Businesses and nonprofits often ask me what they should be focusing on when it comes to marketing. It’s a good question because how you spend your time and energy is very important – but what goals and tasks should you prioritize?
The answer depends on where you are in your marketing business, the size of your company or organization, who your target market is, and of course what you are selling or asking money for. ALL of these factors have to be taken into consideration when figuring out your marketing mix. However, no matter what size you are, no matter what you sell or who your market is, there is ONE thing that you absolutely have to do.
There is one VITAL component that can make or break your marketing efforts and investment. You can have the best marketing channels, and even a huge budget, but if this ONE component is missing, your marketing will fail. That component is CONSISTENCY.
The number one thing businesses and organizations can do to significantly improve their chances at marketing success is to be consistent with their marketing. By “consistency,” I don’t just mean how many times per month or week you send something. I also mean be consistent in your messaging.
Be consistent in delivery:
When people sign up for your newsletter or follow you on social media, they have given you permission to communicate with them. Like a good friend, it is your responsibility to send updates, share news, extend invitations, and ask them important questions – and you need to do all of this on a regular and consistent basis. It takes, on average, seven “touches” before someone finally takes action towards becoming a customer or a part of your community. A "touch” generally means to “be in front of.” It is recommended that you deliver a variety of communications several times in a month. For instance, on social media, you should post once a day. A newsletter should go out at least once a month. Figure out what you are involved with in your marketing and make sure that you are delivering your communications consistently.
Be consistent in message:
As I mentioned, it takes up to seven “touches” for someone finally to take action towards becoming a customer or a part of your community. Therefore your marketing message has to “be in front of” your potential customer up to seven times before they decide to sign up for your e-newsletter, or to like your Facebook page, or to purchase something from you. If they see a different message each time, then it’s a brand new “touch” instead of the 2nd or 3rd. It’s like you’re starting over, and setting yourself back. You have to keep the same message out there long enough to convince your potential customer to take action.
I strongly recommend that EVERYONE make this one New Year’s resolution: be consistent. Pull out your marketing materials, look over your website, posts and tweets, and examine your message. Is it fairly consistent, or are you saying lots of different things? Are you sending your communications out on a fairly consistent basis throughout the year?
If you are not seeing consistency in both delivery and message, definitely make that your priority for 2015.