When you look at marketing in its entirety, the process of conceptualizing through to execution can be exhausting. With so many components, marketing is more than figuring out how to sell your product– it’s determining the identity of your brand and what you stand for.
With so many things to consider, it can be hard to figure out what issue to address first. From determining your marketing mix to creating your brand identity, here’s how to focus when you’re overwhelmed by options.
Outsource to an Agency
When it comes to creating a compelling brand, some entrepreneurs can’t see the forest for the trees. Even a marketing department within an organization can struggle with putting all the pieces together to create a comprehensive brand strategy. In fact, according to this article: The Case Against Taking Paid Search In-House by Fang Digital Marketing, using an internal department can be limiting to your business’s potential. When nothing seems to be coming together, reach out to the experts for help. An agency can look at the business as a whole, without bias and chatter from different departments and peers. They can look at your overall brand strategy or help with a specific piece of the marketing puzzle, such as digital marketing or graphic design.
One of the hardest aspects of business is asking for help. Know when you need assistance to get the job done and plan accordingly to remain focused and avoid burnout.
Ask or Test the Audience
If you’re having trouble deciding which way to go, throw it to the people who matter the most: your targeted consumer. Depending on which aspect of your marketing strategy you are looking to improve, this could happen a few different ways. For example, if you’re trying to create packaging that best resonates with your brand, focus groups are a great way to get input on your designs and find out what customers think fits best.
Alternatively, if you’re working on perfecting your digital marketing strategy, try some A/B testing protocols. Send out separate marketing pieces and compare the analytics to determine which has the higher conversion rate. Again, if all ask fails, don’t hesitate to ask the consumer what they like and dislike about your brand; this may give you the direction you need to refine your marketing goals.
Project Management Processes
If you struggle to prioritize and get overwhelmed by all the things on your plate, use project management software to lay out everything that needs to be done and what pieces are contingent on others to help create a starting point. From there, determine what steps need to be completed within each task and assign dates and people to make it happen.
If you aren’t quite ready for the project management piece, try brainstorming on a whiteboard or paper. To prioritize your projects, try the quadrant model: break your paper into four quadrants:
- high cost, high completion time;
- low cost, high completion time;
- low cost, low completion time; and
- high cost, low completion time.
This is a simple yet effective method for prioritizing marketing projects and creating a timeline for completion.
Choose One Thing
When you’ve prioritized items, choose one thing and commit to seeing it through. Juggling multiple projects at once will add to the overwhelming feelings and limit your productivity. If you get to a stage of the project in which you feel ready to hand it off to someone else, delegate accordingly. If you find that you must complete a few projects in tandem, give tasks to a peer or hire a virtual assistant to get the tasks done.
Finish your “big rocks” first. Picture an empty bucket. Somehow you must fit a collection of rocks and a jar of sand into the bucket. If you pour the sand– the small, easy tasks– into the bucket first, you won’t have room for all of the rocks. If, however, you put your big rocks in first, the sand will fit into the crevices, and everything will get completed. Manage your time the same way by completing one big rock at a time.
Identify the Weak Points
If you’re trying to determine which thing comes first, use the information you have already for an in-depth analysis of your strengths and weaknesses. By reviewing and analyzing your data, you should be able to determine if you need help driving traffic or conversions.
For example, if you notice that you get a lot of traffic to your landing page but not a lot of sales conversions once people are there, then you know your messaging needs work. If you have low traffic but high-conversions once people reach the site, you know that your marketing focus should be on driving more people to your landing page.
If you have both low traffic and low conversions, work to drive traffic and then reassess the options. If you have both high traffic and conversions, congratulations, you can focus elsewhere for now.
Identifying weak points tells you where your focus should be. While you should always be working to improve even the best parts of your business, you know that those areas are functioning well enough to keep moving forward while you elevate your weaker areas to bring them more on par with your business goals.
Back to Basics with the Marketing Mix
If your background is in marketing, then you already know about the Marketing Mix (a.k.a THe Four P’s). If you’ve come from a different educational background, consider this your quick Marketing Mix 101.
The Marketing Mix consists of the following four areas: pricing, product, promotion, and place. Your product is what you’re selling, price is the cost of the product for consumers, promotion is how you advertise your product and attract customers, and place is the market in which you push your product.
Reassessing your marketing mix will give you powerful insights into where your focus should be, similar to identifying weak points as mentioned above. If you know the product is priced well and being peddled in the right market, you may need to address your promotion strategy. However, if the price is right, with a well-defined target market and promo campaign, maybe the product itself needs work.
Bringing it All Together
In summation, the best way to focus when you’re overwhelmed by marketing options is to take a high-level overview to highlight areas in need, then hone in and prioritize your tasks. Marketing is what drives your business, so you can’t afford to neglect it. When in doubt, outsource to an agency who will have the bandwidth to make your marketing a priority.