In 2019, the one “constant” in the marketing industry is that everything is constantly changing. What does this mean for your business? Essentially, in a changing world, those who succeed are those who efficiently change with it. Survival of the fittest becomes survival of the adaptable.
A scalable marketing plan is focused on perfecting your processes and nailing down the driving force of your brand. As the world changes, your details and sub-strategies remain flexible beneath the wings of the “big picture.” From being prepared for growth and expansion to adeptly keeping up with the latest industry trends, scalability allows you to meet changes head on and find success again and again.
Be Open, Be Scalable
As a business owner, you know the value of hard work. It is what got you here. While hard work cannot be replaced, in order to be scalable, you should avoid a pattern of frenzy. Do not fall into a routine that involves you, alone, hunched over your desk, ignoring or even blocking outside inspiration. This will leave you behind the curve of your audience’s values and fluctuating industry trends.
How will you know where your audience is, what they want, and how they want it if you remain closed off to the marketing environment? The best thing that you can do for your scalable marketing strategy is to stay open. Monitor your competitors, engage your audience, and read industry publications (even just reading their tweets is a great start!). If you are receptive to the flow of information and these vital conversations, you will be positioned for success with your scalable marketing game plan.
Dynamic Will Always Trump Static
As you craft a marketing blueprint for your business, it is alarmingly easy to get bogged down in the minutia before you define a set of overarching goals. At Shuttle Digital, we call this “going down the rabbit hole.” It is human nature to hear an idea and then want to immediately flesh it out. Resist the temptation to become pigeonholed or to throw all of your weight behind one platform or idea.
A scalable strategy is your best weapon and is only achievable if your big picture stays at the forefront of your efforts. Spending the time to carefully craft your scalable marketing plan is a lasting investment. If done correctly, you can pivot throughout the year without needing to rewrite your strategy.
Six Steps for Scalable Marketing Success
- Define the big picture first.
This is the core of your business– and your marketing efforts. Why does your brand exist? What is the biggest possible picture for your brand? Save the world? Reshape how the financial future of business owners? Rethink educational resources? If you could only have one marketing goal, what would it be? Really think on this and decide what you are working towards at a higher level than your actual products and services. This mantra will guide you. Post it somewhere you can easily see it everyday: “I am here to [Insert your mantra here] revolutionise the way people shop for groceries.” Seeing your mantra is also a wonderful pick-me-up after a long day or meeting-gone-awry. “Oh yeah, that’s why I am here.”
- Flesh out your supporting goals, objectives, and metrics.
Your guiding goal is set. Now, turn your attention to the smaller goals that support the big picture while setting more specific guidelines for your business. Things to consider include: revenue goals, sales targets, objectives to support business growth, your company vision and objective, the key metrics you need to measure.
- Drill down to the details.
Now that your goals are sketched out, let’s talk details. You can find marketing plan outlines with quick Google search and use this to guide your process. Once you define the details, delegate responsibility among your team. Set up the processes and schedule the time that you need to realistically achieve your goals. Assign tasks to your team and plan to check-in on their progress. Be aware that these details will change as you evaluate your efforts.
- Create Your Content Strategy.
For scalable inbound marketing, content is king. Your goals, objectives, and metrics should gently guide your content categories and publishing schedule. Every piece of content should be “on target” and needs to support your mantra and marketing goals. Along these lines, every word needs to speak directly to your target audience. Be sure to focus on what your audience needs, not what you want to create. You read and hear about finding your “authentic voice.” This is the time to let this voice shine. Speak from your brand to your target buyer persona. Wash, rinse, repeat.
- Implement and engage.
Once your marketing goals and strategy are finalised, it is time for action. Don’t let the fear of failure (or mistakes) hold you back. Let each team member own their part of the process to create a sense of responsibility and pride in your marketing efforts. Implementing your scalable plan will be a learning process. The most important rules are to stay consistent, listen before you speak, and engage with your audience in a meaningful way
- Analyse and Pivot.
Checking in on your efforts is an ongoing process that will flex your analytical skills. As you assess your weekly, biweekly, and monthly metrics, your marketing plan should be in front of you. What parts of the plan are working? Which need minor tweaks? Is it time to say goodbye to one or two well-intended but ineffective ideas? Edit the plan as needed, update your team, and start implementing any new or adapted strategies immediately. In marketing (and life!), it is always best to correct an issue the second you see it, before it becomes a larger problem or trend.
Conclusion: Scale and Adapt…
The job is never “done.” In my opinion, the biggest challenge (and also the most rewarding aspect) of marketing is nurturing this continually-evolving conversation with your target audience. For scalable success beyond the marketing plan, listening is your best friend.
Never be afraid to completely abandon an approach that isn’t working. Staying stuck is the enemy of evolution. If your target audience isn’t responding, then your strategy doesn’t matter. The best market research in the world does not compare to your own brand loyalty and community.