Marketing management – it means a lot of things to a lot of people. Marketing seems simple, and so the trouble becomes that everyone thinks they are an expert and have the best ideas, and why doesn’t marketing “just do it.”
Well, some things can be done on the fly, as a test or as a last minute initiative, but for the most part, some kind of planning and thought has to go into a new initiative. Simple things such as:
- Who will do the work? Can my staff take this new thing on, or should I drive the bus for a while until we get some steam under it?
- Is there a strategy for this new initiative? (Does content need to be generated? Who will generate that content?)
- Why are we doing this new thing? Is our customer base asking for it? Is just one customer asking for it?
- What is the return on our investment, monetary or time based.
- Does this fit with who our brand is? (ex: should we do a flash mob as a pharmaceutical company?)
- Does this fit in to everything else we are doing and if not, at what expense will this come? Do we stop investing in PR or advertising to focus on this new initiative?
All good questions, but unfortunately they are sometimes seen as push back and an unwillingness to “just do it.” When in reality, as a marketer, you know the implications of just doing something, sometimes there are none, but often times it derails the team and the overall focus of the marketing roadmap that has been set out. It might also confuse your customer base, which is an even bigger price to pay. Oh, and there is also the fact that if you just ask “how high?” every time someone says “jump!” you’ll be expected to ask that every time.
So what’s our lesson here? You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, in terms of convincing someone that a strategy is needed when they’re not used to having one, but what you can do is perhaps show the implications of doing this one thing instead of something else you are already doing. Will doing this new thing really pay off in the long run? If you realize that it might, then explain why you will be needing to put something else on pause.
It’s a slippery slope. You have to educate people and explain the (who/what/when/where/why) and the reason that you even need to consider all of those things before “just doing it.”