all at once that cannot be separately measured.
Sometimes you have to get very specific, for instance if you are using promotional items to generate leads, you should not give them out at several events that cannot be tracked separately. This is an over simplification but say you give out 100 items over two events. You get a conversion rate of 50%. By the way, regardless of how that is a very good rate but did you get all 50 from one event and zero from the other. So one was a 100% success rate and one was a complete failure. And without a way to measure that you have no way of knowing which was which.
Digital content marketing can over come this some because often we can measure everything separately through the supporting electronic analytics.
But before you change… Do not change things just for the sake of changing. Don’t just make a “whole new you”. Do not just throw everything out. Evaluate what you are doing. Figure out why it is not working, Figure out what parts should be kept.
For instance maybe you just have not stuck with a winning plan long enough.
It is best to start projects with a plan and a schedule. This helps remove emotions later on. You should begin with expectations and accountability. This is what we expect and this is how long it should take before we see changes.
Like it or not sometimes you have to give things some time. Often more time than we want. We all want to see instant results.
We are often caught between not waiting long enough or too long. Often we wait too long when we personally create a process or plan, we its is “our”. And do not wait long enough on plans we do not have a lot of confidence in. This is why it is best to work with a neutral minded party. Although, any creative agency or marketing agency should be excited to see you succeed. They should actually care.
It is important to remember that marketing is a process of testing hypothesis and learning. All agencies (hopefully) make the most educated decisions but there are often unknowns that are only discovered during the ongoing marketing process. It is okay to fail but the failures should be documented, tracked and learned from.