Polishing the cannonball

Raising my children has been one of the greatest joys in my life.  Having three adult children out of the nest you begin to wonder, did I raise them right?  Did I prepare them for what they might find in the world?  Did I do all I could do?  What else could I have tried? All you can do after they leave the house is trust that you molded them the best you could with all the information and knowledge you had at the time.
Why don’t we treat marketing plans in a similar fashion? All too often we want our marketing plans to be perfect before we release them into the wild.  We tweak and tweak every last detail ad nauseam moving through a series of approvals and often times we miss the best window of opportunity.
With marketing automation systems today marketing is meant to be iterative.  We should lead out with our best plan, with all the information we have at that moment.  We track behaviors, understand patterns, and make changes on the fly.
While marketing automation can be more complex with many more channels, greater integrations and the need for consistency across channels, it also provides visibility that allows us the flexibility to make changes in real time.
Here are some tips for creating a better marketing program

  1. Integrate your data into one common data store
  2. Map the intended journey
  3. Capture attributes and behaviors on your contacts
  4. Build scoring models for each contact
  5. Understand your contact’s actual journey
  6. Enhance the journey
  7. Celebrate the successes

My wife and I have an opportunity for a redo as our youngest, now 6.5 years, came 15 years after her next oldest sibling.  I like to think I have become smarter and more knowledgeable about raising children, but the truth is I’m simply more confident that things will turn out fine.  I will watch for signs and slowly shift the trajectory as needed, when needed.  All will be fine.
So should it be with your marketing plan. Stop polishing the cannon ball and light the fuse!

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