Every marketing tactic has a purpose behind it – from a simple activity, such as a press release, to larger scale tactics, such as the development of a new website or company-sponsored event. No matter the tactic or the degree of complexity, there are always three simple questions every strategic marketer should answer before executing.
1) What is the objective? – Every tactic has a purpose. What do you want to achieve with this tactic? For example, a direct mail campaign aims to generate new leads in a specific vertical and for a specific service offering. A press release announcing a new product launch aims to pick up media coverage. Whatever the tactic, set a clear objective.
2) Who am I trying to reach? – For B2B companies, the buying process, and the decision makers involved, is often complex. Therefore, be specific about which audience or audiences you want to reach with the tactic. For each audience, it must be clear what key messages you need to communicate (a single main message and no more than two supporting messages) and where in the buying cycle this tactic occurs. For example, if it’s an awareness activity, your messaging will be different for key decision makers than it would be if it were an activity to be included in their consideration set.
3) How will I measure success? – Every tactic should have a measurable activity and results metric. For example, with PR, an activity metric is the number of press releases you want to complete in a year or the number of media outlets you want to reach for a specific release. Whereas, a results metric is the number of mentions you want to receive from reputable publications. In addition to measuring success, you also need to ask what you will change if you don’t achieve the goal. For example, if your lead generation campaign didn’t generate the % response rate (leads) that you wanted, why? Is it a function of the list you used? Was the messaging too complicated? Did you align the message with the wrong audience? Or was it bad timing – it was sent out during a period when a lot of people are on holiday?
The next time your B2B company executes a marketing tactic, be sure to ask and answer these three questions. And if you find that many of your marketing tactics aren’t achieving the results you want, it could be a function of your marketing strategy.
Do you have a marketing strategy? Has it been years since you developed one? If you think it might be a marketing strategy issue, read my blog on Why B2B Companies Need to Focus on Marketing Strategy before Tactics.
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