One of my favorite nursery rhymes and stories is the three little pigs.
Yes, I know; I’m about to talk about the three little pigs on a marketing blog.
But it’s true!
As a child, the three little pigs taught me about the importance of spending time to build something that can withstand anything.
As you know, the story goes, except for the pig that built his house with bricks; the wolf could blow away all the other pigs’ houses down.
The two pigs who had their houses blown down built their houses with subpar materials: straws/sticks. Their home construction project was a lot faster, but it couldn’t withstand the times. As you look to create a marketing methodology, be sure not to just focus on quick wins but also marketing initiatives that can help you build a marketing process for the future.
Related: 7 Signs of Zombie Marketing to Avoid
What’s a marketing process?
A marketing process is a set of initiatives that you undertake to create brand awareness or generate demand for your business. To make your marketing initiatives a process, you need to have steps that you follow every time to achieve similar results. That’s the difference between a marketing process or methodology and one-off marketing activities or initiatives. Marketing processes are often repeatable, whereas one-off activities may happen on an ad hoc basis.
As you think of your marketing, you have to think of ways to drum up business for your company right away, and you have to also focus on long-term initiatives that can help you create a repeatable marketing process. That’s why you have to look at your marketing holistically.
Related: How to Create a Marketing Roadmap
Building a Scalable Marketing Process: Short-Term Gain vs. Long-Term Vision
I often explain the difference between a brand strategy, a marketing strategy, and marketing activities in my client conversations. At Brisque, we focus on helping businesses build humanized brand and marketing strategies, and then, we oversee the execution of marketing activities. We, however, do not provide marketing activity execution as a service. As a result, we are positioned at “the art” part of marketing while most people are used to thinking of marketing in terms of marketing activities. Admittedly, these aspects of marketing can be confusing.
Here’s the reason why!
Marketing and brand strategies sometimes feel very intangible. Marketing activities are tangible.
- You posted something on social media – that’s a marketing activity, and it’s very tangible.
- You decided that you want to target small businesses because they have a need for your product – that’s a strategy, and on its own, it’s not very tangible.
I find that businesses tend to want tangible deliverables to justify their marketing spend. That’s understandable and expected.
No one wants to pay a marketing expert and not have anything to show for it.
However, the problem is that marketing is both an art and a science. Meaning, you need to focus on data-driven marketing activities. Simultaneously, a bit of creative work needs to happen—a bit of imagining. You have to envision who you want your company to be tomorrow. It might feel like a pie in the sky dream, but if your marketing today doesn’t reflect that, the chances that you’d ever get that experience is low.
Related: How to Evaluate Creative Marketing Strategies or Ideas
Why do you need a brand strategy, a marketing strategy, and marketing activities?
Going back to our three little pigs’ story, you need to have a foundation when building a house. If your foundation is not strong, the house may collapse when you try to build it. Then you need to build the actual house. The house itself also needs to have a solid structure, or it may not withstand the times. After you build a house, you have to have a roof. If you don’t construct the roof properly, you’ll end up having the roof of the house coming off at some point, leading to damage to the building. Essentially, you need all three components in building a house.
Here’s how that relates to your marketing.
- Foundation – Brand Strategy/Positioning
- Building – Marketing Strategy
- Roof – Marketing Activities
Related: [Free Template] How to Measure and Score Your Brand Perception
A brand strategy creates the foundation for a marketing strategy. A marketing strategy creates the structure needed to execute marketing activities. Marketing activities showcase the brand strategy and marketing strategy that you put together. In the end, if your goal is to build a scalable marketing process, then you cannot focus on just marketing tasks. You have to take the time to create a solid brand and marketing strategy that will make your marketing activities effective and help you differentiate your business.
In my next post, we’ll look at some of the most important things to remember for building a brand strategy, marketing strategy, and executing marketing activities.