Does Your Marketing Plan Need Changing?
Change is good, right? Not always. But when is it bad? Is it a question of good or bad? Sounds philosophical. Maybe it is. Philosophize on this…why would one take something that is going good – no. great – and change it? Obvious answer is to make it better.
Not! In business or in marketing, change is not always good. When you have certain promotional actions that are in place making things happen, or in better terms, making you money – don’t change them! Why do I say this? Because I see it time and time again. Someone has a marketing campaign that is bringing in a good return on investment and they up and decide to change their postcard! What?!?!?!?!? Change your postcard – why??????? “Er uh, we just decided to do something different.” And then some three or four months down the road, they call back with their tail between their legs and ask – no demand to have everything back the way it was before. In this latter case – change is good.
I am not just saying that to say that one should always keep their postcard marketing campaign the same and never change it. Quite the contrary. Change your marketing, change your habits, change your way of life when it warrants it. There is really some truth to the old adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Maybe it is human nature to want to change everything once something gets going just the way they planned it. Who the heck knows? All I can say is step outside the human-nature box. Change only when things are drastic or when change is warranted. Drastic circumstances deserve drastic measures. But how do you determine drastic? Sometimes that is really easy. Your company’s income is crashing.
Do something! Change! Or better yet, figure out what you changed and get it back to what was working. How about a plateau? Does that deserve change? Depends on how long that plateau lasts. I have never seen things leveling off and staying level forever. It either goes one of two ways – up or down. I know an optometrist who had a very successful practice in small town USA. He never really marketed. He never really had to. People knew of him from miles around. Mainly he did PR stuff – a fundraiser here, networking there, etc., etc.
His good works made him well known and respected and the community ooo’ed and ah’ed over him so much the paper loved printing it. But things changed. Malls started opening up. People started shopping out of small-town USA and into the bigger cities. The environment changed. But he didn’t. He still kept a good practice, but you could see something interesting – his gross income started to plateau. And over time – many years – that plateau gradually started to show where it was really going. I actually don’t have to say where – you’ve got the picture. Now, would that demand drastic measures? Taking into account inflation, cost of living and other factors that are on the rise – yes, I would say that would demand drastic measures.
Did he take them? Not until the direness became all too apparent. But yes, he finally did take them. He started postcard marketing his you-know-what off! I have another client that is just a dream. They have had the same list for the past 5 years, ever since they have been in business – thirty thousand physical therapists they mailed to over and over and over and over and … They never changed. They figured if it was bringing in the income it was the thing that was working. And it worked and it still works. And today – they made Entrepreneur’s 100 Hot List for 2005. So, next time you think about changing your marketing plan, look to see if it needs it. Look at your numbers.