Do you have a strategy?


Every company says they have a marketing strategy, but how good is it?


Recent research from the IPA shows that marketing effectiveness has plummeted in the past 10 years.


Since 2006, campaign effectiveness and long-term efficiency have fallen, and short-termism is steadily rising.


It makes you wonder: is your marketing strategy really a strategy?


Or are you just creating marketing fluff?


Take the "Marketing Genius or Fluff" quiz to find out...



You’re targeting Millennials


Millennials are not a valid market segment. To say that everyone born between 1981 and 1996 share the same behavior, beliefs and preferences is absurd. Anyone with kids knows this instinctively. The same applies to Baby Boomers, Gen X/Y/Z, and any other generic age-related demographic. Segment and target your market based on relevant market behavior, not age.




You're being ‘agile’


I don’t care what McKinsey says, being ‘agile’ is just another term for “shit we don’t have a plan so lets just wait and see what happens.” While being able to react to the market is important, it does not replace the need for an actual strategy. Sorry.




You have generic goals like “innovation”


Being ‘innovative’, ‘increasing sales’ or ‘best-in-class’ are not strategic goals. Strategic goals are specific to your business - clearly defined objectives that are targeted, measurable and have a firm deadline. If you can apply your goal to another company, and have it still seem valid, it is not a strategic goal.




You’re ‘doing SEO’


SEO is not a strategy. Unless you’re on a legacy platform from 2001, no-one needs to ‘do’ SEO. Google has advanced to the point where all the old tricks like keyword stuffing and meta tags no longer work. In fact, the algorithm punishes it. Just focus on writing things that are interesting and relevant to your audience.




Your media spend is 100% digital


Media neutrality. Two words with heavy implications. Putting 100% of your marketing budget into any one channel exclusively is guaranteed to kill the effectiveness of any campaign. Choose your media based on your strategic goals for the year – the more channels you can afford the better!




You have a content/social/influencer strategy


Don’t confuse tactics with strategy. Facebook posts, influencers, emails and blogs are a means to an end. They fall under the umbrella of strategy, but are not strategies themselves. Don’t make working with influencers a goal - articulate how they will help you fulfill your strategic objectives.




You don’t know how much ROI your campaigns will generate


Remember the old “half my marketing budget is wasted…” joke? It shouldn’t be your reality. If you’re crossing your fingers and hoping your campaigns deliver a profit, you’re doing it wrong. Work out how much revenue each strategic objective is expected to deliver. Your CFO will love you for it.




You have no research budget


No research budget means no research, which means your strategy is based on assumptions, guesses and wishful thinking. An effective strategy needs to be founded in reality, not fantasy. Market research is the essential first step to creating an effective strategy. It doesn’t cost as much as you think.




Your brand positioning can’t fit into a single slide


If your brand mission, vision or statement includes maps, flow charts, or multiple pages of text, you are in trouble. Consumers are never going to remember more than two or three things about your brand. You need to choose these things wisely and bake them into everything you do.


If you made it without checking any boxes, then congratulations - you probably have a solid marketing strategy!


If you checked one or more of these boxes, then... you probably don’t.

Sorry.


But know that you're not alone.


60% of organizations fail to link strategy to their budget, and 85% of executive teams spend less than one hour a month discussing strategy.



Luckily, you’ve just found someone who can help you out.


I help companies and brands:

  • Understand their customers

  • Balance long and short-term market growth

  • Create effective, profitable marketing campaigns


If you'd like to discuss getting a better marketing strategy, get in touch!

I Sometimes Send Newsletters

 

New blog posts, a handful of times a year. Get them delivered to your inbox.

© 2020 by Ian Barnard.