QUESTION: How long should you let a marketing strategy go for until you throw in the towel?

BUT the real questions here is:

Are you talking about a ‘marketing strategy’ or ‘marketing tactics’ ?

A marketing strategy is the plan, the goals that you put in place once you have done your due diligence with the proper research and it also involves identifying a realistic budget.

Marketing tactics are the platforms or providers you use to achieve that plan and reach your goals. Think like SEO, social media, branding, Google ads, website, EDM’s, blogs, video etc.

A sound ‘marketing strategy’ and the budget should be flexible and agile. You should be keeping it in check ongoing – reviewing at least every 6 months (and possibly quarterly depending on your circumstances). That way you can tweak as you move forward – you don’t necessarily need to throw in the towel. It could mean reviewing and changing the course of the marketing tactics you have applied.

Of course, to understand when any ‘marketing tactic’ is not providing the right expectation is to firstly make sure you define what your expectation is upfront and then measure.

Here is a ‘rule of thumb’ (and it is also dependent on the actual platform, type/size of business) of milestone moments to make a decision about ‘throwing in the towel’ or tweaking the activity or tactic in question:

  1. Spend the first 3 months establishing your strategy/plan and setting up all the tactics you have decided to activate. Make sure you set in place how and what you will be measuring.
  2. By 6-9 months, you should start seeing some levels of activity (again depending on the platform). You should be reviewing the statistics and discussing these with your marketing team and your providers – ask questions.
  3. From 9-12 months, there will be stronger evidence with regards to achieving your outcomes, turning the dial on some, or deciding on a different course of action.

Remember, nothing is ever perfect, but knowledge and understanding will empower you to make the choices you need to. It is important that you (or a dedicated person) is engaged in this process – don’t fall into the “set and forget” trap.

If you’re ready to be more empowered when making these decisions, my free Marketing Makeover workbook will show you what you need to understand. Click here to download.

If you feel you need some more direct guidance, click here to see other ways I can help.