Treat marketing as a process, not a task

Not that long ago, your average kiwi business owner had the luxury of just placing an advert in the yellow pages, booking an annual radio or print contract and having an occasional meeting with an advertising sales rep.

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You might also order some new business cards, print a few brochures, and then dust your hands off - your marketing efforts for the year were done!

Today - not so lucky. There’s so much to know about marketing, so many ‘channels’, so much ‘noise’ in the market and so many things to consider. There’s websites and SEO, social media, email and CRM’s, OOH, AR, VR, native, traditional and so much data that only a data analyst would be happy to see it.

Marketing nerds like me love all this stuff, but if you're like other business owners I know, the acronyms alone are enough to make your head spin... so, you end up angry or confused, certain that it’s a waste of time, and you end up doing nothing very focused with your marketing.

It’s overwhelming. We get it. But there is a way forward if you stop treating marketing as a ‘task’ and think about it as a ‘process’.

What do I mean by that exactly?  It’s about having a clear plan for the year ahead and working out the simple things - the WHO, WHERE, WHAT and WHEN.

Who is responsible for your marketing (you, someone in your team, or an agency/contractor?).
Who are you talking to (your customers)?
Where are these customers?  (You know your customers best!)
What are your primary marketing goals for the year ahead? (Make them SMART).
When should they happen?

If you know those things, you’re most of the way towards having a marketing communications plan. And that plan is a process. Something you work through each week or month to move you toward your goals.

There’s no point chucking money at a one-off social media campaign or a random bus back, billboard, letterbox drop or radio campaign and crossing your fingers... it won’t work. It’s money down the drain. Not because those channels don’t work (they all do), but because you’re treating marketing as a task, not a process.

Marketing is a fast-moving beast, and as consumers our time is limited, our loyalties to brands shift for as little as a typo or an unanswered Messenger chat; and each generation has its unique foibles to be mindful of. You can’t just run an advert somewhere and hope for the best¦ you must: Plan. Implement. Test. Analyse. Learn. Repeat.

Change your mindset about marketing and get some help to create a strategic marketing plan or at the very least a tactical communications plan to help you shift from ‘task’ to ‘process’.

Marketing isn’t the easiest part of running a business, but it is an investment that can generate big wins (for both the bottom line and staff morale), stimulate useful feedback, improve customer/client retention, and build market share.  So, in my opinion, it’s worth the investment.

Feel less frustrated with your marketing efforts and have a clearer understanding of where your hard-earned marketing dollars are going and why by shifting your mindset from task to process and make working on your marketing something you do every week or month as you would your payroll.

If you’d like some advice or guidance from a marketing specialist, get in touch for a no-obligation chat about how we can help your unique business. Our Taranaki-based marketing team offers nationwide consultancy, workshops and a range of hands-on marketing services. For more details contact Sarah Ellem at

DISCLAIMER No liability is assumed by Baker Tilly Staples Rodway for any losses suffered by any person relying directly or indirectly upon any article within this website. It is recommended that you consult your advisor before acting on this information.

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