It’s spring! And that means it's time to breathe life back into the dormant ground and prepare for a season of harvest. Farmers and gardeners have already begun tilling the soil and adding rich nutrients to help their plants flourish. This early preparation loosens the soil, blends the organic matter, and provides essential nutrients for plants' future growth. After a cold winter and the weight of heavy snow, the soil needs a little care if farmers are to have any hope of reaping a bountiful harvest.
Marketers, this preparation process may sound familiar to you. Just like soil, your marketing strategy needs nourishment. If you don't invest time and resources into refreshing your approaches, they'll become stale and ineffective. You might get comfortable using the same messaging, design, and tactics that have worked in the past, but marketers who aren’t continually researching unique opportunities and experimenting with new approaches risk losing their audience's attention.
Till the soil, mix up old strategies, clear out what hasn't worked in the past, and add fertilizer to your campaigns to provide rejuvenating, life-supporting nutrients so your efforts can flourish.
Developing fresh ideas can be challenging, but inspiration comes from a variety of sources. Your team members are a great place to start. They likely have unique perspectives and insights that can be leveraged to develop new campaigns. Additionally, customer feedback and industry trends can help you identify areas where your messaging could be improved or new tactics introduced.
Fostering a culture of innovation amongst your team by encouraging thought exercises, workshops, and brainstorming can help creativity blossom. Lead them to think outside the box and challenge assumptions. Find ideas by analyzing methods from other industries and consider potential opportunities to harness similar tactics. However, be careful to avoid jumping on bandwagons. This may cause you to become lost in the crowd. Instead, stand out by taking inspiration from a trend and putting your own twist on it, just enough to develop something new.
Be sure to feed your growing garden the nutrients it needs by maintaining a clear brand identity within your messaging framework. Don’t introduce concepts that are out of alignment with your core values. They may confuse or distract your audience. Tomatoes won’t benefit from nutrients meant for orchids. Nor will your audience benefit from messaging fit for a different organization’s brand. Be creative, but retain your roots.
Remember: fertilization is the first step in the growth process, and it must be repeated throughout the entire season. Similarly, fresh ideas must be introduced early in strategy development and again regularly throughout the process. These ideas are the food that nourishes your marketing to keep it lively and strong.
But a garden isn’t grown and harvested overnight. So you can’t expect a campaign to return results instantly either—regardless of how much fertilizer you feed it. Both gardening and marketing require patience and persistence. Don’t give up! Return to your strategies often to fuel them with fresh ideas, resources, and innovation. By doing so, you’re setting yourself up for success over the long term.