Contrary to popular opinion the world will not end the day that President Trump takes office and now is a good time to prepare for 2017. In over 90% of companies, managers are not clear as to what their customer needs are let along what they want. As a result their gut feel approach to marketing can lead to a high level of wasting of resources (time and money) – in some cases this is obvious when you point it out – stockpiles of out of date brochures is a good indicator as is spending all your money on one type of engagement – this tends to be PPC, although I have heard of cases where people use Yell or even networking as the only form of customer engagement.
There are some obvious ways of dealing with this – the first and most obvious is to look at Return on Investment, but this is sometimes difficult to do for a number of reasons. Salesforce estimate that 57% of the buying choice is made before any contact with a company is made and any effort made by organisations to raise awareness is much vaguer than those from direct triggers such as PPC or email marketing. Another reason why you may be comparing apples with pears is simply that not all internal marketers keep (accurate) diaries or timesheets of what they have done and add this into the cost. An activity that does not cost a business anything in terms of capital but ties up 4 members of staff for a week actually has a lower ROI than an activity that cost £200 and achieved the same outcome.
Another way is to create an evidence-based marketing strategy (see below) this does not have to take up a huge amount of time but will have considerable benefits. The actual exercise of focussing on your customers will help clarify your marketing spend and most of the information is readily available.
The process will show you where the gaps are in your knowledge and where you know more than you thought. It may also confirm why some marketing campaigns work and why others need more tweaking or simply not repeating. Looking at the patterns creatively can suggest other avenues that are highly likely to work and will differentiate you from your competition.
The final benefit of an evidence based marketing strategy is that you have the facts, including testimonials, case studies and engagement statistics to combat something that the rise of Trump may herald in 2017, namely fake news. Hopefully this will not be a lasting legacy of 2016 where the concept was used so effectively in the EU referendum and more prominently in the US election.