Imperfect Marketing Plans can still produce good results. If your marketing plan is rough around the edges, don’t worry. You can still get valuable results while refining your marketing research.
This scenario probably sounds familiar. You’ve spent the last several months perfecting your marketing plan, you’re ready to roll, you’ve got your team trained, and you’ve built a great website. Finally, you think you’re ready to launch. But as the moment to go live with your campaign arrives, you feel like everything will go wrong. Anxiety is a terrible companion.
You’ll still second-guess yourself and wonder if your marketing plan is ready for a prime-time debut despite all your planning. You’re worried about failure, job security, or that you might be missing out on a great opportunity.
Our advice is to avoid the panic button. Of course, a perfect marketing strategy improves potential campaign success but even a partial campaign yields results. Generally, your marketing strategy is a road map. Still, it most likely has to adapt and change as more data becomes available.
The reality is that every marketer and business owner is guilty of waiting too long to launch their marketing campaigns. But from our experience, it’s better to launch a smaller, partial campaign than delay it.
Self-doubt can inadvertently damage your campaign’s potential.
Marketers understand that a strategic plan is essential, but it’s only part of the process. The critical factor is actual follow-through. Unfortunately, marketers frequently take too long trying to formulate the perfect approach. Because of their self-doubt, they miss out on time-based opportunities.
Whether you’re developing a marketing plan or just starting, there’s always the potential to fail. It goes with the territory, but it’s not necessarily disastrous. Understanding this can be liberating and prevent unnecessary campaign delays that create missed opportunities.
Start with smaller marketing campaigns and test often.
If you want to minimize the impact of a potential campaign failure, start small and build slowly. For example, it’s easy to get caught up in the “I’m gonna do everything” mentality with social media marketing, only to have your efforts fall flat. Instead, an effective strategy is to start small, focus on the proper channels for your business, and be patient. Then, implement changes to your plan as you learn about your audience and what works for your business.
When we started building awareness for our company online, we began with small-scale social media campaigns. We targeted audiences most likely interested in our services and who we wanted to work for locally. Our primary goal was to introduce ourselves and let people know about our upcoming launch. We also wanted to gather data on how much attention our content generated.
To keep things simple, we held our expenses and time modestly, set a budget of $250, and ran a targeted Facebook campaign over two weeks. We created a brief announcement stating that we were launching a new company and asked people to follow us on Twitter and visit our website. We ran the campaign for only two weeks to learn what worked and didn’t. We learned a lot about where our customers liked to interact from even a small sampling over a limited time.
The key to our situation was that we didn’t delay our campaign until we were ready and opted for the “minimum viable product.” Instead, we started smaller and sooner to help refine the more extensive plans that followed. As a result, the valuable data learned made our later campaigns a better return on investment.
Decisions by committees can be campaign killers.
Working within large companies sometimes necessitates marketing plans approved by large committees. Because the timing of campaigns is so critical, marketing managers need to get as much early committee approval as possible. Obtaining the support of everyone that’s in the decision process early facilitates everything. Even better, find a point person who can speak for all the committees involved.
Launching campaigns first in the marketplace can provide a strategic advantage.
With many products and services, the earlier a company enters the market, the better position it will hold in a customer’s mind and the greater their chance of being chosen. For example, Amazon and Google entered the market early in e-commerce and are both vast competitors and have a massive chunk of the consumer mindset when making a purchase online.
It’s apparent why being first in the marketplace grabs an initial advantage. Customers aren’t used to your service offerings. As a result, your campaign gets noticed and sets your company apart from the competition. Even a rough or smaller campaign that launches early can entrench itself in your customers’ minds and purchasing habits.
Regardless of what marketing strategies you use, you’ll have a few misses. However, leveraging a few of the suggestions above can minimize some risks. Don’t let the process of launching a campaign discourage you. You’re not going to hit every mark you aim for, and you’ll undoubtedly make some mistakes. But, your ability to learn from those mistakes will help you improve your marketing strategies and grow your business.
Want to maximize your campaign’s potential even more? Get some experienced help. An outside viewpoint sometimes provides more leverage for you to convince internal management of your marketing campaign’s worth. It also takes the load off of limited staff resources.
For more information on developing your marketing campaigns, contact one of our representatives at Cooperata for some insight.