Stop Spaghetti Marketing!

There’s a right way and a wrong way to market your business effectively. At its best, marketing ignites the interest of your audience, communicates your core brand values, and demonstrates why you are a better fit for the customer than your competition. At its worst, it’s an expenditure that constantly falls flat and fails to find an audience.

Anyone in marketing will tell you, success in marketing is the result of knowing your audience, making a plan for how you will connect with that audience through marketing efforts, and executing the plan. It’s true that not everything will work on the first try. That’s why it’s also best practice to set metrics and measurements, and track how customers flow through the marketing system to diagnose and be effective in correcting steps where they fall out of the campaign.

“Let’s throw it at the wall and see what sticks.”

Let’s talk for a minute about Spaghetti Marketing. Spaghetti Marketing, if you’ve never heard of it, is the opposite of a planned approach. Rather than well-considered strategy, Spaghetti Marketing is a scattershot approach trying many different angles or efforts with no coordinated effort. Most often in leadership this at least feels like “doing something” when it comes to marketing efforts, but in many ways it would be better not to market than to use the Spaghetti Method, which can result in confusion and dilution of a core brand message.

There are many forms Spaghetti Marketing takes, and all are about trying many different, unfocused and uncoordinated efforts. This could include rapid refocus of efforts, without committing to a planned approach, or just buying into whatever marketing or media trend seems like a good idea at the time.

The result is high expense and minimal result. Companies engaging in Spaghetti Marketing gain about as much traction with their audiences as undercooked spaghetti when it hits the wall: almost none! It slides onto the floor.

No More Spaghetti

Does this scattered approach sound familiar to you? If your marketing jumps from effort to effort and feels disconnected from the business and audience, you might be engaged in Spaghetti Marketing. It’s time for you to focus your efforts. Here are the three things you need to stop making spaghetti.

  1. Profile your Audience – Document a deep understanding of who your customer is, their goals, and why they would choose you over competitors. Learn to speak their language and find out where they spend their time and attention. Immerse yourself in understanding this audience.
  2. Set Goals & Metrics – What is the change you need to make? Awareness? Clicks? Sales? Set these goals, then work backwards. When you start with the goals in mind, you’ll see clearly the steps to get there and what measurable actions along the way will drive each of those goals.
  3. Build your Campaign – When you understand your audience and have specific goals, the last step is using this information to build your campaign. Knowing where you should market and what your message should be should flow easily from this information. This is where data meets creativity to design impactful advertising opportunities!

No Half-Baked Ideas, Either

The other recommendation is to take your time. Set yourself a reasonable timeframe of three to six months for rolling out any new marketing effort, so that it is well-considered and has time for adjustments ahead of release. The best way to stop Spaghetti Marketing is to ensure that there is a window of time between creating the marketing and releasing it to the public.

That’s not to say adjustments won’t be made. You will undoubtedly find opportunities to make light alterations to your campaigns after they roll out. You’ll learn quickly what sticks with your customers and what doesn’t – and that’s fine. The difference here is fine-tuning a cohesive campaign as part of larger marketing goals, versus radically changing marketing midstream with shifting goals.

“Strategy,” not “Spaghetti.”

Great marketing is like chess. You have the best chance for success when you think far ahead to plan your moves, not impulsively scrambling to keep up with daily changes in your business. When you make a move, it should be well thought-out from many angles, and from a wide enough perspective that you can see the impact it will have on the overall market.

Great marketers live in the future, not in the now. They measure the now and the past to inform their next moves. When you make the mental shift from “Spaghetti” thinking to “Strategic” thinking, you’ll be amazed how much more impactful your marketing can be.

Tell us what you think

Share your thoughts here in the comments! Have a burning question or feedback about the topic? Let’s keep the conversation going.

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