Knee Jerk Marketing
Above this post you see the image of a reflex hammer – used to tap a nerve in your knee and get an instant reaction that you can’t control. Thus the term knee jerk.
In my many years in the marketing game, I have seen probably thousands of examples of this happening in marketing. Some event occurs – or doesn’t occur – as the case may be, and months of planning and thought are thrown out the window to try something else. Or a savvy media sales person rings the business owner with the deal of the month, and all the carefully organised programs are chucked out to chase down that elusive magic bullet.
The fact is that marketing is a strategic and long term process that requires discipline, creativity and care. It includes at least 5 discrete phases, and done well will result in expansion and growth for your business.
Unfortunately, less than 10% of SME businesses in Australia do it well.
Here are the steps you should take to remove KNEE JERK Marketing from your business.
1. Research – there is simply no substitute for understanding the dynamics of your market, your competition and your customer. You do this through research, research and more research – you seek to understand why your target audience buys the products and services you are offering, and how you compare with the competition in the market place – there are many factors to take into account, but research is what gives you the data to make your decisions on.
Be prepared to spend money and time on research because it will both save and make you money in the future.
2. Analyse – you need to then analyse the research you have done, and analyse your company’s ability to match market needs. Where are the golden nuggets of opportunity, who are you best able to target, what are you good at, what do you suck at!
3. Plan – once you’ve done research and analysis you can confidently step forward and plan out your marketing for the next period – this may be 3, 6, or 12 months. You can decide on who you will target, how you will position your services/products and what resources in terms of time, people and money you are going to need
4. Implement – in our benchmarking of over 800 businesses, probably the biggest insight we found was that the majority of SME’s are starting their marketing at this point – they have done no research, haven’t analysed themselves, have no plan, and are simply just choosing ‘tactics’ in a random, and hopeful fashion that this time it’s going to work. Booking a cheap radio campaign, making up a brochure with no research into the buttons that make people respond, buying some fancy reminder with your logo on it because ‘everybody loves pens’ – these are knee jerk approaches to marketing.
5. Measure – even after you’ve planned out your marketing based on sane research, and no ego analysis, and then started implementing a few test pilot campaigns – your work is not done – the ongoing and then final step in the cyle of marketing is to measure everything you do, and then choose the most cost effective methods that have resulted in real new customers, or more sold to existing customers.
To be a successful business owner, you need to learn and implement professional marketing practices – even if you’ve never studied marketing – professional marketing is the backbone to long term successful businesses.
Leave knee jerk marketing to tomorrow’s failures. Step up and be successful.
Have a great day.