Does your company practice what is sometimes called the “Hope Method” of marketing? That is when you hope you will get new clients, hope people will refer you and hope sales will increase. Most often I see business owners and CEOs practice what I call the “Random Acts of Marketing” method. In executive meetings, the management team laments that the sales team is not meeting expectations. Suddenly the table is filled with marketing experts who begin chanting a litany of marketing ideas (although all too often there isn’t anyone with real marketing expertise in the room).
- We need a new brochure.
- Our branding is killing us.
- The website is tired.
- Let’s run some advertisements.
- We need to do social media.
- Let’s run a sale.
- We need to do more trade shows.
- Let’s do some press releases and get an article about us in a trade publication.
Then after earnest debate, someone in marketing (or someone posing as marketing) is tasked with one or two of these programs. Voila! You have just witnessed the birth of random acts of marketing.
Given that these tactics are born of pain rather than an integrated strategic marketing plan with measurements, they rarely yield profitable outcomes. When CEOs approach me as a CMO consultant, they often tell me they have tried everything to grow their business (and they probably have) but are not seeing the results they expected. They want to know if “I should do more” of whatever the tactic du jour happens to be for them.
Being the pragmatist that I am, I usually ask them a series of questions: