Why fast forward to failure?

19 Jan Why fast forward to failure?

Some just can’t resist the temptation to fast forward…and maybe, if you are talking about viewing the end of a movie or praying for Santa to arrive early, this may not be a critical flaw, although I believe it will ruin your experience. But when you are talking marketing, BEWARE!

In January, many administrators, managers and partners are sitting around conference tables or sharing an early breakfast to plan their marketing programs and calendar for 2010. A little late, kiddo, but better than never. As a fly on the wall, I hear phrases like “email marketing,” “SEO,” “blogging,” “redesiging the website,” “creating a new website,” “printing new collateral,” “creating an ad for the local paper,” blah blah blah and on. Although they are focused on building success, what these well-intended professionals are actually doing is fast forwarding to failure.

Why would anyone want to do that? Usually it’s unintentional. Many believe that the first steps in the marketing process are already completed, either because they were once completed long ago and assumed to be valid for the next millenium, or because those planning the marketing programs think they already intuitively know everything they need to know to create and launch effective programs.

What are they missing?
Step one in any marketing planning meeting should be KNOW THY AUDIENCE. Step two is KNOW THY COMPETITOR. Call me if you want to know about the other steps.

You may think you know them, but just quiz yourself. If you can’t create a detailed profile of the people or businesses that will be the recipients of your program and message, if you don’t know where they are, if you don’t know what they read, if you don’t know how they feel about issues, if you don’t know what they need from you, if you don’t know what they think about you and your competitors, if you don’t know what they are willing and able to pay for your services, then you don’t know squat about them!

Good lawyers don’t ask questions in the courtroom unless they already know the answers. If you can apply that same preparedness to marketing your practice, there will never be a need to fast forward. You will enjoy the ride.

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