Ever wish you had the secret ingredient to that one dish at your favorite restaurant? You know, the dish you can never make at home, no matter how hard you try? For many business owners, trying to have predictable and sustainable growth in their business feels a lot like they are missing that one secret ingredient. And searching for it often leads to failed marketing campaign after marketing campaign. It even tends to lead to something that I call the “bright and shiny syndrome”.
I recently consulted with a business. They had been investing heavily in their marketing for the past few years, but were not getting the results they had hoped for and expected. They listed all the campaigns they had invested in, the trainings they had gone to in order to learn new techniques, the platforms they had run ads on. You name it, they had tried it. Every time they read or heard that there was a way to improve their marketing, they implemented it. They bounced from one tactic to the next and none of them seemed to work. That’s the “bright and shiny syndrome”. Basically every time they saw a new “bright and shiny” idea it pulled their attention to a new path, not letting them complete the old. Think children chasing fireflies. Tactics and strategies are great, but on their own they aren’t enough. These actually are just one part of a triad that every business needs to create a predictable and sustainable pattern of growth.
Documented Customer Journey
First, a company must have a documented customer journey. A business has to understand how a person goes from their first moment of awareness about your company to interest, purchase, and all the way through to excit and advocate. The journey has to be documented. How can you optimize what you can’t document?
Second, a company has to have actionable metrics. It’s important to not only understand where you are, but to also know where you are going and how you can measure if you are getting there. This means understanding what stage of the customer journey you are trying to move the needle for and what moves the needle and most importantly how you know the needle MOVED.
Tools and Tactics
A lot of marketers want to focus on the tools and tactics, but if you don’t have all three assets, tools and tactics on their own can’t be successful. More often, you wind up feeling like a one hit wonder. You know it worked once, but you can’t repeat it. So you try another one. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t. And another…and another. That is why they are only one part of the puzzle.
So my advice to you, savvy business owner, is this. Understand your customer. Document your customer journey. Determine where your needle needs to move. Know where you are now, where you need to go, and what will tell you if you got there. And pick a single tactic and stick with it.