Planning your marketing activity is a task we all do in some form or another. For small business owners, sometimes it is a list in their mind of what happens when. For more sophisticated organisations it is a written plan or schedule complete with resource allocations. Whatever type of plan you use, it is vitally important to ensure you look at it with the right lens.
We can get very carried away in planning social media activity, public relations activity, tv campaigns, in store campaigns, newsletters, internal campaigns and very soon we see the marketing calendar is full. Taking the next step to review the plan through different a different lens can add power to your planning and ensure your efforts will be effective.
In an omni-channel world where we consume literally thousands of marketing messages a week, we often use the 'channel lens' to ensure we have the right message on the right channel. This lens is an important review tool. You want to ensure you have out-of-home messages occurring when your consumers are actually out of their homes. You also want to ensure you are matching the demographics of the tv programs you've selected with the demographics of your audience. There is no point creating a great ad and using it with the wrong audience, it will be a waste of time and money. Looking at your marketing planner with your 'channel lens' will allow you to check the you have selected the right channel for the right message and have spread this across multiple channels where necessary.
Another useful lens is the 'audience lens'. I often see organisations forget about this lens. The result of ignoring this check is a full marketing calendar that doesn't have any impact. Reviewing your marketing activity plan with your 'audience lens' will allow you to look at your marketing calendar through the eyes of your audience. And don't forget to do this for each of your audiences! Even if you have one clearly defined target market, you will have multiple audiences.
An example of this is an electrician. Imagine he is a sole trader who does domestic work in Mt Isa. Immediately I can identify 4 x audiences. Audience 1 is his current domestic customers, audience 2 are potential domestic customers, audience 3 are his current referrers (maybe real estate agents?) and audience 4 are his potential referrers. By reviewing his marketing activity plan through each of these 4 x 'audience lenses' the electrician can ensure he is reaching the right audience with the right activity and hasn't accidentally ignored an audience.
You may have other lenses that suit your organisation. It doesn't matter what lens you choose, as long as the lenses you review your marketing activity plans with aren't the same ones your used when writing it!