Running a business is challenging and rewarding. Most of all – it’s time consuming. As a business owner (or CEO) you don’t have time to oversee every single aspect. Such as marketing. This is what your internal team (if you have one) or external partner are for.
The key to effective marketing? Do the groundwork, get your strategy and messaging right. Then get it out there.
If you are getting caught in the strangle-hold of perfectionism or micro-managing, you are doing both your marketing team and your business a disservice. If all the initial plans are in place (and you’ve been part of creating those plans), the best thing you can do is get out of the way and let your marketing do its work in the marketplace.
The three stages of marketing
Mogrify breaks down most marketing activity into three simple stages:
Strategy and messaging
Promotion and distribution (of those assets)
All of this is underpinned by regular evaluation and improvement.
We’ve already spoken about one of the most common mistakes we see. Businesses that launch into Step 3 before getting Steps 1 and 2 in order.
A second, equally damaging error is what we might call ‘failure to launch’. It’s when businesses get trapped in Step 1 and rather than ill-fitting collateral going out to the market place, nothing goes out at all.
Leaning into a flexible approach
Most businesses, especially those in the technology space, are familiar with the concept of the lean start-up. Agility and flexibility are key.
This is the same for marketing – particularly when creating marketing assets. If you’ve already set the strategy and know who you’re targeting and why, sometimes it’s more important to get something out there than get caught in the grip of perfectionism.
If your marketing assets align with your strategy it’s pretty hard to go wrong. If they don’t then you have some work to do.
Remember, you can also tweak and adjust once you have some feedback. The market is constantly changing so you always need to be reviewing and assessing. It’s not possible to have the absolute perfect marketing solution every single time.
The perils of too much dwelling
It’s great to have high standards. But ruminating for too long on your marketing strategy (or dwelling on the minutiae such as the colours used in your brochure, or the exact text in your blog) has knock-on effects that will impact your business.
Your sales team end up without collateral for months at a time. They have nothing solid to give to prospective customers which makes it very hard to nurture leads let alone close them.
Your marketing team are left twiddling their thumbs. This costs you and frustrates them. They can’t do their job without assets.
You’re draining money away from more constructive areas. If your marketing team is spending weeks at a time going back and forth over copy and images and fonts they are stuck in micro-mode. So are you. This sabotages time that could be spent on more important things like new product development.
How to say yes more often
Definitely spend the time initially on your strategy. This is crucial. Knowing why you do what you do is key to marketing success.
However, once that is done, you need to get disciplined with your own approach and attitude. As the business owner, leader or CEO, you simply cannot get caught up in the minutiae of marketing. You need to step back and trust your team.
Ditch the over-thinking. Remember – agility is key. Your business needs to have a regular flow of marketing assets out in the world. Don’t do it blindly. Have a testing and feedback mechanism in place. This way you don’t have to worry about how the marketing is going. Your team will be monitoring, reporting back and amending as necessary.
It is easier to say yes if you feel confident that you are investing in the right marketing activities. This includes the assets created and also the platforms, distribution and promotional channels. There are a few avenues to steer clear from.
The proof of the pudding – they say – is in the eating. So once you start seeing results, signing off and saying yes becomes easier. Build in marketing reporting sessions so you are kept informed, your marketing team or partner is accountable and good communication keeps happening.
It’s a relationship of trust
Your marketing team or partner is there to help you. If your strategy has been developed together, and you have a relationship of trust and mutual respect, the process of approval and execution becomes swift and smooth.
This element of trust is really key. It’s fundamental to our long-term approach here at Mogrify. Our focus is on understanding the whole of your business and developing a strategy that is effective long-term not just in short bursts.
If you find you are stuck in strategy, treading the still water of perfectionism or having trouble saying yes and getting assets out there – get in touch. You can take our quick (and free) online B2B Marketing Assessment as an initial step.