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5 Steps To Analyzing That New Marketing Effort

Category : campaigns, strategy


I was recently watching the original Star Wars movies with my kids. An absolute timeless series, but it’s amazing how much more suspenseful that was when I was much younger. Graphics and special affects have come a long way.

But, one persona in the movie that portrays wisdom relevant in any galaxy is Yoda. Remember him? The little green guy in the swamp that guides Luke on his journey to understanding, “The Force”. One of Yoda’s lines in the movie struck me as extremely relevant in my profession – or any profession for that matter. Luke was having a hard time with something related to The Force and he told Yoda he’d try again. Yoda snapped back and said, “Do or do not. There is no try”

Brilliant! How many times have we heard, “we should give that a try” on our Marketing teams? I’m starting to see the word “try” as an out. When you’re “trying” something, failure to execute is understandable. After all, it was only trying. But, what about all the cost, resource, and time that went into that “try”.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for trying something new. In fact, I encourage innovation and “out-of-the-box” thinking in regards to how my teams market their companies. But, as Marketers we have 100 times the options available to us to connect with our customers than we did 10 or 15 years ago. The Internet, social media, podcasts, webinars, blogging, etc. are offering us bountiful options in which to proliferate and distribute our positioning and messaging. The myriad of choices is daunting for small business marketers and the temptation to dabble in a new medium or technology is great.

But, there is the problem – the dabbling. If you don’t draw up a plan, dedicate resources, and design intended outcomes you risk missing the boat on the new direction’s potential. Instead, follow these steps and put the new effort on the right path:

Article in instapaper that might be good reference

  • Alignment with Goals: Alignment with goals is always one of my first thoughts when considering giving my approval for anything in Marketing. Is this new effort going to support a direction the Marketing team or the overall company is going?
  • What’s the Plan: Simply trying can waste time. What is the measurable result you hope to attain? An “A to Z” plan should be clear so you can get to a certain point in time and analyze whether the intended result was achieved. Too often we get in the habit of giving something a try and seeing what happens rather than knowing what you want to happen first and implementing a plan to get there.
  • Look for Other People’s Experience: A simple search can yield a plethora of perspectives. Perhaps someone else has some experience you can tap. Maybe there are pitfalls or better ways of implementation that you haven’t considered.
  • Consider Resources: You’ve gotten your plan and feel confident that there is a measurable outcome. But, what are the opportunity costs of implementing? If you’re a small business you’re most likely looking at not applying your time to something else in order to implement this new idea. Make sure you have a full scope of what resources are needed and what may get dropped.
  • How Much Will This Cost: This should be a no brainer, right? If your budget is tight – it better be. But, often we don’t consider “project creep”. What hidden expenses are out there that you haven’t considered yet?

As a reference point for some more information on a related topic, I came across this article which I think gives a good perspective on taking calculated risks:

I know there are a variety of perspectives and opinions on this topic so please chime in if you think there are other angles to this discussion!

Comments (49)

As you say Star Wars is a timeless series and I also have sat and enjoyed the series with my kids. They dont seem to have the same enthusiasem as me about them though.

I feel with regards to the main points of your article, any one starting a business these days needs to think about the potential the interenet offers them.

With a search engine optimisation company, you can be sure (well ethical ones) to get maximum exposure for your brand and business whilst freeing time, allowing you to focus on the matters at hand knowing that your marketing is being looked after.

Lets not forget that 70% of online purchases are done off the back of prvious search and research in the past 2 months of the purchase.



I can tell you why our children don’t have as much enthusiasm as we did. It’s pretty simple: my son is 4 years old and his favourite game is Left 4 Dead on xbox, the game is about zombies and he plays like a pro =)

The thing, I’m trying to say that technologies develop fast and new generation requires more and more advanced gadgets, effects, etc.

For us this movie was something from the future, for them – it is a nice movie with out-of-date video effects.

In business, everything should be planned with great precision so couldnt agree more on this post.

I have recently been doing some planning myself, and when its properly documented you can have a clear point of reference and enables you to stick to your goals

Excellent points and post! Way better to have targeted marketing than a spray of different marketing techniques, hoping against hope that one of them will take root.

Agreed, helpful tips.

Being involved into marketing industry, sometimes it’s really difficult for me to plan everything. I mean i always want to do my best, to use lots of tools, different strategies. As a result i have a mess that I have no control of.

