What is the most effective marketing strategy?

“What is the most effective marketing strategy that you have ever used in your business?”

I ran into this question about marketing strategy on Quora. Inquiring minds wanted to know so, of course, I had to chime in.

I see a lot of open-ended questions related to marketing on Quora. It is great place to learn and to share ideas. My plan was just to offer my response. However, the answer morphed into a discussion around marketing mindset and strategy. This was my response:

Honestly, each business is different. But, there are a couple of items that are a part of any successful marketing strategy.

Be Intentional:

Marketing is not cooking pasta. You do not throw something against the wall and see if it sticks. Use data to inform your marketing strategy and use best practices as the foundation of marketing campaigns.

Be Forgetful:

Don’t get married to your campaign build. If something works, great. If not, know when to cut bait and try something different. We should always be testing and looking for new ways to drive efficiency and, most importantly, return on investment.

Be Clear:

You should be very clear about how you define success as it relates to your marketing strategy. Is it brand awareness? Is it to drive sales? Are you trying to promote a specific brand message so that people relate a specific good or service with your brand? Be clear about the definition of success. It is not just about costs per click or costs per lead.

Be Aware:

You have to know who your audience is and where to find your audience. Who are you marketing to? If I am selling a product that treats male pattern baldness, I can reasonably deduce that my market will skew towards older males. It doesn’t mean that others (younger men, women) won’t have an interest in my product. But, I need to understand my target demographic so that I know how to allocate my budget. Over time, we can use ROI data and conversion data to tweak budget allocation.

Be Persistent:

Rome was not built in a day. An effective marketing strategy takes time. It takes trial and error. Some things will work and some things won’t But, do NOT just set it and forget it. Continue to test new approaches. Look for ways to drive more efficiency at every level of the campaign on every platform, i,e., campaign structure, keywords, ad copy, demographic targeting, audience targeting, geographic targeting, etc.. Test, test, test, test. And, when you are done, test some more.

Never get satisfied.

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