One of the most difficult challenges of any marketing, communications or business development campaign is maintaining momentum. These activities tend to generate their own buzz and excitement at the beginning as everyone involved begins to buy into and contribute to the new ideas and ‘fire’ which surround the creative process.
Everyone is very eager to get started, to ‘do something’ proactive and ultimately beneficial for the business. But this type of intensity can be very difficult to maintain over a prolonged period of time, especially when the desired results may not be immediately forthcoming.Continuity and consistency are necessary for any campaign to be successful. They help to build an organisation’s credibility and engender trust in its customers and prospects – as well as supporting the evolution of a durable and trustworthy message or offer. Momentum is just as important. We all know it’s much easier to keep the ball rolling than it is to start and stop continually. When a campaign maintains its pace it tends to pull other supporting and simultaneous activities along with it and the combined energy produces a greater overall effect.
Whether a business chooses to engage an external consultant (whose involvement may not extend beyond the initial creative and planning phases) or keep things in-house it rests on the organisation to preserve a high level of commitment and see the plan to fruition. No matter its original source, the excitement and enthusiasm for a new strategy and campaign can wane over time if not properly tended. There has to be a steady and resilient commitment from both the planners and those who will ultimately put the plan into play.
One way to ensure continuity and consistency, in addition to preserving momentum, is to plan for it. Recognising that it will be difficult to maintain the same level of intensity as was present at the beginning of your planning process is the first step to ensuring you apply the appropriate measures to counter this tendency. The demands on every business for continuing to provide high levels of service on a daily basis will carry on regardless – and those urgent day-to-day demands may draw off much needed attention and commitment to your newly conceived campaigns. But you can compensate for this.
Tactics you might consider could include:
- regular reviews; everyone involved needs to understand the situation fully; without an accurate assessment of your performance any actions or conclusions are speculative at best
- open communication with everyone involved (planners and doers); keep them informed of your progress, successes (or failures) to date, changes you intend to make, and the results you expect; keep them fully involved and aware throughout the campaign
- explore whether it might be feasible to inject new blood into the campaign; they can bring new ideas, new skills, fresh perspectives and a new jolt of enthusiasm; it creates a broader sense of inclusion and ownership as well
- encourage and stimulate honest feedback; people are more likely to stay involved if they feel that their contribution to the process is valued and appreciated; they are often the best source of relevant information and new ideas of how to improve the process
- stick to the plan; if it isn’t working then make a new plan, but follow the plan; without a plan a lot of people could be very busy for no clear purpose – this will kill morale and commitment
Planning for regular reviews of your activities allows you to evaluate your progress and detect any noticeable drain of commitment or lag in momentum. Early detection gives you the greatest number of options for responding to either issue and positive action early on means it’s less likely your customers and prospects will notice any obvious difference in your performance or delivery. You may need to temporarily adjust your priorities, reallocate resources or pull in additional help – you may even need to alter your approach to something which is more sustainable with your current situation.
If you would like to discuss continuity and consistency the please email me.