It’s important to keep in mind that one should stick to a consistent plan.

An old expression that seems to be more apt today than ever: Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. These days we have to “do.” Make a plan and go forward. We can’t afford to be perfectionists, as we were in the era of print.

There is no trying — that’s priceless.

Every trial have a risk, but you will see the result from all your effort while it’s work or failed when you do it. hmm… my point is. just try it the result will follow you behind… :)

I couldn’t agree more about having a clear plan in place. So many people seem to start a business with few or no objectives.

I liken it to going on holiday – how many people just book a flight and say “oh I’ll think about what to do and where to stay when I get there”?

Great article.

I had to learn the hard way with writing my plan.

Good info here.

Star Wars still has decent graphics in my opinion, I’d say even better than the computer-like effects in movies like Transformers…

that do vs. try comment is a great motto for anything operational that must get done. However, I think you have to allow room for experimenting, for failure of a grand concept, so yes, I think “trying” is ok sometimes. Maybe call it “testing” instead.

yes – trying doesn’t always mean it will work. Albert Einstein once said: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again, and wait for a different result”. i would rather be on a safe side and try the things that have been checked by others. or maybe try smth new – but if it doesn’t work i better not repeat that mistake!

Good article. I think that writing a business plan is more difficult that can imagine.

“How Much Will This Cost: This should be a no brainer, right? If your budget is tight – it better be. But, often we don’t consider “project creep”. What hidden expenses are out there that you haven’t considered yet?”

I love that. But however…, to use money for analyzing is something need to consider for several times.

Yes, excellent points. Often I have seen things tried. I have recently been dealing with another professional photography business. The owner often says that he tried this or that but it never worked. However, if you don’t give 100% and stick with it you are almost ensured to fail.

Measurable outcomes, which are defined before implementing some marketing tactics and tools, are the base of every marketing plan. Otherwise the small marketer is perishing.

Love the Star Wars reference, especially in the motivational sense. I’ve been doing email campaigns with the mindset of trying to establish a connection with clients over a longer period of time rather than try and get as many as I can in a short time frame. The longer, more focused campaigns have worked for the best!

Hey Kyle,

Thanks for chiming in. I think you nailed it on the head as far as email campaigns go. The repetitive, longer-term campaigns seem to work the best. If it’s going to be a one-off type campaign there has to be a different strategy.


When it comes to business so many plans drawn up are unrealistic or purely based on guesswork rather than factual research. If you don’t have the right information then like you said its so easy to waste a great deal of time and money, trying to get an idea to work. That’s pretty much the story of my first partnership business, but at least I didn’t make the same mistakes the 2nd time. Have watched Star Wars many times but never looked too deeply into any of the dialogue, I just appreciate it as being my favourite film as a child.

I agree, making a marketing plan before putting anything into practice is much more effective.

StarsWars will be always on the list when we talk about best movies of all time. In marketing, any thing that you can try to gain your goal is always a must thing to do. It is a matter of bravery.

Great article on planning out any business venture. Too little time is often given to such planning which is the reason so many fail in their attempts. One must plan for all scenarios, all possible outcomes, so that you are never blindsided by the unexpected. It’s always the blow that you never see coming that ends up knocking you out.

As Yoda would say: Plan, you must!

Patrick, thank you for sharing 5 steps in analyzing a new marketing effort. As a business architect, I agree. It’s important to align your efforts with strategy and get “subject matter experts” involved in the process. Also, you have to allocate proper resources, all while staying within budget. This is what my company does on a regular for business so thank you for posting on this topic.

Project creep is something that is well worth considering, you need to factor some sort of creep into any costings otherwise you could end up losing a lot of money.

I think the one thing many business people overlook is what is special about there offering or business that will make people want to come to them. We often hear that word of mouth advertising is best. But what about your business will make people want to talk about it.? I think for any kind of marketing one must focus first on what is the unique proposition of my business. If you cant think of one then create one.

Jovi Brown,
Completely agree with you. Our company does exactly the same. We can’t simply implement a strategy and then wait for the results. Everything should be planned and analyzed before implementing.

Don’t challenge the FORCE…nice article
wasting time is for me the main reason for exceeding the budget. So your 5 points seems very logical for me. I will give it a try

The internet has become such a great resource for business owners, that taking steps and creating a plan, even small steps, can be a good move.

How much will this cost? I think it’s not all about the money, but also the time that we have to spend with for marketing effort.

