The fear of failure is paralyzing. How many times have you thought about trying a new marketing strategy but stopped because the “what if’s” invaded your mind?
What if customers don’t like it?
What if no one orders?
What if it goes viral as a bad example?
What if … (you fill in the rest.)
But, what if you could try new marketing approaches and guarantee success every time?
You can, if you start with the right plan. Let’s start by defining marketing success. It is presenting your products or services in a manner consistently providing a return on investment. Do you expect every campaign to be a winner? Of course you don’t. You know that some promotions perform better than others.
Historically, marketing has been about combining what you know works with testing new ideas. There were rules and examples to follow. The pushing of the envelope usually involved tweaking successful campaigns to move your response to the next level. This experimentation helped find offers and copy that worked better.
Things have changed.
There are no rules and few examples to follow in social media. It is time consuming and uncharted. Even so, you can venture in knowing that every marketing effort will be a success. All you have to do is have a good strategic plan that includes measurement. It creates a roadmap for success filled with cause and effect.
A good strategic plan begins with knowing where you are so you can see where you go. Start with your benchmarks. If you don’t have a sales and service benchmark program in place, now is the time to implement one. It is key to increasing sales and reducing costs. You need to know where your sales originate, your customer value, how much it costs to acquire customers, and your service levels. There are other things too, but they can be added as you go.
Once you know where you are, decide where you want to go. Is your goal to increase retention? Reduce costs? Improve relationships? Or, increase sales? Be specific and keep it simple so you can measure cause and effect.
Now you are ready to test your new marketing strategy. Start with a small test, measure the results, alter your campaign as needed, test again, and repeat. Every test improves your marketing because you learn what works and what doesn’t. This means that every test is successful because it contributes to your future successes.
If you want to guarantee marketing success, benchmark, measure, document, and adapt. Never start a promotion without clearly defined expectations. Hit or miss, it is successful if the lessons learned are used to improve your strategy.