Google maps is such a handy sidekick. I rarely go anywhere without it on. Even when I’ve been down the same route hundreds of times, I still like to double check my GPS every now and then to avoid nasty surprises- traffic, closures and the like.
I see a good marketing strategy as a GPS of sorts. It provides clear directions to route you from your current location to your desired destination. Having a strategy is having a navigation tool; whether you want to launch a new product to the market or you want to revamp an existing brand, you need clear actionable steps listed out to get you to your desired goal.
As with a GPS, the first question you have to answer is “where am I?”. You can’t correctly map out steps to your destination if you’re not clear on your current location. When developing a marketing strategy you need to evaluate the situation as is- what resources and assets are available? Do we have enough funding, time, staff, owned media e.t.c to proceed? Without a defined strategy or a GPS, you can choose to freestyle and hope for the best; that’s your prerogative. Now bear in mind it’s likely going to take longer and cost you a bunch of mistakes along the way. Sure, in the past you might have executed pretty similar campaigns or travelled down the same familiar route but it’s important to recognize that every new day is different, in the same way every new campaign is different; even when you’ve “been there, done that”.
A couple of days ago I drove down to an event downtown in an area I had been to hundreds of times. Much to my horror, my phone battery died along the way and I was tasked with figuring out how to get to my destination with no roadmap. Piece of cake right? Wrong. I had driven down that route lots of times and was super confident in my ability to get to my destination on time but what i didn’t bargain for was the ongoing construction which forced me to change course. Uh oh. Long story short, I got lost along the way and eventually arrived at my event over an hour late, dishevelled and not in the highest of spirits.
On the upside, I learned new things along the way and encountered new problems I learned from. I found cool new spots I plan to check out in the summer and got pretty comfortable talking to strangers (read- desperately begging for directions); Though I’d like to think I didn’t have to go through that to make these discoveries.
Map out your marketing journey to effectively direct you to your specific brand and business goals be it clicks, conversions and everything in between. Having a clear detailed plan provides options to reroute when your path has obstructions and roadblocks. In the words of Yogi Berra, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else”. Though creating an effective strategy isn’t as simple as punching in a location and destination on Google Maps, the results and business benefits are so worth it!