Very nice and concise, monitoring your marketing is almost as important as the marking it self. because if you don’t monitor it you won’t know if your campaign is working or not and if you need to change anything.

Considering resources in starting a small business is a necessary thing to do. I agree that we should implement our ideas through our resources by this we can surely gain something from our effort.

Dabbling is probably one of the top reasons people fail with their online business. People skip around trying to find the magic bullet. I used to be this way too. But, then I decided to write out a plan that included daily actions. Because of this, I’m finally experiencing very good results.

Thank you very much for this great post, i really appreciated reading it. I really like this “do against try” – thing. I think it takes place in life in many different situations, not only in business. I think you have to have always some room for failures but even then don´t call it a try but have a plan for the possibility to fail. By the way Star Wars definately is on the list of the best movies ever made ;)

It’s vital to plan your marketing efforts beforehand, otherwise you waste a lot of time and money

As with everything in business, you have to decide how much resources to put in to an area and when to cut your losses.

marketing is a lot to shoulder, it includes, success, profit, connectioon and a lot of risk too. so better be wise and familiarized with the strategy your going to work with

First love those movies and yes I thought a lot when he said that comment. I’ve learned through marketing to stick to the tried and true methods since most folks simply don’t take action.

However, as stated in another comment, it is important to try and test new methods. Part of marketing is that it’s an art and a science where risks must be taken to push new levels. But you are right a plan of attack is needed and tracking is essential.

Great thoughts

Yep, the “plan” part is important – consistent action is required. I like to set up a color coded excel template that acts as a marketing calendar so that the “plan” is right there and I know when something needs to be done.

These are some good points of view. And comparing it with the classic Star Wars movies is great.
It is alwayws important for me to look for a good plan. With this plan the marketing is easier to do and will gain more success.
Nice article.

THe reference with Star Wars and Yoda was really great and yes we do have a lot of things available to us now than before but it’s easy to get lost in the middle of the process of designing your marketing campaign for your business.

Sometimes it is best to have a foundation with the basics with the flexibility of the modern methods available to us. Measurement of growth and ROI should always be a must.

I was too young to see the original Star Wars, but The Empire Strikes Back was mind blowing when it first came out — I saw it three times in the theaters. George Lucas displayed an unbelievable creativity in developing the characters, settings and revolutionary filming techniques.

Back to creativity, I think this is one of the most important ingredients of marketing campaigns. It’s easy to talk about being original, unique and thinking outside-of-the-box, but it’s another for your team to actually execute those qualities. Try to produce something daring that people will remember.

Great article! Agree that there is no “try”. We should do or not do. There is no sense in trying. Also great points. It is hard to fulfill them but it’s worth doing that.

Allows looking for new ideas. Thanks!

Good article. Dabbling is the top reasons people fail with their business. Thanks.

Great tips man. Timetable works better

As a coach I respectfully disagree with your interpretation of what Yoda meant by that “Do or do not. There is no try”

Trying is not doing. Try to drop a pen? You either do or you do not… the pen either drops or it doesn’t… trying is a code word for “no”

That is one thing. The other is: there is an opposing statement, that I think is much healthier, that says (especially in marketing) that says: “fail fast”

Marketing is a series of tests (not trying! testing) of what doesn’t work. You want to make those tests simple and clear. Not some drawn out experiment, small and fool proof.

The fastest way to any success is eliminating, consciously, the paths that don’t lead to your desired result.

Planning carefully is the real key to success of any brand in the business arena.

I think it is GREAT that you brought up that line from Yoda. I LOVE that line. I have used it many many times being an internet entrepreneur and mentor. People have seen me being successful and then they “try” it for themselves. When they see that there is work, they no longer want to do it. Everyone whom I mentor I make sit down and write out a plan. I tell them….don’t feel like this has to be set in stone. Situations change, things happen, and the plan you end up with will probably be different from the one you start with in your business. Then I tell them to get to work putting their plan into action..and they always say “I will try”. Thats when the Yoda line comes in. ;) “do or do not. there is no try”

I like the Yoda line too. I take it as more about general commitment to this game that we’re in (selling/marketing stuff). In the vernacular, if you don’t give a ‘red hot go’ you’re probably wasting your time.

Having said that, there is certainly an element of ‘look before you leap’. To that extent, the more you can find out about your target market (without necessarily spending a bomb), the less ‘optimistic’ your leap is likely to be : )