IS IT TIME FOR A NEW MARKETING APPROACH?

You’re just not pleased with the way things are going. Sales seem to be down, despite that new marketing campaign you launched three months ago. And frankly, you’re tired of it. So toss it aside and come up with something new.

Bad idea. And I say that as someone who profits when companies need brand-new marketing approaches, because it usually means that they need a new website, brochures, advertising — all those things they hire people like me to help them create.

Company leaders who change their marketing approaches only slightly less often than they change their underwear are usually wasting time and money. Simply put, if your company needs a new marketing approach every few months, something is fundamentally wrong, and the problem isn’t in your marketing.

The most effective marketing approaches are consistent, long-term efforts that are built upon a company’s strategic plan. That’s because the strategic plan spells out the company’s mission, vision, and the long-term strategy for connecting the two. Marketing activities are the steps that turn the strategy into action, so if you’re not changing your strategy every few months, you probably shouldn’t be changing your marketing that often.

Should you adjust and adapt you efforts to reflect what’s happening in your marketplace, or to seize unanticipated opportunities? Absolutely. But there’s no reason to throw everything out and start from scratch.

Think of the large companies you admire. What do they stand for? Can you describe them in a short phrase? Odds are their basic marketing approaches and style have been very consistent over years (and I mean years, not months). Sure, they’ll toss in a new ad here and there, or add a new component like an email newsletter, but the underlying strategies remain the same. That’s because they know who they are, and they know what appeals to their marketplace — and they have the confidence in that knowledge to stay focused over the long term.

If you’re not 100 percent sure of who your company is and what your marketplace wants, you probably shouldn’t spend so much on trying to make those connections, because any success you’re enjoying is probably just a happy accident.

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