How inconsistency will consistently kill your business
A marketer worth their salt knows the basics of a marketing campaign inside and out. Setting targets, building an audience profile, messaging that resonates, selecting the proper channels, understanding your audience’s journey . . . blah, blah, blah.
Yes, absolutely, these parts are necessary for the success of a campaign. But what’s even more important is consistency.
Vital, in fact.
So, why is consistency so important?
All you need is that one great idea, right? After all, winning an award for one truly impactful, moving marketing campaign is rather prestigious. You pour your heart, soul, and every ounce of creativity into that perfect campaign. I take my hat off to you – good job! This kind of achievement doesn’t come easily.
But can you do it again? Because your ability to create a winning campaign repeatedly and consistently is the key to achieving solid business growth. Sporadic campaigns, or worse, no campaigns, can be a death knell for your brand.
For example, the business-to-business (B2B) sales cycle is long and arduous. According to a report from CSO Insights, 74,6 % of B2B sales take four months to close, and 46,4% can take over seven months. Did you know that your brand won’t even begin to register with customers until they’ve seen it at least five to seven times? To add fuel to the fire, you only have about seven seconds to make an impression.
The usual M.O.
You double down on your marketing output. You spam the heck out of your audience with a plethora of content, hoping that hitting everywhere will get you more clients. But without a well-thought-out consistency to these campaigns, you aren’t drilling a message into anyone’s head. Trying to speak to everyone means you end up talking to no one. And, no matter how well you do something, your message won’t make an impact if your different avenues don’t speak to each other. Consistency really is key.
The secret to consistency lies within your team. A problem I see in many companies is that people work in silos, and silos create clunky campaigns. No one talks to each other. The social media team will work on paid social without talking to the guys in email marketing. The graphic designers are coming up with fantastic concepts but aren’t communicating with the copywriters. Each team member does their part of the job perfectly, but because there is no cohesion, the music of your marketing campaign falls flat. Your whole team should be involved in the campaign process from start to finish. The strategy of a campaign is easier to follow when all parties have complete visibility throughout. Complete visibility will always lead to clarity in a campaign – the more you know, right? Remember, if it’s confusing to your team, it will be confusing to your audience.
What you should be doing
Having been at the deep end of every touch point in this journey, I’ve seen enough to know what is and what should be happening at each stage. There is so much crossover between these departments in delivering different aspects of the campaign. At each touch point, weaved in with creativity, consistency needs to reign.
In a marketing campaign, there are already several things that are naturally repetitive. For example, you’ll always need copy, therefore a copywriter. You’ll need graphics, consequently a designer. You’ll need someone who specializes in social media. For cohesion and synchronicity, you’ll need someone in operations or management who makes the final decision and ties all aspects together.
In-house or external?
A common mistake I see businesses making is spreading their employees too thin. Many companies don’t have an in-house marketing department, and most don’t have these specialized talents. Often, someone who’s worked on the product and knows it well is roped into doing the copy. Bob in accounting is a keen photographer, so he does the graphics. This method is fine but bear in mind that this person already has a whole separate job to do. When things get busy, both jobs won’t be done properly. Your team and your business will suffer the consequences.
An alternative solution to the capacity and expertise problem is to hire a marketing agency. An agency has a wheelhouse of specialists, all working in combination to turn what you feed them into consistent campaigns – over and over again. But, for real growth in the B2B world, a standard agency with a couple of creatives and an account manager isn’t going to cut it.
What you need is a hyper-marketing agency with a team choc-full of immense talent and a proven process built to deliver effective campaigns. The result of this is targeted campaigns at an incredible pace – and absolute consistency. On top of that, look for an agency that’ll take what you give them and constantly look to improve it.
In the B2B world, your worst campaign is the one that leaves the impression. No matter which way you choose to get your business’s name into the world, top of mind should always be consistency. When your campaigns are consistent, your customers and potential customers know they can rely on you. They know where to find you and what you can do for them. Your credibility shoots through the roof, and your brand becomes instantly recognizable. Good for your brand and great for your bottom line, so make your worst campaign world-class!