Let’s get right to the point. Random acts of kindness are wonderful, but random acts of marketing – not so much. While we all may be guilty of practicing random acts of marketing from time to time, it pays to recognize this behavior and change it into a more purposeful endeavor. The biggest reason to not perform random acts of marketing- it doesn’t work! You want to get the most from your marketing effort and dollars, don’t you? Think strategically, plan thoughtfully, act deliberately, and I promise you will see a difference in your marketing results.
What is random marketing? My definition of random marketing is executing singular activities with no thought as to how they fit into a larger plan. Perhaps a better descriptor would be “isolated,” but random captures that spur of the moment, unplanned aspect with which we can all identify. Sure, that one time offer to sponsor the circus sounded like a fun and potential marketing opportunity, but did it make sense for your business? Getting a blog up and publishing your first post was exciting, but one post does not a blog make, and now it looks like you just lack follow through.
Tactical vs. Strategic
Start with a strategic marketing plan that focuses on longer term, broader objectives that answer the “why” questions. Yes, at some point you do need a tactical plan to get something done. It is not good to plan and plan and never pull the trigger, but most of us do not have that problem. The vast majority of us pull the trigger without enough thought about what happens when we hit (or don’t hit) the target. Being strategic means thinking about WHY you’re doing what you’re doing and how it fits with your overall business objectives (hint: your mission statement can guide you here). Strategic thinking helps prevent you from random activities that seem logical in the heat of the moment but less-than-smart as time passes.
Alone vs. the Buddy System
A campaign is a connected series of actions designed to accomplish an objective. A political campaign is called a campaign for a reason- one advertisement is not enough to make an impact, educate, and drive action (although at this time of year we wish it were!). Repetition is a good thing, especially in marketing. If you have to choose between five ads in one medium over time, or one ad in five different mediums, you will almost always benefit more from the prior. We need more than one chance to be exposed to a story in order to really absorb it, given the overload of information we are exposed to in today’s world. A campaign can also utilize multiple channels to communicate in the best way to different members of your target audience.
Random vs. Consistent
In addition to repetition, telling your story in a consistent manner is what reaps results at the end of the day. Random acts of marketing often fall into the trap of looking strangely unique, and this isn’t good in a marketing sense. Yes, you want to look different from your competitors, but you always want to look like “you” so people recognize you and your brand easily. Be consistent in your use of graphics, color, design, style, and voice. Random acts of marketing are often hurried and encourage you to abandon your branding consistency in favor of just getting something out the door. Don’t do it!
If your marketing is strategic, part of a campaign, and consistent in its look and message, you will be more focused and less likely to practice random acts of marketing. Don’t let “It seemed like a good idea at the time” be famous last words for your company. Need help in thinking strategically about your marketing then making it happen? Contact us – that’s what we do.