uh-oh…

I remember arriving at the office and immediately realising something was up.

“What’s going on?”, I asked Paul. “Why are all the desks in the corner of the room? And what’s with all the flipcharts?”

He looked even more miserable than usual (which was bad – he was an accountant!) as he replied:

“It’s marketing day…”.

– – – 

You know what it’s like when you read a marketing book and get a full head of steam?

You grab 8 gazillion pieces of paper and all the multi-coloured pens you can find and get to work…

SWOT analysis, needs, wants, desires, goals, USPs…

You name it, you’re writing that bad boy down.

Trouble is, we only tend to do these kinda things every once in a while.

Like the conversation above which happened when I was an accountant, marketing’s often treated the same as doing your taxes or washing your underwear…

… something that has to be done every year, whether you like it or not.

Trouble is, when you approach marketing like this, it puts a lot of pressure on you to get everything right in that one session.

If you don’t think of it in that room – at that particular moment – it’s not going to happen, at least for the next year.

There’s a bigger problem with this approach though – marketing and research are not a “set it and forget it” thing.

I don’t want to be one of those “If the past few months have taught us anything…” folk, but…

If the past few months have taught us anything, it’s that things can change – FAST!

Things can change with your market…

Things can change with your customers…

Things can change in society…

I don’t care how big your flip charts are, or how many different coloured pens you have…

Unless you have Derren Brown on staff, you will NOT be able to get everything perfect from one sit down session.

The good news is that this is an easy solve – think about marketing more often.

(Don’t you groan at me!)

Don’t worry… I’m not advising you have even more “marketing days”, I’m just recommending that you keep your eyes and ears open for what’s going on with your service, audience, competitors and market.

Did a customer say something unusual? Jot that sucker down.

Is a usually steady promotion doing much better or worse? Why?

Has a competitor brought out a new product? Spend some time looking at it, seeing what the implications are. Do you need to change your plan? Is this a sign of big changes ahead?

Jot these down as you go about your work and then carve out time every week to sit down for half an hour or so to review your notes.

Sure, it’s not quite as sexy as a frenzied day spent scribbling and yelling buzzwords in a Holiday Inn…

… but it’s far less pressure, and best of all…

… far more effective.

John

P.S. I’ve been thinking about what to create next for the GOOGLE DRIVE OF AWESOMENESS!!!!…

One of my ideas was cold pitching templates. I’ve spent the past week writing loads of the damn things, so I have a few ideas brewing in my head.

Would that be of interest? If so, hit me back and let me know. I don’t want to create stuff that wouldn’t be of use!