If you search the web on ‘how to create a marketing model’, the chances are you’ll find content that’s drastically out of date. Do you remember marketing 101 from university? Understanding the 4P’s (if you’re reading this blog we shouldn’t need to explain what they are!) and developing a concise USP used to be the recommended means of developing a sustainable and modern marketing model. The challenge for today’s marketers is keeping up with the pace of technological change. In the late 90’s the world shifted onto the web and now consumers are rapidly shifting from desktop content consumption towards mobile. These factors have serious repercussions for marketers and business owners.
Why build a marketing model?
Having a marketing model is essential as it enables business owners to analyse the performance of each marketing activity they undertake. Fundamentally the essence of what we do as marketers is to enhance and repeat the stuff that works well and do less of the stuff that doesn’t. This implies that ‘trial and error’ or ‘optimisation’ as marketers prefer to call it is just part of the process. In other words, failure is important. It’s important because it underpins on the contrary what makes stuff successful. We do the same in all areas of life, it’s how we develop ourselves as human beings on a daily and ongoing basis. If you don’t have a marketing model, you have no data to inform you what works well and what doesn’t. We’ll cover the specifics of how you actually develop a practical and concise marketing model in another blog post.
Why is a new approach is required when developing a marketing model?
When I researched this subject online, I was literally astonished at the lack of up-to-date leadership and advice surrounding this topic. Paradigms like the 4P’s, Boston Consulting Group Matrix, CLV models (customer lifetime value) are all essential aspects of marketing to understand and there are many more that are not mentioned here. Understanding these theoretical principles can no longer be a USP for the modern marketer. In fact, understanding these concepts is now just a baseline expectation in order to perform effectively. The modern, full-stack marketer has to go one step further to beat the competition.
What is the modern approach to developing a marketing plan?
Old marketing textbooks will talk about brand building. This is fine for global multinational companies. Building a brand is easy if you have hundreds of millions of dollars to spend. For SME’s focusing marketing efforts on brand building is wonderful for vanity but you’ll fail to deliver results. There have been massive fundamental shifts in marketing over the past two decades. One particular difference has been the shift away from traditional outbound marketing techniques towards inbound. The other shift has been towards the way we view the purpose of marketing. The goal of modern marketers is to generate leads – it’s that simple. As a marketing person, the one thing your MD or CEO will prod you in the chest for is an abundance of high quality leads for sales to convert into projects or whatever it is your business does.
Developing a successful marketing plan in 2014
If you want to build a successful marketing plan for 2014 there are some basic shifts you need to be acutely aware of. Firstly having a desktop responsive website is no longer enough. Increasingly consumers are using tablets and smartphones to consumer content and buy stuff online. Mobile commerce is going to be huge in the next 3-5 years. Secondly, you need to be aware of the shift from outbound marketing techniques towards inbound marketing. Let’s be clear, right now you can use a combination of both – but the future is inbound. Finally, your marketing model should evaluate on a rolling basis the efficacy of each thing you do, be it organic content creation, PPC or webinars. Establish what works well and do it harder and faster than your competition.