Hope is Not a Marketing Strategy

by Josef Katz on October 28, 2013

in Marketing,Marketing Strategy

Hope is Not a Marketing StrategyAll too often someone in marketing will say:  “I hope this marketing effort works.”  STOP right there!

I suggest you pause all your marketing efforts and take a step back.  If your team is using” hope” to describe their marketing efforts it is time for a deeper dive into how they think about marketing.

Hope is Not a Marketing Strategy.

Companies that “hope” people will visit their site or store, register for a program or any other desired goal might as well close up shop. If there is no marketing strategy to match the business goals all you are doing is relying on luck to drive the business.

Marketing strategies should be based on what you know is going to help the business grow.  While knowing might still be a gut decision it is better than hope.  Your gut is probably telling you to do something based on some data you have seen, learned experiences, built on what worked before etc.  Hope is going blindly into the market with essentially nothing to back up your desires to run a marketing program.  Of course if you have data to support your marketing strategies you are already moving in the right direction and you should feel confident you can repeat your success (even if you are testing something new.)

Marketing strategies should be developed to meet a particular business goal(s).  The goal can be anything relevant to your business such as drive more sales, site visitors, leads, downloads etc.  You know the KPIs that make sense for your business.  Once you have the data you can build in the media and messaging components to match your target audience and tie everything into a marketing strategy that will be based on data and goals.

So the next time someone says “they hope xyz project is a success” make them prove to you it makes sense for the business or just stop the marketing before you start.  I bet your CFO will approve of your decision.

If you still want to hope for things that is fine.  Hope for world peace, hope for a cure to cancer or anything else that you can’t directly control, but don’t hope your marketing programs work.  If you don’t believe, know or think the marketing will succeed you are not setting your efforts up for success.

I hope you have a great day building successful marketing programs.

{ 2 trackbacks }

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Robert Rosenthal October 28, 2013 at 2:44 pm

I’ve been involved in more than 1,000 marketing tests and can say with 100% confidence that hope makes absolutely no difference. Marketers should never move forward with strategies only because they hope they’ll work. Consumers vote with their dollars; what marketers hope for is irrelevant. If you’re hoping for an excellent outcome, it’s best to test your way to success. A wise CEO once advised us to never fall in love with a particular marketing direction. He didn’t want our emotions to cloud our decisions. In the marketing business it’s best to check one’s hopes at the door.

October 28, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Thanks Robert. I take for granted (and I probably shouldn’t) that people are testing their ideas. I would add one more note to your comment – it is best to check one’s ego at the door too. Egos also tend to cloud good decision making.

Robert Rosenthal October 28, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Oh, yeah.

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