A good friend of mine, Frank Cowell of Elevator, recently wrote a blog about “The one thing that will Make or Break Your Marketing.” Any guesses?
Those are all good guesses, and certainly each is critical to successful marketing, but the thing that’s most important—the thing that most often separates successful marketers from the also-rans—is MOMENTUM. That’s right: momentum, defined by Merriam Webster as “the strength or force gained by motion or by a series of events.”
In marketing parlance, “momentum” refers to the tendency of well-thought out and well-executed marketing campaigns to take on lives of their own once implemented, gaining momentum and often garnering results greater than expected. I call it “being on a marketing roll”. . . and when you’re on a roll, you don’t want anything to stop it.
In his blog, Frank writes, “There’s something really magical that happens when you create momentum in marketing.” I agree. There is something magical when all the marketing pieces line up (digital, social, creative, content, advertising, etc.), fall in to place, and you start reaping results for yourself and/or for your clients.
GOING OFF THE RAILS
Gaining momentum is hard enough. Sustaining it is even harder.
Lots of things can slow or stop marketing momentum, such as unforeseen changes in the marketplace (good or bad), supply issues, poor planning, budgetary constraints, and poor execution. But the most frequent drain on momentum? Companies or individuals that are slow to act, unable to decide, and that lack consistency in their efforts.
- Just because you’re slow to act, doesn’t mean others won’t be. Be prudent, yes, but also be willing to take risks (big or small) and to move quickly when you need to, which is most of the time, especially in highly competitive fields.
- Be willing and able to make decisions knowing that you won’t always have all the information you want or think you need. Nothing is certain in marketing except that if you do nothing, nothing will be done, and that if you keep doing the same things, more than likely you’ll keep getting the same results. And if you’re not willing or available to make decisions, delegate that authority to someone who is. It’s important.
- Author Roy T. Bennet wrote, “Consistency is the true foundation of trust. Either keep your promises or do not make them.” For marketers, consistency in messaging, design, and delivery of content to their brand fans is critical for success. People come to expect a certain look, feel, tone, and frequency to the marketing content you put out. When that consistency wavers, so too does brand loyalty. Consistency also reflects commitment—as in how committed a marketer or client is (or isn’t) to seeing their marketing plans through.
STAYING IN MOTION
The Barrel O’Monkeyz secret sauce for sustaining marketing momentum starts with excellent preparation, strategic planning, consistent communication with clients and stakeholders, seamless implementation according to plan and budget, follow-through, and knowing when to reconsider marketing assumptions and revisit the original plan.
- Clear, concise, and consistent communication between marketers, clients, and other stakeholders throughout the entire marketing relationship is critical for success. It doesn’t stop with the sales pitch or the sign-off. It’s the glue that holds the entire process together.
- Comprehensive and realistic budgets and marketing plans that contain key indicators, benchmarks, objectives, and other milestones are vital as well. Equally important is the homework you and your clients do to make sure your plan is thorough and considers a number of factors, ranging from competitors and your strengths and weaknesses, to the marketplace, trends, and your ability to react to the unknown.
- Once approved, the marketing budget and marketing plan act as your marching orders to get the job done. As marketer, it’s up to you to implement seamlessly against the plan and budget.
- One the plan is implemented, there should be no need to get client or stakeholder buy-in every step along the way. That should have already been done. There’s no bigger momentum killer than having to keep stopping and starting what you’re doing pending client approval or decision-making.
- Metrics are critical to knowing if your marketing is having the desired effect. That said, avoid managing your efforts based on stats gathered on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis. Marketing success takes time to root. Be patient for the numbers to come in. You’re in this for the long haul (or at least you should be).
KNOW WHEN TO STEP BACK
All good marketers know when it’s time to take a step back and reevaluate. Sustaining momentum just for the sake of keeping things in motion isn’t always the right choice. After all, not all momentum is created equally; some momentum is negative. Should something cause you to want to deviate from the approved plan—this could be a surprise opportunity or obstacle, for example—then it’s time to consult with your team or the client again. It’s the prudent thing to do.
Otherwise, if you did your homework in the planning stage, you (and your client) should be able to trust in the plan. Full steam ahead!
TAKE THE NEXT STEP
Let Barrel O’ Monkeyz provide a free assessment of your current marketing strategy. We’ll help you answer the question, “Is my current marketing approach contributing to my success?”
You can also check out Barrel O’Monkeyz white papers on a range of topics, from social media and inbound marketing and website development, to digital marketing, brand development, and design. Each white paper is full of ideas and steps you need to take to turn your ideas into reality.
LET’S GET CREATIVE
Barrel O’Monkeyz is a San Diego-based strategic marketing agency specializing in Sports and Active Lifestyle markets. We serve as a seasoned, outsourced marketing team for companies looking to ramp up sales and launch new products. Our barrel is full of talent and creative arms ready to prove we don’t just monkey around! Contact Barrel O’Monkeyz Today