By its very nature, marketing is highly tactical. There are countless ways to engage your audience and never a shortage of creative ideas. Unfortunately, more often than not, tactics tend to be acted on in a vacuum. They’re reactionary.
In B2B marketing only a third of marketers have a documented strategy to drive their business forward. Perhaps why so many campaigns fail to engage or produce a real return?
Marketing must be considered a strategic imperative if you want to see results. Reactive tactics are not a strategy and are much riskier when the time isn’t taken to research and predict potential outcomes. The first step toward strategic thinking is to get your mind out of urgency mode.
Without proper planning, you will simply be putting out fires, responding to things as they come up and wind up scrambling to put together last-minute marketing efforts that yield poor results. You’ll never have the time to plan ahead or develop campaigns based on insight and real thought.
Ideation and brainstorming are critical parts of creating a marketing strategy, but that doesn’t mean that every idea is going to pan out. With all the options and potential ideas, it’s pretty easy to get lost on the road without a mapped plan.
Even with a documented marketing strategy, it’s easy to get off course trying to do the next big thing everyone thinks is a trend for the year. Experimenting is okay, but not at the expense of your plans. The most successful marketers stick to their strategy and work those experiments into that strategy.
It continues to surprise me how many marketers don’t document their marketing strategies, choosing instead to fly blind, relying on memory. There’s a lot that can go wrong when your strategy isn’t documented.
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