The Power of the Playbook

It may sound kind of crazy, but in many ways, developing a successful marketing platform for a small business is a lot like a coach training his athletes for competition. We have to get to know our clients really well, assess the overall health of their business, analyze strengths and weaknesses, and write up a playbook to set them up for marketing success. But this process can never be one-sided; like any good relationship, a strong foundation built on open communication, mutual respect and setting realistic expectations is KEY!

The first step is to develop a playbook which involves a lot of studying, goal charting and game planning. This can be a not-so-pleasant process for new businesses who are not totally familiar with marketing jargon or are hesitant to admit that they have no idea what SEO means or why it should matter to them. We really take our time getting to know the ins and outs of each business we work with and most importantly, the PEOPLE running the business. As a small business owner, myself, I know how important it is to take the time to understand the HOW’s + WHY’s of a small business because each business has its own unique needs and challenges that are not served by a one size fits all marketing approach- and any marketing professional that takes this route is doing a real disservice to their client! Some of the most important questions we ask are:

WHY did you get into this field?

HOW are you different than what’s already out there?

HOW do we best express the services or products that you provide?

HOW do we best establish a brand that is in line with your core values, mission and beliefs?

And by the way, these questions should also be applied to any marketing company you are choosing to work with. Just like in the sports world, some marketing professionals may have more expertise in one field over another, and their niche may not be applicable to your needs. You’re not going to have a swim coach train you for a football game, right?

Once the “results” are in, we start developing an overall plan explaining timeline, team roles, budget considerations and most of all, expectations and results, which all need to be expressed clearly and honestly. Many times, a client will become discouraged if they feel they are not getting enough traffic to a website or social media right away, but it’s important to understand that marketing plans take time to see results, kind of like not having abs overnight just because you worked out for three days (although that would be nice!)

Deadlines are also important to understand and clarify. “End of day” to one person may mean the end of the working day while to another it may mean 11:59 pm. That’s a big difference, especially in today’s world of digital marketing, where timing really is everything.

Another important part of the marketing plan is to know your team and their roles. Who’s the go-to for procuring logos or other collateral? Who needs to sign off on thought leadership? Having clearly defined roles and expectations are so important in avoiding unnecessary back and forth, which leads to confusion and is just a big waste of time.

Once these guidelines are established and in place, we can hopefully prevent miscommunication issues, missed deadlines and the disappointment that comes from having unrealistic expectations. As they say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Our goal is to make sure your marketing plan is the best one for YOU, that you trust us to guide and make necessary adjustments along the way as needed, and that your business is a happy, healthy and successful one for years to come!



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