How much of marketing should be intentional?
All of it. Every (clap) last (clap) bit.
In the era of hyper-connectivity, the current median-age adult has spent every waking breath of his/her life as a product of someone's marketing agenda. The color of your baby boy's blanket was blue. Your daughters toys were pink. There was a photographer in your birthing suite within 24 hours of surviving spine-cracking labor to sell you pictures of your newborn. The first pictures of your child found their way onto social media to the response of heart emojis (pictures), baby GIFS (animated pictures) and engagements (likes or comments) from relatives hundreds of miles away.
Intentional marketing is not manipulative; it's just well-thought out. In fact, it's downright sincere at its best because it is the manifestation of one person meeting your individual need.
So is bad marketing intentional?
Well, yes and no.
As your services reach new people to serve, you are making one of two intentional decisions: to either improve how you engage with your clients or to not improve your engagement. The decision to not improve your engagement and presence, whether well-meaning or reactionary, is poor marketing.
When your go to a friend's home for the very first time, that friend has a choice to either clean up the home for your comfort and ease or to not cater to your comfort and ease. It's a choice. We've all been there. Not having enough time to make the best impression is painful, honest, but often painful. It makes us appear sloppy, disorganized, and unprepared even when that is not an accurate representation of ourselves.
"It makes us appear sloppy, disorganized, and unprepared even when that is not an accurate representation of ourselves."
How you treat your clients speaks equal truth.
Will you send thank you cards to everyone who donated to your cause? Not sending them (whether you're busy cleaning up your building, writing a proposal, or visiting your sick in-laws) is a decision. It means something.
Will you buy the thank you cards from Dollar General (they have the cutest cards for $1- no shame in that) and mail them with a stamp? Or will you have them custom made (ups.com printing has the friendliest prices for the best value) and mailed?
There is no blanket answer. How much did those gifts mean to you and is it worth custom printing? Can you send e-cards? Maybe you can. How well do you know your donors? Some of us hate (hate, hate, hate) paper so we may adore you for an e-card for a $25 gift. However, maybe not for a $2,500 gift.
It can be exhausting to be sincere in everything you do but you have help. You have a team (hopefully) to delegate tasks and even if you don't have a team (stop and go build one - future post), there are several automated resources like Mailchimp and Splashthat which can simplify tedious tasks for even the one-man/woman business.
So how much of marketing should be intentional? All of it, because you are an intentional leader who will not leave success to chance.
Find yourself in an endless loop of planning events with just enough time to get them off the ground and beg for engagement? Consider further (short) reading: Get a Plan: 5 Steps to Intentional Marketing.
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