Building A Marketing Plan: How Long Should I Wait Before Pulling The Ripcord? (Part 9)

To pick up where we left off, let’s discuss your options for marketing plans that aren’t working. When something isn’t generating a return, you must either modify what you are doing or allocate your money elsewhere. (To be fair, you can adjust your goals, but we are looking at this strictly from a budgetary standpoint.) 

Whether you want to tweak something or withdraw money, there’s an underlying question of how long you should wait before making one of these moves. Marketing requires patience, and because people spend so much money on it, they expect significant short-term results. 

What We Say

If we were advising someone who has started something, we wouldn’t tell them to leave no stone unturned. In marketing, you must know what is happening and what people are doing. New technologies and platforms create opportunities. Choosing which social media platform to use and when to do it varies based on several factors. Marketers are not suffering from a lack of options, but the abundance of them presents challenges. With that in mind, being too focused on one marketing avenue may prevent you from seeing a better choice. 

Generally speaking, if you have started something that has worked for others, you can probably get it to work for you—so keep working at it until you do. 

Here’s Where We Have Struggled

We are a content marketing agency and have always been very upfront about what we excel at and don’t. In a moment of sheer transparency, we admit that we have struggled with Google Ads for ourselves. We have not received an acceptable return on Google Ads. Our marketing agency has the dual challenge of marketing for ourselves. Do we use content marketing? Absolutely. But we also branch out in other ways to get new clients. 

The simple truth is that other than content marketing, we’re just like you. That said, we are not experts at Google Ads, and it’s not a service we offer. Despite being in business for ten years, we have not figured out how to generate consistent success through Google Ads. Why do we keep doing it? We know it is an area of marketing that works for other marketing agencies, so we have not given up on it. 

There have been times that we have paused it while we have tried to figure it out. We did this because we had a specific budget and other opportunities to invest that money. 

How This Ties Into Marketing Plans

Given our lack of success with Google Ads and how we pause our efforts intermittently, we may pencil “Google Ads” into every quarter in perpetuity. Because it is on there, we are willing to spend relatively small amounts of money trying to make it work. 

Take our example and follow our lead. You need to look at your marketing and accept that some will fail for a while. There are also ways to leverage this to your advantage. If you look ahead to Q4 and see an event you want to attend, one that has given you clients in the past—and you’re short on money—that money you used to experiment with a particular medium and use it on the event. 

Balancing Your Marketing Plan 

Think of assigning each of your categories with a confidence rating. This doesn’t have to be purely numerical or scientific, but there should be things on there that give you a relatively high degree of confidence in the return. If you have four categories, two can be things that historically generate a return and two that you’re willing to experiment with. The easiest way to assess how good a category is is by knowing how many clients you’ve gotten from it.

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Spotlight Branding

Spotlight Branding is a content marketing and branding firm for lawyers and other professionals. Our goal is to help you create an online presence that positions you as a credible expert in your field, keeps you connected with your network in order to stay top of mind and increase referrals, and to become more visible online so prospects can find you!