Marketing needs to be a process, not a campaign

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Too often, marketing starts too late and only to meet short-term objectives, like a product launch or a special promotion. But especially with online marketing and the avenues it offers – social media, email, website, blog – marketing needs to be a concerted, consistent, regular activity.

Here are some ways in which you need to start thinking of marketing as a process, not a campaign.

Stick to Your Strategy

Your strategy doesn’t need to be set in stone, and there might be good reasons for changing course. But in general, you need to give your strategy time to work, and it has to be focused enough to be of use. If you’ve decided today that you’re going to focus on young people (say, 18-25) in tier-2 cities, every piece of marketing material, whether print or online, should be focused on that target segment. If you turn around tomorrow and start a campaign for 30-40 year-olds in metro cities, you’re diluting your strategy.

Keep Your Brand Consistent

Whether it’s visual design or copy, your brand needs to be consistent across various mediums and channels. Your business cards or flyers don’t have to be (in fact, shouldn’t be) exactly the same as what’s on your website, but it should be obvious they’re about the same brand. Each piece of marketing material you create needs to be fresh (so that it draws the attention even of those who have seen other of your materials) but needs to work within the parameters of your brand.

Nurture Your Audience

Online marketing is all about nurturing your audience. Email newsletters, social media updates, blog posts, all help you keep in touch with your customers and prospects and help them know you better. But if your blog gets one post a month, that’s not enough. If your email goes out at infrequent times with no clear theme, it’s not a newsletter. If you have a Twitter account but only tweet one day in a month, that’s useless.

You need frequency; you need a schedule.

Be Patient

The longer you stick with online marketing, the more results you’re likely to get. One reason is that you’ll accumulate more content. If you start a blog, you only have a few posts in the beginning. The more content you have, the more valuable your blog becomes for readers, and the more trustworthy your content looks. More content also means your blog/site will do better in search.

Does that mean you don’t need campaigns? No, campaigns work well if you use them to boost specific results for a specific period – for a seasonal promotion, a product launch, or an event. But if your marketing is driven by campaigns, you’re losing out on the value a consistent, long-term marketing focus can bring.

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