My four-year-old son recently asked me: “Dad, why do we have rules?” It’s a good question and one that I have never formulated an answer to before. I thought about it and the best I came up with was this:
Rules help bring order and boundaries.
While this is true, something about it felt too narrow and defined. As a small business owner and a serious marketer, there’s one thing I know about rules: they’re good, until they’re not.
A couple of months ago, I put together a process called the “Full Cycle Marketing.” In short, it’s a series of steps that, when fully employed, helps you achieve the results you want. While the title focuses on “marketing,” it works for business owners, consultants, marketers, and the list could go on. Here’s a quick look at the original model:
Recently, I decided to put the model to the test and use it to help me identify my annual goals. The process was fun and insightful, you can read about it here. However, the model broke down and required some revision. In other words, it needed to be “optimized.”
Introducing: Full Cycle Marketing 2.0:
- Define the Need
- Clarify the Goals
- Build a Plan
- Execute the Plan
- Analyze & Optimize
Let’s take a moment and dig into why the steps have changed:
Step 1: Define the Need
In order for a campaign or strategy to be implemented, all stakeholders need to be clear on the “what” and “why.” This clarity gives insight and vision to the team.
The reason why starting with “research” didn’t work is because you have to know the “what” and “why” before you know what to research.
Step 2: Clarify the Goals
Once the “what” and “why” of the need is defined, you can now assign a proper and clear goal. Remember, a proper goal is something that can be measured. For example: From X to Y by Z. X equals the starting point, Y equals the end point and Z is the deadline date. More on this here.
Step 3: Build the Plan
How this step was missing from the original model is beyond me. Certainly, it was implied, but it should have stated.
The goal of the plan is to define “how” you’re going to meet your goals. Each part of the plan must have a direct line of sight to the goal, otherwise it’s a distraction and it must be discarded. PS. Not all strategies should include social media—here’s why.
INSIGHT: Every marketing channel should have it’s own set of goals that line up to the overall goal. These will become your “key performance indicators” that you’ll measure against in Step 5: Analyzation and Optimization.
Step 4: Execute the Plan
Get to work!
Step 5: Analyze and Optimize
I merged these two functions because one is the result of another—they are cause and effect.
Analyzing your response data for each marketing strategy and channel is essential to ensuring success. These key performance indicators will help you identify, during the campaign that you’re on track, behind or ahead of expectations. If one of your strategies is lagging, then find ways to improve, i.e.: optimize, and implement those improvements.
The purpose of this post is two-fold:
- Introduce the 2.0 version of the Full Cycle Marketing method.
- Provide a real example of optimization.
Like I’ve said many times before: