Random acts of marketing: Are you responsible?

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random walk
A mathematical Random Walk in three dimensions. Randomness has its place in the world -- but should be watched (and limited) in construction marketing
random walk
A mathematical Random Walk in three dimensions. Randomness has its place in the world — but should be watched (and limited) in construction marketing

We’ve all done it from time to time. Random Acts of Marketing are the activities you engage in the name of marketing that represent, according to Pam Moore:

An attempt to grow market share, increase brand awareness, drive revenue or other business benefit that is NOT integrated, can not be easily measured or justified and does not integrate with other marketing and biz tactics.

Nick Pauley in the UK has taken this a step further and outlined several “random acts” relevant to the AEC community:

So…here are the top 21 Random Acts of Marketing” off the top of my head:

  1. Google Adwords accounts that haven’t been checked in more than a week (aka. The idiot tax)
  2. Google Adwords accounts that are not directed to relevant, targeted and specific landing pages
  3. Blogs without any links back to the company website
  4. Blogs that get irregular and sporadic attention by way of updates and relevant content
  5. Sending out a single email campaign and hoping this would be sufficient – and then assuming email marketing doesn’t work
  6. A single email campaign, unrelated to the marketing plan
  7. A single email campaign, unrelated to the marketing plan, that is not followed up
  8. An email campaign that is not integrated with a landing page, advert or press release etc
  9. Setting up Google Analytics with no goals for your website
  10. Any social media profile that has no objectives (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook)
  11. A social media page only checked or updated sporadically, if ever
  12. A website or blog containing no relevant, informative, educational or interesting content of any kind
  13. A full page (or double page spread) advert in a magazine that has no links to any other channel marketing
  14. An advert that has a weak or zero call to action
  15. An online campaign unprofessionally designed (for the sake of cost).
  16. Web pages with no call to action and yet your sales staff are demanding leads, contacts or business opportunities
  17. Creating campaigns with no goals
  18. Implementing campaigns without determining how it’s going to be measured
  19. Spending 80% of budgets on print advertising and not want any performance measure in return (it’s happened!)
  20. Using an advertising medium that does not reach your target market
  21. Putting your marketing agency as first point of contact on a new product launch landing page.

Ugh.  That’s quite a list — and I fear represents too much of what we do in the name of marketing in our industry.

There’s a simple test to determine if a marketing idea belongs in the “random act of marketing” category:

Ask yourself these questions:

Is the activity integrated with your other marketing initiatives?

A stand-alone activity might “feel good” but if it doesn’t connect with the rest of your activities, it is random.

Can you measure the results — ideally in relation to Key Performance Indicators (KPI)?

If you can’t measure it, then should you be doing it; and if the measurement doesn’t relate to integration and/or KPI ideally both), then you should call it “random”.

How much does it cost (in time and cash)?

The more it costs, the more you should question whether it is random. Marketing should be strategic, and you should have an annual budget for marketing activities. You can build in a “slush fund” for innovation and experimentation, but if the money needs to come at the expense of other initiatives, you should have a strong affirmative answer to the first two questions.

Note that “randomness” should be seen in a matrix or a graded rather than black-and-white scale, and often marketing activities could have real value if you adapt them so that you can answer the questions successfully.

As an example, consider the decision to start a blog. If you just do one or two random entries, you’ll be “random”.  If you spend significant otherwise allocated budget funds for the blogging activity, you are “random” as well.  However, if you are able to set up a metrics/measuring system (monitoring traffic, readership, calls-to-action responses) and you can complete the blog work without incurring additional budget costs, then you wouldn’t be random.

Do you have a recollection of a “Random Act of Marketing” that you tried or (better) converted into a valid marketing initiative? Please comment below or email buckshon@constructionmarketingideas.com.

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