February 20. 2012 3:00PM - Last modified: February 27. 2012 3:40PM

Test your new marketing initiative

Social Media Strategies

By Liza Redlin, for BizTimes

  
With the continuous introduction of new technologies, platforms and communication channels – each heralded as the next big thing, those charged with promoting an organization or increasing its sales are feeling more pressure these days to get onboard the latest trend. However, given that today's marketing budgets are overwhelmingly tightened and reduced, there's no room for sub-par performance. Implementation of a new tactic comes with risks, not to mention added costs.

If you're considering an investment in a new initiative, put your program to the following test. Doing so might just make you rethink your entire approach to marketing.

1. Why would we implement this new initiative?

If your answer is "because my boss wants it," or "because I keep hearing about it," or "because everyone else is doing it," stop right there. Rather, think in terms of your customers or prospects. What information do they want from you? How do they communicate? Unless you can demonstrate that this initiative will directly benefit target audiences, there is simply no reason to invest precious dollars.

2. Have we maximized our current programming?

Nothing is free in marketing – especially if you're doing it for the first time. Examine each element of your existing program. Consider shelving sluggish tactics and using those dollars to boost existing initiatives that have strong potential but have been underfunded. If you run through this exercise and find money left over, then look at investing in the new initiative in question.

3. Would this new initiative be a meaningful extension of our current programming?

The most successful marketing programs are those that build synergy between each element. Will this tactic bring new life, new audiences or new communication channels to an initiative already in place? If so, proceed – but do so with caution.

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