If you’ve always associated marketing with advertising and push promotions, your world is being turned upside-down by the proliferation of interactive and social media. Producing the product you think is a good idea and then leaving it to marketing to figure out to who and how to sell it no longer works (I’d actually argue that type of process has never worked that well). Being strategic about your marketing and effective with both the time and money you dedicate requires stepping out of that reactive mode.
Start With Your Customers
Get to know who they are and what they need and want. Determine how your product uniquely meets their current or anticipated needs and wants. Define what promise you can make and how that promise is delivered. Find ways to engage customers, collect their feedback and implement changes to better service them.
Set Your Goals
Establish SMART marketing goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. All of your tactics, marketing budget and time should be dedicated to making those goals happen. Don’t bother with anything that you can’t tie back to your goals, even if it seems really cool and everyone’s doing it.
Measure What’s Important
Within each tactic there are measures that show progress toward a goal – Key Performance Indicators (KPI). Choose your KPIs carefully – focusing on how many followers or “likes” your page has probably doesn’t mean as much as how many of those people are making it to your website and signing up for your emails.
Sticking with these three things will help ensure your time and money is spent on your organization’s success rather than thrown at the latest shiny whiz-bang.