Overheard at the company Holiday Zoom Party:

“Hey Team, it’s a new year, post-election and all. We should probably get our annual marketing plan together, don’t you think?”

“Sure. Just dust off the last marketing plan we used and update it. Should be fine – next topic?”

If this doesn’t happen in your company, you’re lucky. However, it’s easy to slip into old marketing habits because, well, it’s easier and cheaper! Too often we find ourselves in a time or budgetary crunch, and we don’t have the time to design effective marketing plans, strategies and quality content. With respect to the upcoming Super Bowl and marketing coaches everywhere, here are some outdated marketing plays that may need an overhaul in 2021.

  1. The Post and Hope – A classic marketing strategy from ten years ago that doesn’t incorporate paid, targeted digital advertising. The P&H is characterized by a mindset of having a website and maybe a social media account; and that’s it. Someone may post some content without a plan, consistency or a strategy and hope people click, like and share. A post without a planned message, target, and advertising budget is just that – a post.
  2. The Annexation of Puerto Rico – The APR can be identified by a sporadic, scattered, uncoordinated marketing effort, which can confuse the consumer. Consistent messaging stemming from a coordinated strategy gains customers and new business.
  3. Three Yards and a Cloud of Dust – We all know that coach who wanted to just keep going forward, regardless of the results or obstacles. Unwilling to try new methods or plays regardless of the outcome. This is also known as “we’ve always done it this way,” a sure death knell in today’s marketing circles.
  4. Audible Happy – Marketing plans that continually change, especially at the last minute, often because of some latest trend could be considered like an audible happy coach. These marketing coaches and content quarterbacks never give the overall plan a chance to work and will try the next best thing to obtain desired results. Sometimes not all marketing plans are executed to perfection, nor do they achieve the results originally anticipated. Changing on the fly is necessary when needed, and only when conditions warrant (like a crisis situation).
  5. Under Further Review – The UFR marketing play is usually the result of too many decision makers who want to rehash and mull over the tactics and content which hinders the team from properly executing the play. Being cautious about investing into marketing plans is prudent, however it is even more prudent to trust in your plan and the experts.
  6. The Hail Mary – This marketing play is highlighted by the ‘one big idea’ concept; maybe even dumping half the entire marketing budget into the one thing that will potentially generate revenue. Just like in football, this play can work, but the odds are pretty slim.
  7. Spider 2-Y Banana – While marketing can be complicated in today’s digital marketing jungle and maze of social media, it doesn’t have to be excruciatingly hard. Marketing plans that are too complex can become bogged down and miscommunication can result. Keep it simple where appropriate and match execution resources with the advertising budget.

So many different strategies, content ideas and platforms in today’s world still doesn’t change the ultimate goal of your marketing efforts. That goal is to get your message, your company, and your expertise in front of your target audience and generate increased revenue.

Sometimes the old ‘tried and true’ method may yield results. And other times, you need a fresh set of plays in your marketing playbook to reach the end zone.