A Case For Documentation: Tracking Your Marketing Wins (And Losses)
While nearly everyone has an opinion on the shiny left or right turns in marketing technology, sometimes the most cost-effective... or simply effective maneuvers are digging through your backlog of marketing campaign reviews. Don't have a year-end review to sift through? Then this article's for you...
A Case For Documentation
The key to success, it turns out, isn't necessarily hitting the right marketing note out of the blue, rather staying in the game long-enough to build up trust equity with your market. Part of this, we'll argue below, is indeed finding the right message, but it's also finding the wrong message and never repeating it again. This falls neatly in line with the philosophy that failing can be a path forward (a sort of process of elimination). But this assumes that you're documenting those failures and communicating with your team.
It's fair to say that nearly every startup has the concept of "throwing everything at the wall" down pat. But it's what happens next that determines whether or not it was worth it to begin with. Documentation can be a tedious task for many (or a joy for few), but whether you like the job or not... it's paramount for successful brand proliferation. So if you've been kicking out marketing campaigns left and right, but haven't yet done a year-end campaign review, it's time to evaluate your processes.
Looking For Proof?
Year after year... executives (those that seek measureable results) keep track of each and every opportunity that they've knocked out. From inbound CMA requests to outbound client referrals, open houses, and general marketing solutions that were kicked into gear... daily tracking of internal operations translates directly to measurable wins (even if ROI was not immediately gained in the moment). It's every day activities that will dictate how effective and impactful your marketing salvos will be.
That is to say, with luck, you can hit your target (given enough attempts), however proper documentation will aid in aligning your scope so that you hit it more often and with less and less effort. Because when you track your messaging hits and misses, then every campaign becomes a valueable operational asset. After all, data is data. Think about it, if you're about to budget for a campaign next year, wouldn't it be valuable (invaluable, really) if you had in your hands on the marketing results for this area going back years?
The Future Is Hidden In The Past
In this way, it's not so much about building a marketing strategy using what works, but instead, building a strategy around hasn't worked in the past. And given that a healthy and ever-evolving marketplace will shift over time, you can either choose to continuously predict the future... or to learn from the past. While we're a predictive data company, it is actually the past that we derive our SMB intelligence from. So for your own operations, it might be wise to spend a moment looking back through what has or even what hasn't worked for you before.
In some cases, you'll find that in the time since, your market has shifted and is now more receptive to your messaging. This highlights the added benefits of documenting your efforts over time... finding those hidden gems that monetize failed campaigns from the past. Not everyone can put resources into these sorts of tasks, but for those that can, there is a great opportunity to, as we all strive to, gain new ground over competition or merely keep hold of your current ground and survive for tomorrow.
It Doesn't Have To Be Complicated
So obviously, we're fans of simplicity. Being technology innovators, we appreciate machines (systems for this example) that require fewer gears. That said, the systems you employ for your SMB's success will often require less training to impliment, will run smoother in general and (perhaps most importantly) have a higher rate of adoption amongst the team if its simple in nature. If you're looking for a magic arrow, some single change in your messaging that will deliver results, it might be in the back room.
In this case, we're putting it out there that what you've sought to know in the past will be valuable again in the future. And what you've gained as insights in the past can be hugely impactful here and now. It doesn't have to be complicated to work and it doesn't have to cost anything to be valuable. So what marketing lessons have you learned and how do those apply today?
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