“An opportunity that doesn’t align with your goals is a distraction, no matter how lucrative it is.”
I wrote that piece of advice down for my future self a few years back. I had taken advantage of a few “opportunities” only to be disappointed when they moved me sideways instead of toward my goals.
I love a good opportunity, but I have to have something in place to help decide whether it’s worth pursuing. Of course, surrounding yourself with smart people helps immensely, but I’ve found that these few questions are great to ask yourself and your team. Whether you’re starting a new social media strategy, an Adwords campaign, or a strategic partnership, these questions will help you evaluate each opportunity that comes your way.
Before pursuing a marketing opportunity, you should know two things: who is the exact target audience and are the channels you’re using to reach them the best for that particular audience.
Resist the temptation of saying “everybody” is your target audience. Create a target customer persona for the audience you’re going after. Look at your past marketing campaigns for any data that might help with the target audience. If you haven’t targeted this audience before, there is absolutely nothing wrong with experimenting. Just be sure to measure and evaluate whether they’re worth pursuing.
What are your goals for this marketing project? Make sure you clearly outline what a win looks like for the project and also what you’re willing to do to reach those goals.
In the days of Don Draper, all clients had to do was approve sketches and new ads. Today, effective marketing takes more involvement and resources from the client.
If your team is executing this campaign, make sure you know what resources it will take internally. If an outside marketing company is working on it your team won’t be tied up, so it just depends on your situation. Look at the timeline of the project and everything else you have going on, and decide whether to keep the project in-house or hire an outside company.
Now that you have your end goal in mind, how can you get even more out of it?
If you look at the pieces of the marketing campaign, you may find you can get even more out of your individual marketing assets. For example, if your goal is to write 3 e-books to use for educating prospects and building your email list, you two choices. You could simply write those e-books, or you could use your blog to write pieces of them and get people interested in the subjects while also stretching your content much further.
Find companies who have run similar marketing campaigns and do your homework. Research what their audience’s reaction was to the campaign, how much of an impact it had, and any mistakes they made that you should avoid. If they aren’t a competitor, it’s even worth giving them a call to ask them directly.
Your new marketing opportunity should complement your current marketing and even enhance it.
It should also fit well with the other stages in your marketing. For example, if you see that most of your marketing falls in the early stage and this is an early-stage opportunity, you may want to hold off until you balance it out with middle and late stage marketing.
Use these questions as a guide to quickly evaluate each new marketing opportunity. Your answers will tell you whether or not each opportunity that comes along is worth your time and investment.
Joel Widmer is the Founder & CEO of Fluxe Digital Marketing—a content marketing shop that helps smart businesses create, produce and promote their content through a unique one-on-one interview process. When he’s not working, Joel can be found trying new restaurants with his wife, son, and daughter.