Some people might think that stocks, fitness, and marketing make for strange bedfellows. Oddly enough, to succeed in any of them you have to take a similar approach.
Watching the stock market over the past few months has been a perfect recipe for whiplash—or worse. Interestingly, some people don’t seem to get too bothered by the fluctuations they’ve been seeing. A lot of that comes from the approach they take to investing. Successful investors have a plan, they prepare themselves by doing their homework, and they persevere—they take a long term view and don’t get shook by minor fluctuations.
Similarly, some people get all worked up about working out. They put on a few pounds and all of a sudden they’re like a whirling dervish at the gym. If you don’t believe me, just try to find a parking spot at the gym right after New Years. Other people don’t seem too agitated—but they stay fit (and you know they’re doing something). Once again, a lot of it has to do with the approach they take to fitness. People with a commitment to fitness have a plan that works for them. They prepare themselves by budgeting the time they need to work out. And they persevere. They don’t hit the gym for three hours once every other month. They’re consistent.
You can see the same thing in marketing. Sales start to fall off and some people get all excited and cast about for a new marketing plan. They frantically try a little bit of this and a little bit of that—and end up more stressed than ever (and probably without lasting results). And yet again, it comes down to taking the right approach to marketing. Here is a brief glimpse at what planning, preparing, and persevering look like in marketing efforts.
Plan: It’s important to have clear goals and objectives. What do you really want to accomplish? Can you measure results to see if you’ve achieved your goals? Then have a specific strategy. What specifically will you do? When will you do it? What will it cost you. Who is responsible for specific tasks? You don’t need to be a slave to your plan (you can adjust it to better meet your needs), but you can’t just wing it.
Prepare: Once you’ve defined goals and have a strategy you still need to do your homework if you want to make sure your plan is the right one. You have to base your actions on data rather than guesses. You can’t plan to capture 10 percent of the market if you don’t know how big the market is. You can’t design products for an audience unless you know what they want.
Persevere: Stick with your plan. Sure you can make adjustments, but you can’t just “dip in and dip out”. Successful marketing plans take weeks, months, and sometimes even years to see the results you want. Hopping from one program to another does nothing but keep people busy and short-circuit the results. People who “dabble in the stock market” get burned. People who train for a few weeks and then give up don’t get (or stay) fit. And companies that give up on their marketing plans because they don’t see immediate results lose money (on their marketing) and lose sales.
You can start by educating yourself about what marketing looks like today and how you can leverage both traditional and online efforts to capture new customers and grow your business. Download our free Push and Pull Marketing eBook to get a glimpse of how you can change your approach to your marketing efforts.