The never-ending process of marketing...Insights-Action-Results-Repeat
Whether it's talking to students or clients, there is one common misconception of marketing: Once you develop a marketing plan to launch a company, that's kinda it. You launch. You declare victory. And then, you retire to your yacht with untold riches.
But the truth is much more daunting. The process of marketing never ends. There is always a next step to take with your customers and prospects. When someone makes a purchase from you, that's just the beginning of your relationship. And, like all relationships, you have to work to enhance and preserve that relationship so that it stands the tests of time and inevitable change. So, what is the process of marketing?
INSIGHTS: Learn all you can about you market. Many of these sources of information can be informal such as: conversations you've had customers, prospects, partners or news articles and blogs from people you respects. Other sources can be more formal: research reports from secondary sources, analysis of internal data or proprietary market research you conduct.
ACTION: From this intelligence you've gathered, there should actions that need to be taken. And, in many cases, the intelligence will SCREAM at you to employ certain tactics. In other cases, the intel's inferences may be more subtle. But either way, you have become smarter about your business and now you must put that newfound intellectual capital to work. Inaction, in this instance, would equal malpractice.
RESULTS: Once you have implemented these actions, you must be very careful to document and measure your actual results and compare them to the results you expected prior to taking actions. Spoiler alert: You will be wrong to some degree. You could be wrong in a very pleasant way and surpass you expectations. Even so, connecting your intel to actions and comparing what you thought would happen with what actually happen is the first step in generating intelligence for the next go around.
REPEAT: As you learn from the results, you will acquire new knowledge. You will also identify gaps in your knowledge of which you had been unaware. As you re-enter the Insight phase, work to fill those gaps and apply the knowledge you gained from the results of your last campaign.