Success doesn’t just happen. It typically requires risk-taking, strategy, guts, smarts, hard work, ambition, and dedication – sometimes alone, but most often in a combination of those elements. A key factor in whether or not you achieve success is how you go to market and stay in front of your key audiences; one certainty is that it doesn’t happen magically or by luck. Nor is reaching the pinnacle a one-time event. Realizing success is a process; it can happen over and over again. Marketing success is a process, too. Don’t simply execute one tactic and think you are done. Don’t wait for one specific moment to initiate a plan of action, as the moments don’t always come on their own. Make an itinerary. Work the program. Watch and see what can happen when you put forth the effort. Consistency is something many people claim to understand, but few actually deliver. Try it. You will probably enjoy – and you will assuredly benefit from – the outcomes.
If you don’t know where to begin, take a few minutes and ask yourself the following questions:
1. Where do I want to go?
2. Who do I need to help get me there?
3. How will I reach those individuals/groups?
4. What can I manage (truly) for the year? What do I have available as far as time and budget?
5. What other resources are required?
6. What are my top priorities?
7. What can I accomplish in each quarter? Each month? Each week?
If you start with the above questions, the answers will provide you with the framework of a marketing plan and program. If you don’t know the how, what, when, where, and whys to question three, don’t panic. Seek out vendors and suppliers that can weigh in for you based on their specific area of expertise. Build your intelligence around the marketing wheel first, and then put a program in place. Do not make buys or throw money at multiple tactics without having a specific end goal in mind. Everything you do should align to your mission. Marketing prowess doesn’t just happen, but it will happen sooner if you get started right away.
Special thanks to Anne Daugherty, Editor, for her work on this and the other blog entries.