As business owners and marketers, we are relentlessly bombarded every day with things we should, could, ought to and want to do when it comes to marketing. It can lead to marketing stress and overwhelm.
Marketing decisions can include:
- which social media platform to use
- what to put on social media, how often, which tags to use, when and why
- which networking groups / events / talks / seminars to attend
- whom to meet / have a 1 to 1 with and whom to not
- where to advertise, what type of advert, what price, when and how long for
- which automation platform to use, how to make sure it’s right for your business
- what marketing training and learning you need, whether to do that big money course that will ‘transform your marketing’ or not and if you don’t will you miss out
- whether to run events, webinars, workshops, seminars, write blogs, articles, do podcasts, press and PR
- which images, words, video, colours, fonts, urls, headers to use…
The list goes on.
The Problems this creates
Too often, in response to this overwhelm and having to make so many decisions, I see people do one or more of these things:
- make no marketing choices
- make the wrong marketing decisions
- make poor marketing decisions
- make the right marketing decision but be stressed about it.
This often leads to poor marketing results and a general feeling that you haven’t quite got it right. It’s one of the reasons why so many business owners think they dislike marketing.
So, how can you avoid marketing stress and overwhelm?
You need to be able to systematically assess each marketing ‘opportunity’ so you can confidently decide if it is right for you and your business. You have to be able to look at the ‘opportunities’ that come up and go, ‘Yes, yes, no, maybe, no, no’ and be sure that you have made the right choice.
There are three key areas that any marketing decision needs to be assessed against:
1. Authentic Mission, Vision, Values, Objectives.
Does this ‘opportunity’ help you achieve your mission, vision, and objectives? Is it in line with your organisation’s or your personal values?
If the answer is, ‘No’ then it’s probably not the right thing to do.
If you run your own business, then doing things in line with your values can be critical – and can cause stress when you feel that you have compromised them.
If your mission, vision, objectives and values need updating then that can also explain why you are experiencing marketing stress and overwhelm – how can you choose the right marketing tactics, things to do, when you aren’t clear about where your business is going and the way that you work?
2. Ideal clients and your market place
Your clients should be at the heart of your business.
I often speak to SMEs about their ‘ideal clients’ but you can substitute this for your ‘segments’ or ‘client personas’ (not the same as a segment, but that’s another story).
Does this ‘opportunity’ fit with how your ideal clients want and expect to be communicated with? If the answer is, ‘No’, then move on.
If the answer is, ‘I’m not sure’ then do some research.
If the answer is, ‘I’m not sure whom my ideal clients / segments are’ then take some time to clarify your thinking around this – it will make it much easier for you to then choose the best marketing communication tools and reduce that stress and overwhelm.
3. Budget, skills and time availability
- Can I afford this?
- Can I do it?
- Can I spend the time, effort and money it will take?
- Can I afford not to do this?
Sometimes, cold hard resources make the decision easy. For many of my clients, time and effort is actually the biggest resource problem. Do they have the time to explore this opportunity, learn how to use that new marketing tactic or technique?
If you’re a bit of a Marketing Magpie (i.e. attracted to the latest shiny marketing tool or course or personality) then ruthlessly assess how much time you spend exploring, investigating and playing with the latest marketing thing.
If you’re a Marketing Rock (i.e. suspicious of the latest shiny marketing tool or course or personality) then your stress might come from feeling that you have to learn something new AGAIN and adapt your marketing AGAIN. If this is a marketing thing you really should do because you answered ‘Yes’ to questions 1 or 2, then consider bringing someone in to set it up for you. Or, like me (I can be a Marketing Rock), accept that you have to learn and get on with it but in small manageable chunks.
If budget is the issue and this is something you should be doing, then either stop doing something else to release more budget or put off making the decision for a few days / a week. Then come back and assess again.
It might be that this blog post has thrown up for you strategic areas of your marketing that you need to address.
Getting strategic marketing clarity around what your business is about and its aims is crucial if you want to reduce your marketing stress.
If you need help to clarify your mission, visions, values and objectives then you can always bring in an objective professional to help you make the right decisions. I can either support you and your Board, taking you through a structured, methodical approach to determine your marketing strategy or, if you want something quicker, we could have a 90 minute Strategic Sounding Board sessions.
Contact me to find out more.
About the author
Kara Stanford is a Strategic Marketing Consultant based in Hampshire, UK.
She has been helping business owners, Directors and Marketers understand marketing and gain marketing clarity for over 20 years.
Get in touch to find out how she can help your business reduce marketing stress and get the results you want.