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February 13th, 2014

Marketing StrategyThere are colorful graphics all over the Internet illustrating various marketing strategies that are “ideal for the digital age,” many even depicting the classic “three pillars” of sales, awareness, and advocacy. But those pillars now support all manner of faddish notions and countless high-tech helpers that blast your marketing  message to the world. With all the confusion over tweets, texts, and bandwidth causing many marketing campaigns to seriously under-perform, now is a good time to get back to basics with timeless marketing principles that work.

Status report
Before you make goals, before you devise tactics to carry out your strategy, you must take stock of your current situation. Sometimes referred to as an “environmental scan,” this in-depth overview considers everything involved in your enterprise: technology, equipment and computer rental needs, production processes, industry metrics, competition, general and specific economic indicators, customers, and local, regional, state, and federal laws. You can’t chart a course without a map, okay?

Goal setting
Now that you know your starting point, you can decide where you want to go. When you do sit down to create your corporate goals and objectives, you might find the “SMART goals” system worth your attention. The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely, which echoes the high standards Steve Jobs set for his secret iMac developers in the late 1990s.

Strategy
There are as many opinions on business strategy as there are stars in the night sky, so your best bet is to read widely, remain skeptical of grandiose claims, and come to a reasonable position. As much an educational process as the other steps, developing your business strategy might introduce you to such tools as perceptual mapping and portfolio analysis.

Tactics
Businesspeople conflate tactics with strategy and tell their marketing directors that they want a “viral marketing campaign” that will hit every inbox, smartphone, and iPad rental in the Western Hemisphere. But that’s a tactic, not a strategy, and no one can guarantee that anything will “go viral” (and beware of anyone who does). Truth be told, many campaigns go viral but have little effect on sales or PR.

Monitor
We’re trying to keep this advice jargon-free, but part of an effective strategy means defining your key performance indicators (KPIs). Monitor performance with KPIs and you will know how well your tactics are working to fulfill the company strategy. Needless to say, it is vital to be completely honest in making these appraisals.

Evolve
You will continue to revise, update, and perfect (ergo, “evolve”) both tactics and strategy based on your KPIs. (The indicators themselves may need some revision, too.) When the campaign is ongoing, it is wise to continue with a healthy optimism, as well as a healthy skepticism. You may have had an intelligent design for your strategy, but it’s good old evolution that will keep everything on track as the world barrels forward in its unpredictable way.

Now, here’s something that’s completely predictable: CRE’s top equipment and unparalleled customer service. With 21 offices in major metro areas, we offer technology rentals that could help you achieve your marketing goals (or help you complete a last minute project or prepare you for an upcoming event). Give us a call at 877-266-7725 to learn more.

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