“The state of affairs is that combination of circumstances applying within a group at a particular time.”
No secret to the title of this post. Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address -as many of his predecessors- is a snapshot, so to speak, of our nation’s current condition based on events which have come to pass, current events and future solutions to problems we may have encountered along the way. No speech describes how the current administration will make it worse and no speech ever says everything is fine and let’s keep on doing what we’re doing.
That’s why in the first step of our internet marketing planning we choose to follow a similar process to understand the State of Affairs of an organization:
- Find out where has your company been spending your marketing dollars all this time. Ask questions to understand clearly what has your marketing team been doing to popularize your products and services. Walk into a doctor’s office and the first thing they’ll do is ask you questions…lots of them. They need to know your past before they do anything else. Treat your business the same way. Where is the marketing budget going? What percentage of sales is coming from the top initiatives and what is the cost associated with them? Are they short-term or long term revenue generating tactics? How much do you discount and why? How many labor hours are being devoted to marketing and is it worthwhile? Only finding out where have you been will you find out how to get where you want to be.
- What is your current situation. Once you know where your marketing dollars have been spent for the last so many months or years view your current situation under that light. “Your current situation is, as they say, a product of your past actions and decisions.” In terms of marketing, every idea you or your team has implemented has brought you to today. Is your company where you want it to be? Did you expect things to be better by now? Are you not clearly measuring today’s revenue as a function of the marketing tactics you implemented in the past? “Tough love,” my friend Eddie says. Tell yourself that ‘you are not comfortable with where your organization is at the present’ and do something about it…or no one will.
- The future of your marketing. Once you have a “diagnosis” take the right steps to be where you need to be. Doing the same will typically bring about the same results. Learn new ideas, go to seminars, join marketing groups, explore new technologies, do not be afraid of trying new things that work for others because you’re unfamiliar with them. Create a Facebook Page. For the first time a couple of weeks back, as I was doing my morning advertising research, I clicked through an ad on the New York Times Online and it took me to a FACEBOOK PAGE! Not a website, or a splash page, or a flash ad but a Facebook Page. Think about it…
Document everything you and your team do for further reference and to create content others in your industry or other industries can benefit from.