On occasion I meet clients who say they have done some marketing for their business in the past. They’ve dabbled in search engine optimization, tried a tradeshow, issued a few press releases, or placed an ad in a magazine.
As we delve deeper into what they accomplished, I often hear the same phrase: “We tried it, but it just didn’t work for us.”
I call these individual attempts, “random acts of marketing.” Some companies prefer to toy with marketing without ever actually getting serious about it. They end up wasting money over time on several different vehicles with nothing to show for it. Their marketing is unstructured–lacking any real strategy, unmeasured–lacking any true feedback, and invariably results in mediocre success.
In the book Good to Great, Jim Collins talks about the flywheel concept. If businesses invest the time, resources, and money in doing one thing really well, getting the wheel turning, eventually all the momentum built up will allow the wheel to easily spin on its own.
Companies that spread their investment across a variety of random marketing tactics should instead place their money in a couple of keenly focused areas of marketing with sound strategies as the foundation, get these marketing activities working well, and then layer additional vehicles on top of well-run campaigns. With this structured, strategic marketing approach, it is easy to measure success, and consistently improve your marketing efforts over time..