Tuesday, December 30, 2014

How's Your Marketing Health?

For many, the transition from Christmas into the New Year represents a drastic course correction, especially in terms of health and wellness. If you've ever glutted yourself in December with the notion of transforming your eating habits come January, then you know what I'm talking about. Or maybe you'll resolve to take up a rigorous exercise regimen after a year spent lounging around in tattered underwear watching TV. Why? Because you suddenly realize that your physical health matters to you.

But what about your marketing health?

Your business or organization runs on revenue, just as we fuel ourselves with food. That revenue comes from customers who were drawn to your products and services by -- you guessed it -- marketing. That means your marketing "body" needs to achieve and maintain tip-top condition. How would you rate the health of that body's following parts?

Heart - We romanticize the heart as the seat of emotion -- but in marketing, feelings, drives and compulsions mean a lot. Not only must your marketing "heart" contain your company's mission and values, but it must also use emotion to convey those convictions to your target market.

Brain - The brain plans, conceives, evaluates and initiates everything you do; it's your master planner. Your marketing "brain" has the same job. It consists of your detailed short-range and long-range marketing plans, as well as the key personnel who write those plans, update them as needed, and occasionally throw them out entirely in favor of a new direction. Do you have these key personnel? Is your marketing plan still valid?

Eyes and ears - Your eyes and ears bring you the wide world in all its detail (with or without some help from your optometrist and audiologist). Your marketing body must see and hear clearly, too. To do this, it needs to position its "eyes" and "ears" along the huge array of media channels available to it -- from Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn/et cetera to client reviews and comments posted throughout the Net.

Tongue - To engage in normal speech with others, you need a tongue that is capable of forming words properly and stating ideas effectively. Your marketing "tongue" is your copywriter or copywriting team. These professionals can receive instructions from your marketing "brain" and translate them into the most effective message for your specific goals.

Fingers and toes - When you want to grab something, you reach out and pick it up with your fingers. Your marketing body does much the same. Its "fingers" are the advertisements, Tweets, blog posts, emails, and business calls sent out to reach prospects and clients. (They call them "touches" for a reason!) And what about the toes? Toes help you maintain your balance when standing, walking, or running. Your marketing body's "toes" are your marketing metrics -- those critical numbers that, when properly assessed and interpreted, can help you adjust your marketing efforts and keep your business upright.

Digestive system - When you eat, you don't just put food in your mouth; you chew it, swallow it, and (hopefully) digest it. Well, your marketing body can't be content simply to bring new prospects to your business. It must process those prospects by converting them into satisfied paying customers, just as your digestive system must process the food you eat before it can do you any good. Think of your conversion tools and strategies -- a well-designed website, easy-to-use points of sale, opportunities for buyer/browser feedback, big data collection and interpretation, and followup communications -- as the "guts" of your marketing body.

So while you're making those New Year's resolutions to lose weight, build muscle, increase your flexibility, or engage in smarter wellness practices, give some additional thought to your marketing wellness. Then resolve to enjoy optimal business health in the coming year!