Look before you leap is an idiom that most people would agree with and apply regularly in their day-to-day lives.
It means that you should think carefully and consider the possible results or consequences of your actions before committing to them. In the same manner when it comes to marketing, it’s essential to get the thinking right before you proceed to doing.
If there is one recurring trait we witness above all others, it is that when it comes to marketing, far too many businesses move straight to the implementation of marketing tactics without the required strategic thinking before they commit.
Rarely in other important aspects of business is a decision and commitment made without a thorough consideration of all the pros and cons, the weighing up of all the ‘what ifs’, the gathering of all necessary and available facts to support and reinforce the decision.
Yet so often in business, marketing decisions and tactics are based on little more than a whim, repetition of what’s gone before or a perceived (but unproven) opportunity.
Why is this so? Why does marketing continually escape the same robust interrogation and processes applied to other business decisions?
We continually witness examples of companies which, whether through eagerness or ignorance, jump straight to the ‘doing’ tactics without considering why they’re doing what they are, what the right and relevant message is for best results, how they are going to judge or assess the response or who they want to target with their message and their vital marketing dollars.
Without the necessary and required strategic thinking, the result is a mix of different messages to differing (or worse), the same targets, which in turn confuses the market and blurs the brand image and credibility.
In addition, a lack of metrics or processes to measure the effectiveness or otherwise of the tactics means there is marketing wastage—you just don’t know which is waste and which isn’t.
Thinking before doing also means challenging history. Again in so many companies that we work with, we see that marketing planning is simply a continuum of history.
Without the application of strategy, previous marketing simply repeats itself. Why? Inevitably the answer is: ‘Because we’ve always done it this way’.
Many companies are even afraid to change or alter their tactics (whether it’s a stand at an expo or sponsorship of an event or an advertising campaign), because they don’t know what might happen if they don’t participate or repeat.
Where else in business would you commit valuable dollars without knowing its potential return? If it can’t be measured, it can’t be managed.
Recall the “Look before you leap” idiom the next time you see the ‘same old, same old’ marketing tactic repeating itself in your marketing activity and then give us a call…
BrandQuest is a strategy and brand management consultancy that intrinsically believes that great brands are born of the founders and staff who work there. They are not the result of an outsourced creative endeavour but the cumulative knowledge that a company possesses.
Since 2007, BrandQuest has developed a process that within a 3 week time frame can extract and refine this inner knowledge into a powerful brand strategy.
Our clients work with us because they seek:
- Increased brand and business value
- Alignment, clarity and direction for their Branding
- Robust, authentic and fearless advice