Dec 24, 2012
In the Jungle
When I think of strategy, I think of the animal kingdom. Their entire life is based on being strategic. They live or die by it. It’s all about being stronger, faster, smarter than their competition and food. The perfect example of this is the lion and the gazelle. The lion knows he can’t out run his prey, so he must be strategic with his execution. Be it stealth, surprise, or sheer force, the lion must be perfect with his strategy, or else he will starve. So it is with your marketing. You must be strategic or your business will starve.
Each morning the lion wakes up and is hungry. How will he find his food. Similarly, you are (or should be) hungry for business. But often, the planning phase is forgotten in the process. It’s more of a “ready, shoot, aim” approach. Most business owners wont admit that this is happening, but more often than not, it is. The planning process is one of the most important pieces of the marketing plan. What is your target, who is your target, where do they hang out, what are their habits, what else are they buying, why would they care, to name a few. All important questions to be answered each time you approach a new campaign.
Next time you’re going to set up a new marketing campaign, try this: force yourself to not have any execution for 1 full week. Take a step back, talk to your partners, research companies who fulfill that need. This will give you some much needed perspective and likely will save you a few dollars.
Does the lion hunt alone? Only if there’s no other choice. Once they link up with fellow lions with the same purpose, their chance of success goes through the roof. So how do you go about finding a strategic partner. Lets say you live in Salt Lake City and you are interested in web design. You pop open your laptop and type Salt Lake City web design, or Utah web design. From this search query you’ll find pages and pages of results for potentials partners (including Innovation Simple) clamoring to obtain your business. Why would you ever go hunting alone? Granted, you still spend some investment time vetting those businesses to find the right match, but likely your end product will be far superior and in the end, cost you less money.
For more information on partnerships, check out our Infographic on Outsourcing pros and cons.
Now that the lion has a target in focus, he now has to execute the plan. If you’ve not been strategic with your partnerships, this part can bury you. Having someone who knows how to avoid the potential pitfalls can save you a tremendous amount of money and pain. Would you treat a disease on your own, or would you go to a health professional? Of course, if you plan on being around for awhile, you’d go to the doctor. The same applies to your business. If you plan on being around for a while, you need to recognize the “I don’t know what I don’t know” concept. In our industry, many people come to us bruised and bloody from working with an inexperienced web design professional. Even worse if they tried a marketing managed approach in-house. While its true that some experience success using timeless marketing approaches like excellent customer service, or developing a well priced superior product, most need help when it comes to digital marketing.
How do you measure success or failure? How does our lion friend measure? He eats and lives. Your business too needs to eat and live. At the end of the day, you measure your online marketing efforts in two ways. Did my product or service get exposure, and did the customer buy? Marketing agencies hate those two questions. Especially the one about whether they bought or not. You’ll hear things like “Its hard to track”, or “we’re just planting seeds”. Both of which have been solved by effective online marketing.