I’m going to share a wildly simple, yet amazingly effective, thought with you today. It’s something I’ve seen a number of places over the years, and used with great results. Despite my efforts to find its true origin so I can give proper credit, I haven’t been able to find its verified genesis.
It’s a three step analysis process that goes like this:
STOP ineffective activities
START activities that may be beneficial
CONTINUE activities that are producing benefit
Granted the verbiage following the initial verbs in each case is mine (and I’ve seen a number of variations out there), but the Stop/Start/Continue concept carries through all the variations I’ve seen. Let’s apply this to marketing for a moment.
Too often, we see business owners continuing to invest time and money in marketing activities that are not producing profitable results. Why do we continue with these activities? Stop them, and invest resources elsewhere.
Next, we can’t know what is going to work in our specific situation unless we try new things, so we need to start activities that may be beneficial. Taking this step in test mode will prove beneficial so we don’t misstep on a grand scale and miss our mark. Consistently testing new marketing strategies and tactics is a hallmark of true marketers.
Here’s the one that surprises me often: amid failed marketing campaigns and other activities that have not worked as desired, a business owner will land on an approach that works--something that makes real money--only to abandon it before it runs its course. Isn't that strange how we work so hard to find a silver bullet, then get too busy to use it to its full advantage? If a marketing strategy, vehicle, or other activity is working, continue using it! Tweak it when results begin to fade to see if there is new life in an altered version of it. Don’t walk away from something that is working.
This may sound painfully obvious, but we all do it. We all get busy or distracted and fail to continue the very activity that would continue to bring us the success we’re seeking if we simply kept kicking it along.
Gather your team and take this assessment. What can you STOP doing that will preserve precious resources? What can you START doing that may bring new business or other desired success your way? What are you currently doing that you can CONTINUE doing to meet your goals? Also consider what has worked in the past that might be brought to the forefront once again, this time not to be forgotten about or abandoned prematurely.
Here’s to your marketing success!
Bryan Waldon Pope