Like the natural environment, the marketing field is cyclical. As soon as you create, plan, and execute a strategy, it is time to start back at the beginning building a new plan. The world around us and our business are constantly changing, and so must our businesses.
While it may seem boring to talk about the marketing cycle, it is crucial to identify and understand each part of the cycle. Too often, people skip steps and end up with less effective marketing strategies, because they don’t stop to identify their audience or consider their goals and objectives.
Consider these five parts of the marketing cycle. Are you making sure to carefully work on each step before jumping ahead to executing?
Identify – The first step is to identify what exactly you want to do. Go back to the Ws! At this point, you need to sit down, decide your target audience, decide what you are promoting, and decide what you are saying before you can decide how you want to promote it.
Brand – Next, align this goal with your brand or with a redesign of your brand. Bring your ideas back to your businesses core business proposition. What is your message about your company going to be?
Plan – This may be the most overlooked step. Planning is simply not scheduling. Planning involves going back, understanding your target audience, calculating proper pricing, and more. It means taking the time to make sure marketing is done right.
Execute – Finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for. Go out there and execute, but do not forget to celebrate and enjoy. Be proud of your company and what you have accomplished.
Evaluate – At the same time, after celebrating, don’t forget to come back and evaluate what you did. Be critical, and understand there is something you could have always done better. This will prepare you to start the cycle over again and better identify who, what, and where next time.
While these five steps may seem obvious, make sure you aren’t missing any in your marketing process. Missing just one can be detrimental to your overall campaign, and when something is this easy, there is no reason not to do it right the first time.