Marketing Planning

Making the most of an extra hour

What did you do with your extra hour yesterday morning?  I made pancakes for my kids.  This is quite routine most weekends, however this batch was extra delicious, because I had the gift of an extra hour.

When I woke on Sunday morning, I remembered the clocks went back. A smile came across my face as I stretched and climbed out of bed…Wonderful. An extra hour. Plenty of time to cook the kids a lovely breakfast before heading off for my son’s football match in Colchester.

Pancakes it is. Canadian pancakes of course, with Canadian Maple syrup.  They are always a hit in our house.

I methodically organised my ingredients and reached for the recipe from the family cookbook. Although I know it off by heart, having made pancakes so many times, I still like the recipe to refer to. The approach I take to cooking is no different to the approach I take to my marketing work. I always refer back to a variety of strategy tools, to keep my thinking on track.

I always make sure I have the right tools ready and close by:

  • the jug with a spout for mixing the batter in, then I can just pour it onto the griddle
  • the griddle, set to just the right temperature
  • a little bit of oil and a brush, ready to apply to the griddle before pouring the batter on
  • the flipper for flipping the pancakes
  • the oven, on a low temperature with the fan on to keep the pancakes warm as I cook each batch

I test the batter on the pan. Perfect temperature, but the batter needs a touch of milk. Experience helps to get the batter right. Soon all the batter is cooked, and the stack of thick, fluffy pancakes is ready to eat.

Today’s batch was perfect. They tasted great, thanks to the extra hour. I was able to concentrate on one task, not juggling anything else. This concentration, and a relaxed frame of mind resulted in a delicious breakfast – pancakes, with maple syrup and fresh strawberries.

Making great pancakes is no different to producing great marketing.

  1. Take time to plan what you need to do – an annual marketing plan is a necessity.
  2. Make sure you’ve got the tools you need for your task. Without them, the task will be more difficult and take longer. Results may be compromised. A CRM system with customer and prospect data, email platform for email marketing, a website and blog with a CMS that makes it easy to edit pages, add pages or blog posts and landing pages for campaigns, analytics tracking set up to capture performance data. Best of all, each can be automated, working together.
  3. Focus on the task.  It’s easy to get distracted with marketing, so many tasks diluting your attention. Stay focussed by concentrating on the activity that will deliver the best results.
  4. Test. Test. Test. Online marketing offers many ways to test your activity, get it right before pushing it out to greater numbers. A/B split testing on web pages and with your email marketing, will have a positive impact on your results.
  5. Analyze. Once your results are in, review them, monitor, adjust to improve your overall results. Then learn from the activity and plug that learning into the next activity.

When we have extra time, it’s easy to take a look around, take some thinking time to plan and get things right. The challenge is finding that extra hour, every day. It’s possible, by gaining focus through a clear strategy and plan of action. Even more time can be gained by asking for support. It’s amazing how much more enjoyable and productive anything can be, when you don’t feel pressed for time.

If you require any support with your marketing strategy or developing a marketing plan, get in touch. We’d be happy to share our experience.

Pancake Recipe

For those of you interested in a great recipe for Canadian pancakes, here’s one from my family cookbook.  Thanks go to my cousin for this recipe.

  • 1 egg, beaten together with
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • plus my mom’s secret ingredient

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