I’ve sat in Fortune 500 briefings on branding and marketing and after almost dozing off to the gimmick-laced PowerPoint presentations, I always found myself asking the same questions I ask when I’m with a two person start up.
1. If an idea is boring to you… won’t it be boring to our customers?
2. How much time was wasted creating the 40 slide deck when all I needed were slides 17 and 39?
3. Why do business people make artistic judgements that could dramatically impact their bottom line?
4. Isn’t this plan similar to what a bigger competitor is doing? (Copycat syndrome still survives even though “difference” wins)
5. Are we really that cool? Really?
When it comes to marketing there are things that work and things that don’t. No one thing will transform your business. And not everything is right for every business. We all understand that, yet when we see something… anything… working for someone else, we get motivated to try it. Why? Because marketing is really hard. The pressure is nonstop. No longer are businesses prepared to wait three, six or more than 12 months to proclaim success or failure. Look at turnover of Marketing Executives and you’ll see they change faster than the fresh fruit in your grocery store. Very few have more than 5 year tenure at a large company. Why so few? Because only a few companies have determined a genuine long term marketing plan that includes a few failed efforts — perhaps in new media, social marketing or special events — nontraditional forms that are proving useful to many but all still under the microscope of evaluators.
So, how do you develop a marketing plan that is right for you?
It all starts with your brand.
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