For most of last Friday, a big chunk of inner Melbourne was in gridlock – all because a driver realised at the last minute that they were in the wrong lane to exit the CityLink tollway. Their swerving car collided with a semitrailer. The fact that the incident happened on a bridge made the outcome particularly devastating for the truck driver. Many small businesses have marketing programs that are a bit like this – running along in the right general direction, without too much attention to detail, until something happens that causes them to panic. Maybe:
- The number of leads dips
- Sales drop – either because there are less customers, or their purse strings tighten
- A smart marketing professional presents a new, too good to be true way of generating more business that they think they can’t live without
- A competitor does something brilliant that changes the game
Whatever the reason, a knee jerk reaction is the most common response – much like the driver on the bridge.
Whilst it’s great to be flexible and to make the most of unexpected opportunities, if you’re not marketing your business with a thoughtfully considered plan, the most likely experience for your audience is confusion.
Whether your message is on your website, in social media, in print or presented face to face, the key to success in communication is clarity of purpose and consistency.
Every marketing message should build on the last over time, and across communication channels.
Each time you say something to your audience, or do something for them, it’s a bit like creating another piece in your marketing puzzle. If you know the picture you’re trying to create before you start, every new piece makes the whole picture just a bit clearer.