Random acts of Marketing

Had a great meeting with a clever guy (nearly five years ago now) who unprompted, confessed to implementing ‘Random acts of Marketing’.

It made me wonder how many agency and client-side senior managers and marketing managers within the construction industry are actually brave enough to step forward and say;

“Yep, that was random. That was probably a complete waste of time and money. Truth is I don’t know”

I know I’ve been prone to a few random acts over the years*

Post updated – October 2014

Indeed, how many construction companies actually have a coherent marketing strategy in place for their marketing at all?

In fact, how many intelligent marketing professionals, massively time poor, suffering in silence whilst being ordered to implement ‘Random acts of Marketing’ that are doing little to aid their bottom line, brand awareness, customer retention or any other marketing goal for that matter?

Lets step back moment. Some perspective. I wrote this article back in 2009. A time when budgets were tight, sqeaky-bum tight.

Most companies worth their salt knew they had to continue to market their products and services but many struggled understanding the channels that were most effective. An increasingly common problem post-digital marketing.

Now, coming into 2015, the rules haven’t changed. A random act of construction marketing is still a randomact of construction marketing, even if there is more budget to go around.

So, let’s just remind ourselves of those Random Acts of Marketing and between us maybe we can head them off at the pass…

A random act of marketing is simply an activity costing any sum of marketing budget (typically a notable amount) that has no alignment to the common marketing strategy or indeed any means of measurement or KPI attached to it.

In fact any marketing tactic that doesn’t consider your target audience, measurably build up your brand awareness or increase your profitability or reputation, can be considered a random act of marketing.

You could also call it an irresponsible use of company resource, or maybe a blatant misuse of company funds, perhaps you might go as far as calling it stealing from the company coffers. Yes, it’s that bad.

However, it is possible to avoid the random acts. And you can try this at home – or indeed at work.

A clearly defined purpose and strategy, put in place at the beginning of the year, to guide your marketing activities and ensure that that everything you do will contribute to your overall business goals.

Generally speaking your marketing department should be following a marketing plan. And this plan should include some strategic categories:

  • Internal Marketing
  • Brand Awareness (or brand building)
  • Publicity and Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Advertising (using online marketing and traditional media)
  • A marketing budget
  • Allocation of said budget to appropriate activities

If you follow those steps above you’ll be fine. It’s possible you may find yourself being pulled off track so I’ve collated a list of Random acts of marketing that you can check against, just in case.

So…here are the top 21 “Random acts of Marketing” off the top of my head:

  1. Google Adwords accounts that haven’t been checked in more than a week (aka. The idiot tax)
  2. Google Adwords accounts that are not directed to relevant, targeted and specific landing pages
  3. Blogs without any links back to the company website
  4. Blogs that get irregular and sporadic attention by way of updates and relevant content
  5. Sending out a single email campaign and hoping this would be sufficient – and then assuming email marketing doesn’t work
  6. A single email campaign, unrelated to the marketing plan
  7. A single email campaign, unrelated to the marketing plan, that is not followed up
  8. An email campaign that is not integrated with a landing page, advert or press release etc
  9. Setting up Google Analytics with no goals for your website
  10. Any social media profile that has no objectives (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook)
  11. A social media page only checked or updated sporadically, if ever
  12. A website or blog containing no relevant, informative, educational or interesting content of any kind
  13. A full page (or double page spread) advert in a magazine that has no links to any other channel marketing
  14. An advert that has a weak or zero call to action
  15. An online campaign unprofessionally designed (for the sake of cost).
  16. Web pages with no call to action and yet your sales staff are demanding leads, contacts or business opportunities
  17. Creating campaigns with no goals
  18. Implementing campaigns without determining how it’s going to be measured
  19. Spending 80% of budgets on print advertising and not want any performance measure in return (it’s happened!)
  20. Using an advertising medium that does not reach your target market
  21. Putting your marketing agency as first point of contact on a new product launch landing page

To be fair the list is endless.

There many MD’s, FD’s, CD’s, CEO’s, CMO’s, COO’s, business development managers, marketing managers, sales directors within the construction industry who are afraid of new marketing techniques and are often the instigators of Random acts – it’s our job to help them, to steer them back on course.

These are hard working, intelligent guys and gals. They know what they should be doing, yet they can’t, won’t or don’t help themselves (or others) by crafting even a simple marketing strategy – because it takes time.

It’s so often the case that you sometimes really can’t see the wood for the trees.

I say, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help, there are many good agencies and consultancies that can help and they’ll be able to save businesses a lot of time and money.

Doing things randomly never benefits anyone plus you’ll never know what great information you’ve been missing until you start to measure it!

*Like investing thousands on actually building an email marketing system, instead of using one of the established players instead, springs to mind – but thats another story.

About Stuart Dinnie

Stuart has worked in the world of digital marketing for over 15 years. With his measured and planned approach, he has delivered robust digital strategies for construction companies to achieve real business growth. He now heads up the team at Pauley Creative as Managing Director and is leading his team & clients towards digital marketing excellence. He’s worked with over 100 construction clients; helping them on their digital transformation journey, providing sustainable strategies that return year on year incremental growth, delivering award-winning websites and adding value from board level to marketing assistant.

4 Responses to “Random acts of Marketing”

  1. Rene

    Top post. Picked up on Twitter. I think you’ve got a book title right there…wish I’d come up with it!

  2. Ken

    Great post! It is always good to remember all the simple (and important) things that we should all do and that we sometimes overlook.


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