Marketing is a lot like the human body. It can live for a long time doing things that aren’t necessarily good for it. Will it be the best it can be – or deliver the results it should? Not necessarily. But it will, at least for a time, be able to survive.
Unlike the human body, however, marketing can be downright cagey when it comes to showing the effects of bad choices. It can take years for the consequences to make themselves known.
So how’s a business to tell if it’s marketing activities need to be put on a diet sooner rather than later? There’s a couple of key ways . . .
1. Audit the internal inputs. Just like someone on a diet needs to keep track of what he or she is eating, a business leader should keep track of what’s being fed to the marketing team. Does sales say one thing and product another and the executives yet a third? That’s three ‘meals’ your team is consuming. Pare it down. Make sure that the internal inputs they’re receiving are as lean as can be. And if that’s impossible, at least make sure that they understand whose input is the one to prioritize. In other words, make them eat their veggies first.
2. Make the exercise count. Anyone who’s serious about losing weight knows that they’re not going to get there walking around the neighborhood at one MPH. It’s a waste of time. So, maybe, are some of the exercises your department is engaging in. Busy writing blog posts with no engagement plan? Churning out sales slick after sales slick with no idea of usage rates or efficacy? Turning social media over to the most entry-level person on your team and just hoping it works? Go back and start measuring. Set targets and timelines. Analyze efficacy to improve results.
3. Talk to the experts. Most dieters who are able to stick to eating / exercise plans and keep the weight off have, at some point, enlisted the help of experts. Even if that just means reading blogs like this or books – or if you take it further and decide to hire an agency or consultant – keep abreast of what the experts have to say. Very few people, or marketing departments, can achieve true health without taking the time to educate themselves. You don’t have to figure it all out yourself. Take it from Fox Mulder: the answers are out there.
If your marketing has become complacent, or if you’re focused on the convenient rather than the effective, it might be time to take a hard look into the mirror. Dieting and exercise aren’t easy, as we all know. Then again, very few things that are worthwhile are.