by Kelly Lucas, client marketing director
Pictured: The cutest baby ever, Joseph Lucas.
On July 3rd, I gave birth to a bouncing baby boy we named Joey. For nine months I had focused all my efforts and energy around getting everything in place for him. While preparing, it struck me, “Funny, planning and implementing marketing is a lot like giving birth.” How so? Glad you asked.
You Have A Million Ideas
Pregnant women have an amazing number of options these days. Do I want to go the traditional route or plan a C-Section? Go to the hospital or tub birth? Birthing balls and birthing bars? Epidural? During this process, you brainstorm a million ideas about the ideal birth and write them out, creating a plan that you and your delivery team attempt to follow. Marketing plans are much the same. There are so many options for reaching potential clients, you need to put pen to paper and make a point to plan out your approach. No idea is a bad idea – just put it out there and see if it makes sense for your firm.
Do Your Research
So you’ve heard about some interesting methods and you’ve got your great ideas laid out and you’re totally ready. Well…maybe not quite. It’s important to do your research. Sure, a new birthing trend sounds awesome, but should you do it? Or is it a concept that sounds amazing, but in reality is just snake oil? For birthing techniques and marketing alike there may be some great things you’ve seen work for others, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll work for you. It’s important to know your market, gain more insight into the newest trends and look at what’s worked (and not worked) for you in the past.
Track Your Progress
It’s important to track the growth of your baby and a common and fun method is comparing him or her to produce. The baby grows from the size of grape to a lemon to an eggplant and eventually feels like one of those blue ribbon watermelons from a state fair. Monitoring the implementation of your marketing is also important for ensuring you’re on the right track. You should never just assign people to do this or that and then be done with it. Check in and follow up on initiatives, providing support when needed to make sure things are progressing as they should.
It Can Get Overwhelming Quickly
Be sure to take your prenatal multivitamins! Drink plenty of water! Avoid this mile-long list of foods! With all the doctors appointments, health protocols, planning the nursery, baby showers, picking a name, not to mention the sheer physical demands a woman experiences, having a baby is downright exhausting. It drains you and at times can be completely overwhelming. Marketing can be fun and implementing all the great ideas is exhilarating at times, but keeping it all moving in the right direction can also leave you feeling burned out. Sometimes it can seem like there’s not a point or the effort is just too much. It’s important that during those times you stop to reassess your efforts and remember the big picture. Is this method working? Should efforts be reassigned? Don’t let it knock you off your feet. With the proper support and planning, you can meet your goals.
You Can’t Control Everything
Understand that even the best-laid plans go by the wayside sometimes. I’ve experienced this first-hand with both of my babies. I took the time to create my birth plans, only to have to throw about half of my ideas out the window due to unforeseen circumstances. I had to be flexible, and so do you. Even with the latest technology and greatest minds, marketing is still an art and there’s always some room for error. Maybe it’s a negative comment about you online or another firm unveils a tag line that’s exactly what you had planned to use. Things happen that you can’t anticipate, so you just have to be ready to work around them.
You plan and put in incredible amounts of effort. Some things work out, others don’t. However, in the end, you have your baby and it’s YOURS! True, the vast majority of babies look like some variation of Winston Churchill, but he is special and yours and yours alone. Likewise, a properly nurtured marketing plan is uniquely yours. Put in the effort to develop and deliver your marketing appropriately. In the end, it will be worth every second.