Recently I spoke to a company about an unsuccessful launch of a new product.
After a number of questions, it was clear to me that they had not created a strategic marketing plan for the launch.
In fairness, they thought they had a plan. It was all tactics. Do this to this audience at this time. Send out this and see what happens. What was missing were the basics – a thorough situation analysis, SWOT analysis, goals, objectives, strategies, messaging, and audiences. As they implemented their tactics, there was nothing to compare results to. And I’m not talking just benchmarks.
What this company had done – and I’ve seen this time and again with overworked marketing and sales departments – is create the tactical plan and think it was not necessary to write the strategic end, because, after all, they had it all in their heads. The problem with this approach is that when things go wrong there is nothing except their collective memory that they can refer to – and collective memory is about as reliable as job security these days.
I know that a comprehensive marketing plan is a pain in the ass. No one wants to hear about it, because they know they should do one. No one really has time for it. Sometimes it’s best to hire an outside marketing consultant to do yours – but if you do, make sure you have the ability to work closely with that consultant so you completely agree with the plan.
Once it’s done, you’ll not only feel a great sense of accomplishment, but you’ll also have the blueprint for a successful launch. Furthermore, the beauty of a good plan is you can always freshen it up, and use it as a basis for the next year’s plan.
Think about it.
At a recent meeting with Stefan Tornquist, Econsultancy's Research Director, he posed the question, “Is Google a strategy?”
I think that's a good question, especially for those how take strategic marketing seriously.
All of the SEO and PPC people I know, their programs are all centered around Google. Look at some of their websites and you’ll see that they are Google Adwords certified. That’s not Search Adwords certified. It’s Google.
When it comes to paid search, the vast majority of marketers think that Google is where to put their money. In fact in a fairly recent MarketingSherpa benchmark report, only one percent of B2B marketers surveyed thought that they get high quality and high quantity leads from any other paid search engine other than Google.
Granted these are “tactics” but if you are formulating a strategy that centers on spreading the word, interacting with buyers and target consumers, and increasing sales all through the web, then you have to involve Google in almost every way.
Plus you have to be on top any changes in Google. The recent arrival of Google Instant is a good example of a change that impacts all marketers.
So is it a strategy unto itself? Maybe not, but it sure makes me think about how an integrated marketing strategy without Google is not much of one.