Marketing Success vs Failure: The Importance of Setting Expectations

Posted by DC Marketing Pro on November 25, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Washington DC Marketing and AdvertisingThe phone must be broken

Marketing takes time. Phones don’t ring off the hook the minute your first ad runs. There won’t be lines out the door and you don’t need to hire a phone bank of operators to handle the call volume.  That isn’t to say those things won’t happen.  But unless you are giving away free gold bouillons, your advertising will build on itself and your success will be gradual.

Before the execution of any marketing plan begins, it is vital that you have your expectations in check and that you set appropriate expectations for those above you as well.  Success or failure of an advertising campaign is often evaluated against expectations.  But who sets those expectations?  Do you or does someone else?

In order to properly align your expectations, consider these before finalizing your marketing plan:

1.) What does success look like? This needs to be quantifiable.  It can’t be a “feeling.”

  • Don’t set pie in the sky expectations. 

  • Are your success expectations realistic?  It is important that you have agreement on this expectation from all parties involved.  That includes everyone on your marketing team (including your boss if you have one) AND the salesperson you work with on the advertising side.

2.) What is a realistic timeline to expect success?

3.) What other factors could contribute to success or failure?

  • Are there things beyond this quantifiable measurement that you would count as a win or be included in your determination of success?

4.) Do you have the infrastructure in place to track success?

  • This requires involvement and oversight from top management on down.  Most people under you won’t care how you go about tracking and measuring because it is not part of their job.  But it is your responsibility and your tracking system must be foolproof. 

  • For example, “where did you hear about us” asked by salespeople or phone operators just isn’t enough.  You need more specific questions and you need to give them the information they need in order to get the answers you want.

  • They say that the better the question, the better the answer.  Apply that strategy here!

This article is an excerpt from our eBook  Top 10 Marketing Mistakes Every Washington DC Business Should Avoid.  Creating the best marketing strategy for your Washington DC area business isn’t easy and the last thing any marketer wants to do is make a common marketing mistake. That’s why we’ve created this eBook.  This guide walks you through the most common marketing and advertising mistakes and explains how to avoid them. Download the Top 10 Marketing Mistakes Every Washington DC Business Should Avoid and make your marketing more effective today.


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