Numerous clients and colleagues ask me what they should do about marketing these days, because they find it a very hard job to market and sell even the best imaginable product or service, in this bad economy. As far as sales are concerned, cycles are much longer and actually closing a contract lasts twice as longer than one year ago, let’s say. And even if you do close a contract, the profit will be smaller.
In terms of marketing, there is a tremendous pressure to achieve better results by investing less money. Many marketers may think that quickness is the fastest way to success, but this can actually harm the business, instead of helping it. Maybe the best thing to ask yourselves is not: “What brilliant marketing techniques should I use next?”, but rather “What is the perfect balance between reactivity and pro-activity?”
This is the difference between the two opposed attitudes:
- Proactive marketers plan very carefully, spend the marketing budget wisely and control their message veery step of the way. That understand what works and what doesn’t work in their industry, and they are not afraid to come up with a bold strategy. They proactively spend valuable the marketing budget in areas most likely to create positive results. Proactive marketers participate actively in social media, and take control over what is being said about their companies, products and services, thus being able to limit potential damage. They always monitor and measure results along the way, knowing that these efforts will return value for the company in the end.
- Reactive marketers rush in and respond to trends, without taking their time to analize the market situation. These marketers do whatever they’re told or just follow therules they’ve read in books. In most cases, this approach ends up being more wasteful than successful, requiring multiple cycles to determine that something doesn’t work. With a “damage control” attitude toward their online reputation, these folks are vulnerable from a PR standpoint. Most often, they wait until the annual budgeting process to assess what happened to their money and efforts.
The point is: we all feel the pressure to deliver much better and convincing results than ever. Even though you need to act as quickly as possible, you should take a second and consider your attitude. Establish some measurable and sustainable goals and then execute your plan.