Exercise is good, especially when your physical activity becomes a habit. It can take a few weeks or months to get over the initial “where can I find the time for this activity” excuses, but eventually, the healthy habits become routine.
The same concept applies for effective construction marketing. Sometimes you can score a quick hit/high — but usually things don’t go so well at the start. You might spend money and time on what you think is a great website, and no one visits. Or develop a new advertising campaign, to discover no one responds. And, yes, you put the really best effort you could into that RFP, and don’t even make the shortlist (or perhaps more painfully, you come second or third, and winner takes all.)
Your challenge at the start: You need to stick it out and get your habits right, accepting there will be some mis-steps along the way.
So how do you keep going when the going seems tough?
Hire a personal trainer (marketing consultant) and commit to a contract long enough to make it stick.
This could be a good idea for many readers here. The obvious question: Who should be the consultant? (It could, in theory, be me, but I’m not so inexpensive and someone closer to your home may be better.) However, I know a few people who know what they are doing, and if you wish a referral, connect with me and I’ll recommend one or two of these experts to you once I sense the fit will be good.
Do the annual planning thing. Yes,pull everyone together, set your goals, and put them down in writing.
I agree it can be easy to fall of the rails, but at least the plan gives you some rails. We’ve built an annual planning meeting into our business for the past eight years. If you do the whole-blown thing with professional consultants/facilitators, you might spend $10,000 or more for the exercise — and while that may seem costly if your budgets are tight, I think you tend to take more seriously plans developed at some expense — and so are more likely to be cautious in dropping them mid-stream.
Make it fun, if you can.
The “if you can” I’m afraid, is important here. How can it be fun to go to the gym and lift weights and work out on a treadmill for 45 minutes each day? But I’ve grown to enjoy cycling to work (and the gym) so I suppose it has turned a bit into fun. Clearly, there isn’t much “fun” in dumb and repetitive marketing initiatives, but if you can combine the marketing work with activities you enjoy, you’ll stick it out more easily.