Recently, I encountered an all too common frustrating marketing scenario. It’s often a situation found in small companies, but I have seen it in medium sized companies as well. I refer to it as the ‘marketing silver bullet.’ It is the concept that with a simple single stroke of well directed marketing, business will take off and money will instantly come streaming in the door.
The marketing silver bullet is rooted in the thought that the product or service concept is so great, so intuitively obviously great, that with a simple well designed exposure, customers will come running.
Here’s when it’s likely to occur. The initial inspiration for a new concept has blossomed into a product or service ready for launch. Marketing is called to develop a marketing program. A marketing strategy is created with a complete integrated marketing plan. All the elements have been designed to work together. The appropriate positioning is established with consistent supporting messaging. The pricing is determined along with the channel required to reach the customer. A promotional plan is created with web presence, digital marketing, social media, public relations, etc. All the elements are integrated to effectively communicate the value proposition and deliver the solution.
So far, so good. Now it gets interesting. The strategy is validated and the plan is complete, but inevitably, the irresistible desire to “pick and choose” arises So, rather than implement a complete integrated plan, it’s picked apart and only the parts liked best are chosen. Here are some examples of these types of scenarios:
- “The pricing looks good, but I don’t want to spend the money required to support direct sales – we will sell it over the web and with telesales.”
- “Let’s just try a couple of low cost promotions to get some quick sales or better yet – why not just do social networking, its free.”
- “Let’s get some good PR – once people see what we have done it will go viral and our website will be overwhelmed with prospective customers.”
- And the best one, “It’s a great product….it will sell itself as soon as a few people know about it!”
I have heard all of these spoken by an executive or board member.
Today’s economy is difficult and it is a challenge to allocate marketing budget. It is critical to spend every dollar as effectively as possible, but picking an choosing from a marketing plan is not the way to meet the budget. The marketing plan does not need to be expensive, but it does need to be a complete integrated plan. All the elements need to fit together and support one another in a manner where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
If you have a marketing plan you cannot afford – do not pick and choose. Revise your plan so that you have a complete integrated plan you can afford.
Let me know some examples you have seen.
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