Last month I had the privilege of working with some great professionals at ADPR and Drive Creative Studio to run Love Marketing. This was a half-day not-for-profit marketing skills development event at Sandy Park in Exeter. As well as leading sessions based on our collective range of experience we also welcomed the following speakers to inspire and challenge the group gathered.
Anna Slingo (pictured above), Social Media Manager from the Met Office on social media strategy and their work as leaders with innovative Twitter moments.
Peter Morris, founder and Director of Lockabox on the value of listening to your audience to help you establish and market your product and company values.
Jo Middleton, the Slummy Single Mummy on engaging through blogs with some fun and effective stories.
I had the pleasure of listening in on a session from Sophie and Kate at ADPR on evaluating social media. They demonstrated how the industry is shifting, how measuring the value of advertising and media is changing within this. We all gained some really useful first hand insight into supporting clients to ensure they get the most from time and money invested in online media.
Professional development is important in any industry. The priority of our work, at Anna Lodge Consulting is to help people we work with to understand and develop their values and practice so that they plan and deliver effective marketing that is true to their company’s ethos. Therefore, bringing people together to share their experience with other enthusiastic practitioners is really important part of any marketers work. I believe that everyone in the room at an event like Love Marketing is an expert so I particularly enjoyed running the session on Developing your Marketing Strategy and the discussions around increasing customer base and developing joined-up thinking across an organisation.
Following the event here are my top tips for marketers everywhere:
Market with your organisation’s values in mind, always
It doesn’t matter what you do. The values that underpin your company are vital to the success of your marketing and the authenticity and integrity of promotional material. It can help to spend time with colleagues, perhaps as part of an away day, to really clarify what your company values are.
Have a clear aim in mind before you build a marketing plan
Many people set-up marketing plans with very woolly aims in mind. This then translates to ill-defined audiences, unclear briefs for designers and confusing messages in promotion. So pause before you start planning and get your marketing aim clear.
Appropriately stored market research can support your business for years
Most people in marketing dabble with market research. However, few keep good records of information they gather and sources. Set-up systems to record market research in your files so you can use it again later, and so that you can trace the most up to date research available. Make sure you are abiding by data protection laws and practices relating to the storage of information and data, and its disposal.
Factor in evaluation in your marketing plan, again and again
Most people forget to evaluate their marketing plan which can mean it can become ineffectual quite quickly. Evaluating regularly, on a cyclic basis, means you pick up problems and potential opportunities much more quickly. Plus you can communicate about your plan to colleagues with much more integrity and more easily.
Having a marketing plan doesn’t kill creativity, it encourages it!
If you have a plan you can set to work with the interesting and fascinating world of effective communication – allowing you to commission great design, inspiring copy, events that change the way people work. Like all things in life, marketing is complex and often the route to success is not simple. Therefore, the plan will give you and others the ability to follow a process that ultimately should lead you to success. And note- because you are evaluating as you go the place that you arrive at might be exactly where you expected… or it might be somewhere even better or more useful!
Thanks to colleagues here at Anna Lodge Consulting as well as a ADPR and Drive for a great event at Sandy Park last month. Having worked together for a time, we three businesses decided to bring together marketing practitioners from across the country to explore what makes marketing work, sharing our skills and experience. Following Love Marketing in Exeter, we hope to do further marketing skills events in the South West so do get in touch if you would like to know about those, when they are scheduled: firstname.lastname@example.org