“It’s alive!” Or is it?
Just because your marketing campaign has as many parts as Frankenstein’s monster, that doesn’t mean it’s working. In fact, you may be stretched way too thin.
It’s something that happens to many marketers, especially with new social media sites and promotional channels springing up every day.
If you have created a multi-pronged marketing campaign that is constantly spiraling out of control (like Frankenstein’s badly connected parts) then it’s time to behead the monster and regain control and focus.
Photo credit: Insomnia Cured Here
Why You Need to Streamline Your Marketing
Let’s think about why you need to do this. Three main reasons spring to mind.
First, marketing channels are multiplying all the time and if you try to do them all, you won’t do any of them well. As Niel Robertson put it in an Inc article:
“Every marketing activity will take refinement and optimization to see its full potential. But don’t attempt too many programs or messaging tests at once—you simply won’t learn fast enough.”
It takes time to master each channel well enough to get a real return. If you’re trying to do too much you won’t achieve value in any of them.
Second, if you’re exhausted because your campaign has too many tentacles, you won’t get the results you’re looking for, nor will you have the energy to track them properly.
Third, some of your campaigns might not suit your marketing personality. Check out Danny Iny’s list of marketing skill types to see which campaigns might suit you best.
So if you’re at that point where you need to stop the spread and regain control, how do you do it? Just follow these five steps.
1. Make a List, Check it Twice
OK, so it’s a bit early for a seasonal allusion, but the first step in bringing that marketing campaign under control is to know exactly what you’re doing. If your campaign is like the Hydra, growing two new pieces for every one you cut off, then you need to do an audit.
Write down all the things you’re doing, all the social sites where you are active and what campaigns you are running. When that’s done, it’s time for the next step.
2. Figure Out What Matters
Sometimes it feels like you have to be everywhere, but that’s not true. In fact, it’s probably how you got into this mess in the first place.
You already have an idea of the places where you most want to make an impact, but don’t just guess; reinforce your hunch with solid data on where your customers are and what they are looking for.
Cross-reference web analytics data with stats from your email marketing and ad campaigns to get a holistic picture of the success of your marketing actions.
Image credit: Véronique Debord-Lazaro
Just as analytics will tell you what is working, it will also tell you what’s not. If you are not making an impact on Instagram and no-one is listening to your podcast, then it’s obvious that your core audience isn’t there.
In such a case, secure your username on the social site in case things change in the future, mothball it, and find somewhere more profitable to focus your efforts.
Image credit: Pete Jelliffe
Another approach to pruning your marketing is what Convince and Convert’s Jay Baer describes as “disappearance logic.” In other words, figure out what would happen if you went cold-turkey.
If the answer is “not much”, then it’s obvious. You’re wasting time and need to nix what you’re doing. But if you would get an adverse effect, then you need to keep pursuing that channel.
Regrouping is all about having a clearer appreciation of which channels, campaigns and strategies are working. It’s also about figuring out the best ways to interact with customers and market your streamlined set of campaigns on your chosen channels. For example, your new strategy might include:
- Getting more from an email marketing campaign by improving personalization and delivery timing. (There are more great tips on this on the Buffer blog.)
- Releasing a white paper for your business audience that shows them how to solve a problem. People are looking for more targeted content, says Tyson Downs, and delivering will improve your marketing results.
- Following and interacting with key social media influencers via an engagement dashboard.
- Checking out the competition so you can replicate success. These are just a few examples, but you get the idea. Focus on targeting campaigns. Don’t give into the ease of spray-and-prey.
Final Thoughts: Implement and Evaluate
You’ve reached a point where you know exactly what you need to do. Now, it’s about discipline and staying relentlessly focused on your target goal.
First, avoid shiny new object syndrome. Resist the temptation to add new tools and strategies just “because.” Instead, stay focused on just-the-one-thing you need to really understand your campaigns.
Second, get into the habit of analyzing your tests consistently. Use the tools from step two to keep track of what’s happening in your campaign. Don’t forget to use social sentiment tools to get an in-depth understanding of how your customers are responding to your marketing campaign.
Third, evaluate. Use the results of your monitoring to figure out whether you are getting a real return on each channel.
If not, it’s back to step 1 to start the whole process all over again. Take that, Frankenstein!