The Problem with Reactionary Marketing

The Problem with Reactionary Marketing

The Problem with Reactionary Marketing

By sara.r.jantsch@gmail.com

1

Digital marketing is constantly changing, and it often feels like you have to react to every single change. Imagine someone saying this in one of your planning meetings:

“There’s a new social media platform? Oh, we should sign up and use it. It should be our main focus for the next few months of our marketing plan!”

Of course, when I use general terms like this, it sounds silly. Why would someone abandon all of their strategy and planning just to take part in a new trend? But it happens far too often in small businesses, particularly those who don’t have a concrete marketing strategy in place.

In fact, I’d be willing to bet you’ve done it. You’ve been in a meeting where you’ve discussed something you’ve seen a big brand do that’s caught your eye. Maybe a competitor of yours is doing something particularly well, and you want in. You immediately react and scramble to add that particular tactic to your marketing plan. We’ve all done it before.

Now, if I may ask, how often has this strategy worked out for you?

I’m not saying you shouldn’t take inspiration from your competitors or other successful brands. The distinction I’m making is that you must first ask yourself why you want to do it. Simply spotting a trend or idea and doing it “just because” is reactionary and foolish.

But if you take the time to analyze why a tactic is working for others whether or not it would work for you, your brand and your target audience, it is no longer a reaction, and instead becomes an opportunity.

This all comes back to the idea of strategy before tactics, a tent pole of the Duct Tape Marketing philosophy. If you’re reacting to a tactic, you’re putting the tactic before strategy. But if you take the time to analyze why the tactic works, how it can work for you, and where it fits into the grand scheme of your marketing plan, you are once again putting strategy first.

So the next time your competitor begins a new marketing tactic that catches your attention, whether that be marketing on a new channel or using an existing channel in a new way, do yourself a favor and ask yourself three simple questions before getting involved:

1) Why are they doing this marketing tactic?
2) How can it work for me?
3) Does this fit into my overall marketing strategy?

Don’t be afraid to say no if the answer is no. You only want to execute a tactic if you’re sure it’s going to work.

There’s also the added benefit of reducing the feeling of catch up that comes with being reactionary. You’ll feel more in control of your marketing, rather than letting your competitors dictate your tactics.

Alex Boyer is a Community Manager and Content Ninja for Duct Tape Marketing. You can connect with him on Twitter @AlexBoyerKC

Order your copy of
The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur

by John Jantsch

“A book that deserves a spot in every entrepreneur’s morning routine.”
—Ryan Holiday, #1 Bestselling Author of The Daily Stoic and The Obstacle is the Way


Building a Marketing System in 7 Steps
The Duct Tape Marketing philosophy is that marketing is a system. It’s not a series of tactics you approach willy-nilly. It’s not a blog post here, a podcast episode there, a social media ad once in a while. The kind of marketing that gets real results is driven by strategy and is constantly refined. Today, […]
Small Business Marketing Insights for 2020
Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch on 2020 Small Business Marketing Insights I wanted to close out the year with a solo show looking ahead to the next one; let’s talk small business marketing insights for 2020. While there have been some big trends in the world of marketing—things like AI—getting a lot of buzz, I’m […]

Subscribe to the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast

If you know your small business needs marketing, but don’t have the time or resources, look no further. The Duct Tape Marketing podcast covers everything from earning referrals to managing time and being more productive.

close

Get the guide to growing your small business

In the 7 Steps to small business marketing success you'll learn:

  • check
    Why strategy must come before tactics
  • check
    Why and what customers really buy
  • How to make Google your new best friend
  • How to install an integrated marketing system