If you aren’t staying current on trends and updating your marketing strategy on a regular basis you could be spending time, money, and resources implementing a marketing strategy that isn’t relevant. To help make sure that your marketing strategy remains current and works hard for you we’ve asked our account managers to share some tips. Here’s what they had to say.
1. Stay up to date on your industry trends and the marketing industry in general
The marketing world is a fast-paced, ever-changing industry. One way to ensure that your strategy remains relevant is by staying up to date on the trends and news in your industry segment and in the marketing industry. A few simple ways to this is by monitoring social media and the web for certain keywords around your industry. Social Mention is a good resource for this type of monitoring. Twitter can also be a great resource to monitor trends. Create lists in Twitter of industry leaders to follow by topic and have all their most recent posts at your fingertips while breaking thru through? the noise of the general Twitter feed. You will also want to subscribe to blogs, newsletters, or messaging bots from industry leaders.
2. Establish an open door, two-way communication plan with your marketing team
Communication is the key to any successful marketing strategy. Whether you are working with an internal team or with a digital marketing agency, you will need to form some sort of communication plan. Here are some things you will want to keep in mind:
- Meet at least once a month. If you have a lot of moving parts to your marketing campaigns, meeting more often would be beneficial. Companies that require less work may only need to have a formal strategy discussion once a month. Any less than once a month is not advised because of how fast industry trends can change.
- Someone has to be in charge of setting up and running your meetings. If you are working with an agency, it will most likely be your account manager scheduling meetings between your internal team and your agency. If you are just working with an internal team, pick a person to be in charge of the scheduling (generally a marketing manager or strategist).
- Set up a point person. You won’t want to get the entire team involved every time someone in the company has a one off idea at 4:30 p.m. on a Friday. So who should be informed of these ideas so that they are addressed during your next strategy meeting? You could pick a person to filter the ideas by emailing them or even set up something as simple as a Google Doc or Slack channel where team members can contribute ideas outside of meetings.
3. Invite in team members that aren’t typically involved in your project for brainstorming
Typically your brainstorming session will consist of only those people directly involved in the project. This makes a lot of sense overall since you avoid “wasting time” explaining to outsiders what the project is and what your goals are. However, sometimes the internal team you’re working with just isn’t enough. Mix up your brainstorming by bringing in different members of the team that aren’t typically involved. At Oneupweb we like to have what we call “Marky Mark and the Funky Lunch” where new colleagues can bounce ideas off of each other for client campaigns. Sometimes the best ideas come from the accounting intern down the hall who has never taken a marketing class in their life.
4. It’s okay to toss out parts of a plan or even the entire plan
Now before you freak out about how long it took you to write that plan that you are now being told you should toss out, think about how much more time and resources you will waste if you continue to implement an outdated plan that isn’t working for you. Business changes and you will need to remain agile and open to change with it. If something isn’t working, if goals change, or if something big comes up, change your plan and don’t look back.
5. Don’t be afraid to try something new, even if you are unsure if it will work
“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” – Tony Robbins.
If you have an idea and it fails, it’s okay. Learn from the experience, make adjustments to your strategy and try again. A/B testing can be helpful when trying something new. For example, maybe you want to run “safe” copy versus “edgy” copy for a campaign to see how your audience responds to each. This way, before you launch the campaign at a larger level you have an idea of what copy will perform best for your target market, and can adjust your campaign strategy accordingly. Take a look at the non-profit Michigan Construction who describes the lack of skilled workers that their industry faces by comparing the problem to both a broken pipeline (safe) and a Zombie apocalypse (edgy).
Now that you have some good tips to make sure that your marketing strategy is putting its best foot forward for your business, make sure you put them to work by reviewing you strategy at a minimum monthly. What are some of your best tips for keeping your strategy relevant? What has and has not worked for your team in the past? Comment below and then check out our whitepaper “Is Strategy Your Missing Link?” for more great strategy advice.