Written by: Karl Feldman
From an outsider’s perspective, it may seem like your firm is killing it at the marketing game. You execute your strategy with enthusiasm, you attend all of the right events, your segmented email campaigns are on point, and your website and content is an SEO dream. And yet…you can’t shake the feeling that something is still missing.
Whether it is lackluster results even as online engagement is breaking records in our pandemic reality, or a nagging sense that there’s more opportunity for impact, you think it’s time to make a change. With all of the time, effort, and energy going into your marketing strategy, you deserve to have all the dots connecting at an optimal level. It’s time to take a comprehensive look at your plans and figure out the best way to get from Point A to Point B.
So, what’s the next step? Where can your firm begin to look for direction?
The answer: Hinge’s Visible Firm approach. This process takes a comprehensive look at all of your firm’s initiatives—both online and offline—in order to provide benchmarking through proprietary diagnostics and algorithms. This information is then used to develop a comprehensive strategy that helps identify three different goals:
- Short-term opportunities, (or “low hanging fruit”) that can quickly and efficiently make a difference
- Mid-term initiatives, that may need more development but can provide results relatively quickly
- Longer-term initiatives, that may take more time due to requiring building operational support or re-working major components, such as your website or branding
With this approach, your firm can get your marketing initiatives back on track and working seamlessly together. However, if you aren’t completely sure the Visible Firm approach is right for you, here are a few practical takeaways to help you decide whether you should develop your own strategy or bring in outside support.
3 Tips to Help Prioritize Your Marketing Initiatives
Take the 360° Approach
Before you make any big changes, you need to get all of your cards on the table. Collect all materials, collateral, strategy documents, and any additional information you’ll need to get a clear picture of your current marketing strategy.
As you look through these materials, try to identify where you already have a clear plan in place and where you don’t. For example, do you have a detailed editorial calendar for your content creation and social media sharing? Have you planned out the specifics of your next email campaign?
Next, give your firm a rating based on how you think your approach fares in comparison to your peers and competitors. Consider how your current level of effort compares to some of the top firms in your field and what you’d need to do differently to compete at that level.
Finally, analyze your resources. What areas already have the proper resources to achieve growth? What areas are lacking? Knowing the answers to these questions can help you figure out how to structure your plans and goals moving forward.
Increase Your Understanding
When you know more, you can accomplish more. Work to build your understanding in the following areas:
- Your competitors. Not only do you want to understand who they are, but you also need to know at what level they currently do business. You may even have different segments of competitors based on your business model and services, so don’t forget to consider all angles of competition.
- Your audiences. Understanding the concerns, questions, and issues your audience members bring to the table—and all the relevant topics associated with those issues—is the first step in creating better marketing content. You also want to understand where your audience is located, how they are currently engaging with you, and how you would ideally like them to engage with you in the future.
- Your differentiators. Think about what sets you apart from the competition. In addition to understanding what unique features your firm brings to the table, you also need to have a clear understanding of your positioning and messaging, as well as how you communicate those aspects clearly to your audience.
Build a Road Map
Now that you have fully analyzed your current initiatives and developed an understanding of what’s working and what needs some work, it’s time to make a plan.
Start first by prioritizing your initiatives by considering the level of effort and current available resources for each. There are plenty of work management tools that can help your team stay organized. From there, build a road map that takes into account the calendar time and budget needed to execute each initiative. Think about the personnel you’ll need, as well as the internal and external costs associated.
Remember, your initiatives aren’t nearly as likely to succeed without sustainable internal support, so work to create excitement and momentum around your plans by embracing the necessary research, results, and internal communications to get everyone on board.
Regardless of whether you decide to go at it alone or bring on outside support to achieve your goals, keep in mind that a clear and objectively supported plan—combined with communication and sustained operational support—is the key to success.