How to make smart marketing decisions.

I just had a call with a potential client. I love these calls. Speaking with the business owner or manager with a vision for their company with many ideas and goals to achieve. So exciting! As someone who loves setting goals, I relate to the excitement and the overwhelm that sometimes comes from goal setting. Overwhelming because you know you will have to make decisions once you set your goals. Tough decisions and you will have to make lots of them. Lots of choices on which path to take. Fearing, what if I take the wrong path?

If you are a business owner, I get the pain of the wrong decision! Running a business is everything to you – it’s your livelihood, it’s your legacy – you might identify with your business more than you think or want. Still, if you are involved in running a business, it pretty much becomes a part of you, and no one likes failing oneself with bad decisions.

If you are a business manager who is working with a marketing agency on behalf of your organization, the pain of bad marketing decisions could also be heavy – that’s your reputation we are talking about.

Basically, if you are responsible for marketing goal setting, you will make many decisions. So, how do you make smart marketing decisions you won’t regret?

Back to my call I just had now. I could almost hear the wheels turning in their head. What decision to make?

When customers come to us, they want to know that we have the solutions they need. They want reassurance that their marketing budget will be spent wisely with an adequate return on investment. One of the things we discuss on our sales calls is expectations. In business and life, you are as happy as your expectations are.

“Expectations were like fine pottery. The harder you held them, the more likely they were to crack.” ― Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings

So, let me ask you this. What are your expectations from marketing? If you are looking for a marketing agency – what are you looking for? For a secret sauce solution? For someone who has all the answers? Someone who will come and fix everything in one month?

On my call with this potential client, he mentioned that he was considering another company for his business. I went to check them out to see who we were competing against. Their website was slick. They had big names clients. They had stellar testimonials. One client’s testimonial was that their revenue grew by 60% in the first month. This is great. But. Was this completely the result of marketing, or were there other factors at play?

Of course, there are other factors at play. Always. Marketing is a tool that helps businesses grow, and business growth is never linear. In business, you have to always re-invent yourself, test and improve. A successful business is never one that is stale. There’s no such thing as a business playbook that you follow and get the exact result as promised. I think maybe this is why (partially) businesses fail, they failed to evolve, and they were following one specific expectation. Running a business is risky. There are never any guarantees. Why would this be expected from marketing? Why would you expect a clear-cut solution – a secret souse – to do this, and you achieve this for the very thing that is always changing and has to be adaptive? Your business is changing, and your marketing has to evolve and change all the time, too. That’s the number one expectation to have for running a business and running marketing campaigns.

Marketing gets a bad reputation sometimes, exactly because of these unrealistic expectations. A secret sauce, a magic wand. And, hey, maybe, we marketers did this to ourselves, promising too much? But maybe we can reconsider this and add more clarity to marketing so we all have clear expectations and we actually support the businesses with what the businesses need instead of expecting things to be perfect all the time. Maybe marketing is just a solution-finder tool for communicating better. To understand your customers better. And once you gain this understanding, you will be able to meet your customer where they are – growing your sales and growing your business as a result.

So, if you are in the midst of a marketing decision right now, take a deep breath in and be honest with yourself. You don’t have all the answers. No one does. The best decision you could make right now is to try something fresh, something new that you haven’t tried yet, and then keep adjusting, testing, and monitoring progress (this is key) so you can make data-driven decisions for your business.

“Expectations were like fine pottery. The harder you held them, the more likely they were to crack.” ― Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings

So, what are your expectations of marketing?

If you are looking for a team who would have your back, helping you to make data-driven decisions and marketing leadership that will drive your business’s growth, get in touch with our marketing agency in downtown Vancouver! We would love to set up a discovery call with you to see how we can help you grow!