Timing is everything…especially when it comes to marketing tactics. Whether you’re launching a new brand or executing a plan for an existing one, timing is critical to the success of any initiative, regardless of where the brand is in its product life cycle. As marketers we are all about being on-trend and staying slightly ahead of the curve. It’s our nature not to look in the rearview mirror. We tend to look at the open road and the endless possibilities of what lies ahead.

That said, any marketer or brand manager will concur when I say that history is something to review.  It’s always important to know how past marketing tactics and programs have fared. Why wouldn’t we, especially given the wealth of data available to us? Unfortunately, many times, when a past tactic has not performed well, it is often disregarded.

I’ve often heard “Oh, we’ve done this in the past and it hasn’t worked”  during the course of  brainstorming sessions, or marketing meetings.

KPIs are everything… or are they?

It’s very easy to dismiss a tactic or initiative because it poorly performed. However, sometimes the second time around is a charm. When assessing or evaluating a tactical program, you should base it on pre-determined KPIs. However, consider other factors that may have prevented the KPIs from being met, and carefully assess these factors before permanently discarding any past marketing tactics.

Although there are many elements to consider when evaluating any tactic.. here are the top three:
  1. Timing is everything…and needs to be evaluated in different ways.
    a)Was the timing optimal for our audience/target market? As an agency developing programs, there are often delays out of anyone’s control. This begs the question: “Should we delay to a more appropriate time?”
    b) Is this the right time to launch this type of marketing tactic in view of the brand’s journey? Is it too soon for such a tactic to even be considered?
  2. Are all the ducks in a row? In other words, was there a glitch in terms of the execution. This can take many forms. Did all the communications go out seamlessly and in a timely fashion?  Werethe communications clear and accurate, or did they lead to confusion?
  3. Was the launch tentative? Was the necessary ‘hype’ or groundwork put in place to optimize the performance of the marketing tactic? Did we allocate enough budget to the initiative to ensure it garnered the attention of our target audience?
Second Time’s a Charm

Don’t be too quick to disregard the tactics of the past.  It may surprise you when the second-go does perform to the KPIs. Suffice to say, it’s always good to revisit the past to see tactics that may have been ill-timed for the brand’s journey or for the target audience. Dusted off and refreshed, a ‘been there, done that’ tactic may pleasantly surprise you!