Successful marketing starts objectives first

When faced with exciting marketing ideas, new technologies, and a limited budget, it is easy to become distracted to try everything, but this usually leads to stretched resource, wasted money and often disappointing results. So how do you know which ones to take and which to pass on?

Ultimately the only way is to return to your core business growth drivers and see if the opportunity aligns with your main objectives, and this is where the management team is vital to keeping everyone focused on a clear vision ahead. Embedding a ruthlessly objectives-led mindset throughout your team begins with you returning to your objectives at every juncture: Never start by thinking “we want some advertising”, “I need some PR”, or “I need some social media / a Facebook page / Twitter feed” [delete as appropriate]. Get back to the ‘why’ first and get into the habit of always asking that question: Why do you want to do that and what do you want to achieve from doing this. It can help to think about what action you want your customer to do, as this really drives home the action you want to achieve.

First, align versus your business growth drivers: If for example, you see the main driver for growth as reaching new customers, or new markets, then your core objective would be making them aware of the brand. By contrast, if you see more scope for growth in your current customers then your core objective might be around driving frequency of purchase. Further filtering these objectives by who you will be talking to, i.e. those aware of the brand versus those unaware, is the final step to helping you select the channel and compose the most suitable message for your marketing.

Once you are clear on what you want to achieve, you can start identifying all the different options available to achieve that objective. Those options might include PR, social media, digital advertising, competitions, offers, partnerships, even paid-for advertising — but only by knowing what you want to achieve for your brand or product can you strategically review and decide on the most effective and cost efficient way to achieve what you want to do.

Christina Richardson is a business marketing specialist and Founder of The Nurture Network, the on-demand marketing department for ambitious SMEs. With a proven track record in leading high profile marketing campaigns for entrepreneurial brands, The Nurture Network is a partner of Growth Accelerator, helping high growth SMEs reach their potential through marketing and innovation.