Your marketing will only be successful if you think about your objectives first

We have the privilege of working with some of the most inspirational entrepreneurs and business founders every day. But since most of them are real ideas people there is often a ‘creative conflict’ as we work to keep focus on the objectives we agreed to deliver the business growth plan.
By ruthlessly focusing on objectives, we can sometimes feel like the ones spoiling all the fun (fun and flexibility are after all cornerstones of having your own brand!). But ultimately it is vital the management team stay on track with a clear vision of where we want to get to – otherwise time and money can get wasted chasing misguided or distracting ideas or opportunities.
Getting the balance is key: we’ve all waved farewell to our corporate worlds in favour of our entrepreneurial dynamic ventures, so the last thing we want is to become staid or process-driven. However, having a clear idea of the vision, and knowing the objectives you have to hit to get there creates the perfect platform to test all new ideas or opportunities when they come up. This is different to a plan – in a worst-case scenario ‘a plan’ can prevent new opportunities due to a misguided obsession to ‘deliver the plan’ – but being able to review new opportunities versus the objectives you want to achieve creates a sound and speedy method of deciding whether to progress, pivot or ignore.
To get the balance you need to start with your objectives: So never start by thinking “we want some advertising”, “I need some PR”, or “I need some social media / a Facebook page / Twitter feed” [delete as appropriate]. Get back to the ‘why’ first – and get in the habit of always asking that question: Why do you want to do that and what do you want to achieve from doing this. It can help to think about what action you want your customer to do or feel, as this really drives home the action you want to achieve.
Then once you are clear on what you want to achieve, we can start identifying all the different options available to achieve that objective. Those options might include PR, social media, digital advertising, competitions, offers, partnerships, even paid-for advertising — but only by knowing what you want to achieve for your brand or product can you strategically review and decide on the most effective and cost efficient way to achieve what you want to do.
Christina Richardson is the founder of The Nurture Network, the on-demand marketing department for start-ups and entrepreneurial businesses.