3 Key Assets for Sustainable Marketing
By Peter Decoteau
Marketing can often feel like the practice of “flying by the seat of your pants,” especially if it’s not your primary (or secondary) role.
This can make it particularly hard for successful succession planning in marketing, as such a scattershot approach leaves behind little in the way of planning, strategy and performance documentation.
If someone new were to jump into your marketing activities today, would they have the tools and information necessary to continue and enhance your efforts seamlessly? Is a seamless continuation of marketing activities, and all that they entail, even possible in the age of countless platforms, media, systems and applications? I say YES!
The following are three key assets you can prepare that create a clear marketing roadmap for your business.
1. LOGIN DOCUMENT
A document compiling all login information for marketing platforms – links, usernames, and passwords – seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how often it goes overlooked or underprepared. Consider, though, all of the login information required for simple daily marketing tasks and how much of a pain it would be to have to reset all of them. Depending on who you have on your marketing team and how extensive your activities are, this document will likely include:
- Social media (accounts and ads)
- Google accounts (Google Ads, Google Business, Analytics, etc.)
- Additional search and map accounts (Apple, Yelp, etc.)
- Website accounts (website back end and host, domain host, etc.)
- Email clients (ConstantContact, SurveyMonkey, etc.)
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system
- Chamber and other community organization memberships
As always, when it comes to compilations of sensitive material, make sure to encrypt this document with a single password to prevent others from gaining access!
2. BRAND PLAYBOOK
We covered brand strategy in the October issue of Impact1; the next step to establishing your brand is to put together a “brand playbook” that creates guidelines for the elements of your brand outlined in the strategy. With regards to marketing succession, this document is a vital tool in instructing others on your goals, culture, visual assets, language, messaging and primary platforms. Essentially, the brand playbook helps your marketing team create consistency across channels, which is a key factor in reinforcing your brand identity, and also provides a roadmap for new team members to follow as they learn and begin to execute brand messaging and strategy.
While this all sounds like a lot – and it’s true that a major brand playbook can be quite voluminous – you don’t have to create an extensive document to reap its benefits. Compiling a few simple guidelines can offer new or successive team members a bridge to your brand.
- Your mission statement and primary goals – why do you do what you do?
- Positioning statement – describe your approach to physical therapy, who you serve and why you stand apart from the competition
- Values and personality – these are often broken out individually, but they speak, either internally or externally, to your business’s driving philosophies and how they dictate both message and tone
- Logo and other graphic assets – different versions of your logo and commonly used graphics, color palettes, and when/how to use them
- Primary fonts – headers, sub headers, copy and special
- Between three and five core messages – content and ad copy focus
- Key platforms
3. MARKETING STRATEGY
A marketing strategy takes your brand playbook and puts it into action to achieve specific, measurable goals. Similar to the playbook, though, putting together a comprehensive marketing strategy can be a heavy lift for a small marketing team, as it aims to encompass and provide actionable tactics for all of your internal and external marketing activities./p>
While your capacity to expand upon specific strategies may vary, it’s important to set measurable goals and identify tactics to most effectively achieve them. Vital elements of your overall strategy should include:/p>
- Digital and content strategy – website, SEO, social media, inbound traffic, lead generation
- Relationship development – physician referral strategy, community outreach, and other partnerships
- Internal branding and messaging – employee onboarding and engagement, materials, clinic design elements
- Traditional advertising – print, radio, TV, sponsorships
While marketers may have different ideas about the best tactics to achieve goals and objectives, creating these three documents can go a long way in creating a seamless transition of marketing leadership, if necessary, as well as a thorough direction that ensures more consistent and sustainable marketing, no matter who’s taking the lead./p>
1Decoteau P. What’s in a Brand? Where to Start When Developing Your Business’s Brand. Impact. 2020 Oct;23-24.
Peter Decoteau is the Director of Marketing at Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Centers (PTSMC), Connecticut’s largest private practice physical therapy company. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.