There is nothing worse for a marketing professional than when random acts of marketing are committed that don’t relate to the larger strategy of the business. It’s a waste of money, time and resources. To have the best impact for your business, marketing should be connected to your business growth plans and thought about holistically, rather than consisting of a series of trials and errors.
In this article, I’ll show you how to identify the most typical Random Acts of Marketing (RAMs), and help you avoid the trap of a CEO’s sudden whim to try something different – and maybe expensive – to improve short-term results.
Ever heard these come up in a company meeting?
- “Our brand/website/logo is tired.”
- “Let’s run some more PPC ads.”
- “We need more visual content – let’s create some infographics.”
- “Our social media isn’t getting enough attention, we need to post more.”
- “We need to do a couple more trade shows.”
- “Let’s do some press releases and get an article published in one of our trade journals.”
Treat these as red flags; your team could be about to commit a Random Act of Marketing.
Before the discussion gets too far, assert your subject matter expertise and guide the group’s thinking in a direction that still addresses the main concern but aligns to the goals of the business.
Assuming you operate from an annual marketing plan (after all, you’re a professional!), some of these well-meaning suggestions may already align with the plan you have in place.
In that case, talk about how you can tweak your existing strategy, or run more A/B testing, to improve results.
If they’re outside your marketing plan, tread carefully.
No one wants to step on the boss’s ideas, but remember it’s your job to critique and advise. If the move is tactical, ask whether and how these ideas tie to the business goals. For example, if you’re sending a one-off email to a list that’s outside your target market, how will it help drive revenue long-term?
How to recognize a RAM when one is proposed:
- Not funded
- Not tied to business goals
- Not integrated across marketing
- No defined metrics for success.
RAMs cost more.
A common error is to think completing a RAM or two will save money over some other strategy. “If we make this YouTube video and distribute it, we won’t need to attend all the scheduled trade shows.” But if one of your primary goals is to build an industry reputation, or to foster personal connections with major prospects who attend those shows every year, that video may not do it for you.
RAMs tend to be off-message and unfocused in their approach, oftentimes lacking in appropriate branding or conflicting with another concurrent campaign.
And while some measures may seem like prudent budget adjustments, costs can escalate if you have to go back and update, fix errors or integrate with other parts of the overall marketing plan.
Before considering any new marketing strategy, ask yourself:
- Can you define your target market and buyer personas?
- What are your company’s growth targets within that target market?
- Did you set goals and objectives for marketing to match those plans?
- What does success look like, and how will you measure it?
- Point out that ANY new marketing strategy has to be reviewed through these filters.
Don’t be afraid to seek out some professional validation or guidance.
Developing a new strategy without first assessing how it integrates with your overall marketing often ends in disappointment or worse, an exhausted marketing budget. Sometimes even businesses with a solid marketing staff still lack a strategic marketer on their team, or a Chief Marketing Officer who’s part of the executive team and stays keenly aware of business goals and the strategic vision for the company.
Without the broad view needed to really identify and evaluate the market or create an effective marketing strategy, the situation is ripe for RAMs to start happening. Whether or not your job title is CMO, as a leader you can’t let that occur.
If you’re not a C-level executive but still want to bring a strategic vision to your marketing plan and strategies, there’s a less expensive alternative. Many businesses address this deficit by partnering with a professional marketing agency to create a smart, efficient strategic plan outlining the specific targets, goals and metrics for measuring its success in generating leads and sales.
Leadit Marketing’s team of experienced pros can lend their expertise if you need help assessing the best approach to achieving your marketing goals.
Shannon Prager is recognized B2B marketing strategist and the President of Leadit Marketing. She is responsible for the daily operations and management of Leadit Marketing as well as the long term vision for the company.
A marketing leader with over 19 years of B2B demand generation and marketing experience, she understands the importance of a fully developed integrated marketing strategy. Shannon’s background includes demand generation, marketing automation, social media, digital marketing, customer marketing, account based marketing and marketing operations. You can follow her on LinkedIn via https://www.linkedin.com/in/shannonprager or Twitter @ https://twitter.com/LeaditMarketing
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