Taking Off the Blinders

When it’s time to re-evaluate your marketing.

When you’re operating the day-to-day of your business, flying around at warp speed, laser-focused as you attempt to squeeze every ounce of productivity you can out of yourself, it’s easy to put on the blinders and block out everything else around you so you can focus on the job at hand. It causes you to lose sight of the bigger picture — and often, the first thing to get lost in the abyss is your marketing and advertising. So it’s important to take a step back every once in a while, remove those blinders and re-evaluate everything you’re doing with a fresh pair of eyes. And since you’ve already made it here, why not do it right now? It starts by asking yourself a few big questions.

Why do you exist?

That’s an eye-opening question — and one of the first we ask each of our clients. It seems so simple on the surface, but usually ends up being more difficult to answer than you’d think. It goes beyond the specifics of what you do, like providing a product or service. And it’s not about how you deliver that product or service, either. No, this is the 30,000 feet up, pie in the sky reason you open your doors, turn on the lights and start making the donuts every day. So many businesses fail because they never answer this question. Without defining your true purpose, there’s nothing for your business to work toward, nothing for you to rally your people behind and no common thread tying everything together.

On the other hand, once you are able to get to the root reason and purpose of your business, things can really seem to take off. You can use your newfound “why” as a springboard to take a critical eye to your entire business and start setting goals and making decisions based on realizing that purpose.

How is your marketing strategy communicating your “why”?

Once you’ve defined your afore mentioned reason for existence and are working to deliver on it internally, now it’s time to look outward. What are you doing to communicate your “why” to consumers? In other words, do you have a well-defined, focused marketing strategy in place? Which is much more than just a list of media channels, tactics and specs. It’s a painstakingly researched and developed plan for connecting your consumers to your brand.

A sound marketing strategy should clearly lay out the journey your consumers take with your brand, from a broad awareness and engagement level all the way down to conversions and retention. It should establish what kind of messages your consumers are seeing at each step on their journey, and drive actions that continue to lead them down the trail of breadcrumbs back to your brand. But most importantly, it should give consumers reasons to believe in your “why”.

Is it actually working?

Even the best laid plans can sometimes go awry. Fickle consumers, evolving markets and unforeseen developments are often the culprit — and you never know when they might strike. So it’s wise to keep a close eye on your performance, and continue optimizing your strategy to keep up with market trends and ensure your marketing efforts (and dollars) don’t go to waste.

Technology is your greatest ally here. You can use it to keep track of your marketing efforts and get real-time results on things like impressions, searches, clicks and conversions. But that’s only half of the equation. It’s what you do with all that information that really matters. Use it to to fine-tune your strategy, reallocate your marketing budget and improve your ROI.

What if you tried something different?

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. So if any part of what you’re doing on the marketing side isn’t helping you get closer to accomplishing your business goals and realize your “why,” then it’s probably time to make a change.

Bringing in some professional help in the form of a marketing or advertising agency can be a great place to turn to. Getting an outsider’s point of view on things and seeing your business through their eyes will help you make sure you never get caught with blinders on again.