Would you ever think about building a house without getting a proper plan and strategy from a qualified architect?

 

Would you ever build a business without a plan and strategy?

 

Would you expect to lose weight without a plan and a strategy?

 

Of course not.

 

But yet the majority of businesses in Thailand seem to be doing marketing without a clear plan and a well-defined strategy. Often times the marketing strategy goes as far as “We need Facebook, Google, and a Website”.

 

And then it stops right there.

 

Or the strategy is left to in-house marketing staff with a few years experience writing blog posts or designing banners. 

 

Think about it for a second. You would not start building your house without a plan and strategy. You would make sure that the architects, engineers, and designers involved would be certified and do have a proven track record. Right?!

 

But yet for the marketing of your business, we don’t feel the need of having a proper plan and strategy in place. Even though the marketing is responsible for growing your businesses.
The money for building your house (read: to pay all these highly skilled architects, engineers, and designers) will most likely not come in if your marketing strategy does not work for your business at the first place.

 

Let’s have a look at the most common problems that occur when your business operates without a clear and well-defined marketing strategy:

1. You are direction-less

 

 

If you don’t know where you are going then you will never arrive.

 

It is that simple…

 

Are you trying to build brand awareness, generate more sales or improve your customer support?

 

If you are like most business owners or marketing managers then you see the need for all of these points.

 

But if there is no strategy to support it then it will never happen.

 

This is what happens to 90% of businesses who are shooting in the dark for a few months until they are coming to the conclusion that “Facebook does not work” for their business.

2. You have the wrong expectations

 

It is easy to set the goal to “generate 5 new leads per day”  or to create “brand awareness as a high-end brand” and pass it on to your in-house marketing team.

 

But do they have the right resources to make it happen?

 

If you want to be perceived as a high-end brand that aims for the same customers as with Louis Vuitton, then you better make sure to have a very experienced brand designer on your team.

 

And don’t forget the product photo shootings.

 

If you want to create awareness among every person with a Facebook account in a 25 square kilometer radius around Bangkok then you better have the budget to reach 33,000,000 people (August 2017, Source: Facebook).

 

And you better have the money to reach them multiple times with individual messages if you want them to remember you.

 

In most cases, a marketing plan and strategy helps to align the expectations with your budget.

3. You don’t know your customers well enough

 

If you don’t know to whom you are talking then how do you want to sell them anything?

 

At a core of every successful marketing campaign is a deep understanding of your customers.

 

And if you don’t who exactly they are, you have lost before you have even started.

 

Marketing can often help you to better understand your customers.

 

But if your goal is to learn who your audience is and to what messages they respond best, then this must be your goal.

 

And you cannot expect to break sales records at the same time while figuring out who actually your customers are. Back to point 2…

 

4. You don’t communicate the right messages

 

 

This is directly related to the challenge above.

 

If you don’t know to whom you are talking, then it will impossible to communicate the right message.

 

What happens to the majority of Facebook posts while you are scrolling down the news feed?

 

Right, you ignore them. Because they don’t provide any value to you.

 

Or because they simply don’t communicate the right message to you.

5. You are not memorable

 

There is a high likelihood that your design does not communicate the right emotions and does not stand out enough.

 

What have been the last 3 posts that you saw on your Facebook news feed?

 

In most cases, you won’t remember.

 

Which means that they did not work. Those are wasted (branding) opportunities.

6. You are wasting money and resources

 

You are in a new city without a map and a trying to find this amazing restaurant that your friend did recommend to you.

 

You leave your hotel and start walking following your gut feeling.

 

The result?

 

In most cases, you will get lost.

 

You might get some help and eventually get there.

 

But you have lost a lot of time and energy.

 

The same happens when you start marketing without a clear path to success.

 

This happens to many businesses who hire inexperienced marketers for the reason that they are cheap.

 

If they don’t create any meaningful results they still end up being expensive for your business.

 

We are not only talking about their salary that does not create any positive return, but more importantly about the opportunity costs.

 

Every week that you are wasting by working in the wrong direction, your competitors are winning more and more market share.

 

7. You don’t see good results. And your competition wins!

 

Obvious.

 

If you don’t know what you are actually doing then you won’t see any results.

 

But this is not the biggest problem…

 

If your potential customers don’t end up engaging with your content on Facebook, then they will engage with the content of somebody else.

 

This could be your competitor who then wins more and more market share, while you are still figuring out why you didn’t get more than 12 likes on your most recent post.

 

And the worst part? Once your potential customers found a possible solution for their problem (either your competitor or your business) they are likely to stay with them and it gets much harder to win them over.

 

What is next?
 
If the above points sound familiar and hit a nerve then your business is most likely in danger.

 

Most businesses face the same problems. As long as you are willing to learn from the mistakes of the past you will be fine. Let’s look at your best possible next steps depending on your position.

 

If you are working as a marketing person then there are 2 possible scenarios:

 

Scenario 1: Everything that you just read is not a problem for your business. You should ask your boss for a raise. You can be resting assured that you are far ahead of your peers and I am pretty sure that you are helping the business to grow. Oh and by the way… We are always hiring smart people like you!

 

Scenario 2: The points above sound familiar and do describe the situation of your marketing pretty well. I hope you are not the only/highest ranking marketing person in your company. If you are you should hope that your boss never finds out… Seriously: Request better coaching and help with the high-level marketing strategy. Your boss cannot expect you to know everything already. Otherwise, it is unlikely that your work will have the impact that you and your boss expects. You might just be wasting your time at your current position and be holding the company back. I wrote another article called the Elements of a successful Facebook marketing strategy which will give you a good overview what you need to know in order to get started

 

If you are business owner/managing director: You better find out if your marketing team falls into the first or second scenario. If you are not sure then I recommend you read the next article called Elements of a successful Facebook marketing strategy and then to discuss each point with your team to find out where your marketing team is at.

 

Scenario 1: Give them the raise they are asking for. They deserve it. And then make sure that they can grow with your company as you need to keep them. If they got that far by themselves then it means that they are hungry for knowledge. If your company cannot provide them with more challenges and growth opportunities they will leave you at one point…

 

Scenario 2: If your marketing team does not know what they are doing then it is not their fault. You have put the wrong person in the wrong seat. And frankly speaking, this seems to be true for the majority of cases. If you do expect your marketing team to grow your business, then they need to have the skills and experiences to do so. Hire a better marketing team or an agency.

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