Sometimes I think that Nike owes every business owner on the planet an apology. Their tag line, “Just do it!” is great motivation when it comes to getting off the couch and into a fitness routine, but it can be disastrous marketing advice.
This morning, I had a great meeting with a new client. We were discussing the changes that they’d like to see on their website and in their business during 2014. They were very excited, and said, very passionately, “Let’s stop talking and just do it!”
That kind of enthusiasm is wonderful. It’s great to see someone ready to take off, full speed ahead – but where, exactly, are they going?
Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There!
When we say “Just do it!” the “it” really means implement a plan. This plan can have many components. When we’re talking about fitness, for example, the “Just do it!” involves exercise, eating right, stress management and more. When we’re talking about marketing your business, what’s in the “Just do it!”?
Start With: The Desire To Change
Nobody signs up for the gym because they’re 100% satisfied with their body. In much the same way, nobody searches out marketing assistance if they’re totally thrilled with how their business is doing.
It’s important to identify, in clear terms, what’s motivating you to change your marketing. Do you want to attract more sales? Do you need to make your existing digital presence compatible with today’s technology? Have you made a decision to shift your marketing message?
Knowing what’s motivating your desire to change makes it much easier to create a plan that will deliver satisfying results. To return to fitness for a moment, if we know someone’s desire to change centers around weight loss, the exercise, diet, and other wellness related changes recommended would look very different than someone whose desire to change centers around building muscle mass!
Move To: Identify Goals
Be as clear as possible about the results you want to achieve from changing your marketing. Set goals for yourself that are both quantitative and qualitative. If we were doing this in the fitness world, a quantitative goal would be: I want to lose 50 pounds. A qualitative goal would be: I want to feel healthier & have more energy.
Some ways to set goals for your business marketing is to identify the number of new customers you want to attract, the number of existing customers who are doing business more frequently, the number of positive reviews or referrals generated by satisfied customers and more.
Then You: Figure Out How To Get From Here To There
Through a brainstorming process, you want to examine all of the potential marketing vehicles you can take to get your business from where it currently is to where you’d like it to be. This can be a very exciting process, as every and all options are on the table.
Then it’s time for a reality check. While it’s obviously easier to get fit if you have the world’s best personal trainer, a state-of-the-art gym, and your own chef to prepare exquisitely healthy food, not everyone can afford that. In much the same way, you have to look at all of your marketing options from a pragmatic perspective and see what will deliver maximum results given your budget.
Once those routes have been identified, it’s time to pinpoint the action steps needed to put the plan into action. Make note of any resources you’re going to need, whether that’s additional technology or support from external resources and partners. This is a good point to determine what metrics you’ll be using to assess success or failure as it happens, so campaigns can be adjusted for more effective results.
And Then: Just Do It!
Having done the groundwork and planning, it’s time to hit the ground running. With your destination clearly identified and your route mapped out in advance, it is much easier to be successful. Give yourself enough time to construct a good plan. It doesn’t need to be an endless amount of time – eventually you need to stop stretching and actually work out! – but you do need some prep time in order to make achieving your goals a realistic possibility.