Have you ever been in a Kayak? If you have, you know that with every stroke on the left, your kayak wants to go right. With every stroke on the right, the kayak wants to go left. If you don’t pay attention, you will quickly get off course and have to adjust immediately. When I am in my kayak, I find myself pulling the oars through the water with a powerful stroke that enables me to move at a pace that is quicker than normal. This allows me to get to my destination quicker than I thought. Along the way, I have to adjust my strokes on both sides, account for the current, wind direction, and other boats on the water. Most importantly, I keep my eyes on the horizon, looking ahead to move closer to the shore where I was going.
Your marketing strategy will hopefully get you to reach an anticipated goal or destination. Tactically, you are performing certain initiatives and making adjustments along the way. Sometimes the best plans don’t work, and ongoing adjustments need to be made. With every marketing initiative, media buy, promotion or social strategy, you must account for change.
One part of your marketing team is doing research, planning, and strategy. The other part of the marketing team is producing creative, videos, social campaigns, developing web and mobile tools, ebooks, blogs and landing pages. As you know, when you look at one part of your team, you take your eye off the other work that’s being done. You know it happens. How in the world do you keep your plan moving forward in the right direction without it wavering back and forth?
My suggestion is to keep your eyes on the end destination and the goals you want to reach. Create benchmarks along the way that help you measure your efforts and also help you to stay on course. You can also create key performance indicators (KPIs). These tell you whether you are moving in the right direction or not and help you decide how to adjust.
Your marketing initiatives can behave similarly to a kayak on the water. If you are not paying close attention, you may soon be off-course. As you know marketing initiatives require constant monitoring and adjustments. When you do pay close attention and integrate key performance indicators along the way, your marketing strategy will perform with greater ease and with less stress along the way.
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