The Long-Term Effects of Reactive Marketing
Everyone in Marketing and sales has received an email, voicemail or had a conversation that went something like this: “The numbers are down from last year/last week/last month, we need to put a plan into action NOW. What can we change? We need to do this fast.”
While it is always good to tweak your marketing plan after it goes live, having a plan (and backups) in place should be the primary goal of any business. As a business owner, I can completely understand the frustration of sales being unpredictable, however I think too often fight-or-flight mode kicks in and governs the decisions being made, leading to companies making short-term decisions that negatively effect long-term goals, or that appeal to a customer that is outside of their typical base out of convenience and desperation.
The truth is, some campaign results can be hard to track, or take longer to yield results. In our instant-gratification society, with unpredictable spending behaviors, brand loyalty and finances, it has become standard to read and react before the regroup.
Instead of looking at what isn’t happening, continue to focus on your goals and objectives for your brand’s campaign, both short term and long term. Short-term objectives can be tweaked to yield long-term results, but one bad day, weekend, or week doesn’t mean that you should throw out months of planning and hard work. Here are some ways to refocus during the shakeups:
Take it back to the core: Are your current initiatives in line with your company’s overall values and mission, or the desired customer base that you seek? If they are, small tweaks (rather than a large-scale overhaul) could make a big difference. Check your social media engagement and following from before campaign launch and after, and any customer comments you’ve received, before making any large decisions.
Get an outside perspective: Did you just launch a new menu or product overhaul that you are incredibly proud of, but your customers aren’t responding to? Reaching out to your most loyal customer base, and/or a sampling of your competitors’ customers, could offer just the right feedback.
Wait it out: When in doubt, go through one more week/weekend before you make any drastic changes. Simple things like the calendar (holidays, time of year) and the weather can severely affect sales. Who hasn’t filled their Amazon cart during a snowed-in couple of days?
Above all, planning ahead is the one thing that will set you apart from the competition and give you and your team a focus on the end goal and the long run. What makes or breaks a business is not one day, weekend, or week, it’s the long-term strategy, implementation and follow-through of every department and stakeholder.
Looking for some long-term marketing help? Fill out the contact form for a free consultation.