We all have a million marketing projects we could pursue. But how do you decide which one? My recent speaking engagement revealed three key strategies to start.
I got this question at a speaking event I did a few days ago – there were a lot of follow-up questions and commentary from the large group. I wanted to share my response with you.
Obviously, there is a lot to say about this expansive topic. So I will summarize the main points as best as I can.
A couple of points to cover here:
- Picking the best marketing projects to focus on
- Fillers to keep up the productivity and continue building
- Planning long-term
Picking the best projects in marketing to focus on
I will use the case study of my client Bill (changed his name to protect his privacy). The first thing to do is to identify what your potential marketing projects are – that are aligned with your long-term objectives (e.g. one year, five-year or ten-year goals depending on the nature of your business).
So Bill had the following potential marketing projects:
- Email campaign to his audience to sell his next workshop: Cost: $1000 Exp. Return: $4000
- Linkedin Campaign-sell his consulting services: Cost: $500 Exp. Return: $8000
- Cold Calling to sell his consulting services Cost:$10,000 Exp. Return: $15,000
*Numbers were changed to make the computation for you much easier
For each project, we then evaluated the cost (in terms of his work time converted to money plus any actual monetary costs) and the expected return (how much he expected to make back in the next 3 months). When he first started working with me, these numbers were guesswork: but over the years, this analysis has become much more predictable. But it is always great to start making good guesses and then adjusting based on what the actual numbers were – over time, you will get to be better at predicting these costs and returns.
So based on the analysis, we decided to spend more time on the LinkedIn Campaign (about 20 hours a week) and then a little more time on the email campaign and then far less time on the cold calling. The reason for this was that the LinkedIn Campaign gave Bill the greatest return on investment: 16 times the cost. The second in terms of return on investment was the email campaign (4 times) and then the cold calling.
Of course, you may have a different and more complex situation, but this example is essentially to give you an idea of how to organize your thinking and see what you need to measure or assess to move forward with clarity.
Fillers to keep up the productivity and continue building
Once you have set up your social media (or new media) marketing tools (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Quora, Meetup, Twitter, etc.) You want to schedule yourself in a way that creates lots of blank space between your appointments and your travel times. This ‘spare time’ will give you opportunities to do your tweets, invite people to join you on LinkedIn, etc. The trick is to create more blank space on your calendar.
The longer-term you plan, the more blank space you will have. So instead of scheduling out the next day only, start scheduling out the next month. When you have a longer time to plan over, the tendency is to spread out your schedule: i.e.you don’t have to get everything done in one week – you can spread it out over a month. With this spread-out calendar, you will tend to have more free time or as we call it in our coaching groups, ‘Choice Time’.
This choice time is critical for many aspects of your health and business: but for marketing, it is critical, because it gives you opportunities to make interesting connections in your marketing (e.g. doing searches on Linkedin for certain kinds of customers) and it also gives you relaxed pacing of time to allow your mind to come up with insightful ideas to implement in your marketing.
If you need help planning your long-term marketing projects, contact me or follow me on LinkedIn.
Since 1991, I’ve been reflecting on, designing, and implementing methodologies and systems for bringing a transcendent, creative and innovative approach to critical aspects of entrepreneurship.