The Back-Up Plan, The Everyday Plan


It’s 7am. You wake up to a brief email with a subject line, “Please call me.”

The body of the email, “Your almost non-existent marketing budget has been just been suspended until further notice. But your monthly revenue targets, no change.  Please email me your back-up plan.”  My back-up plan? *@#!

That’s right, the back-up plan. The plan that makes the world keep ticking at ramming speed (to quote Ben Hur), but on less man power and less spending power.

As marketers, we hit this crossroad at one point or another. And especially if you are a small business marketer, it’s well, your mantra. It’s a form of survival that we must either lean in on or…find another line of work.

Over the past decade I have worked on all sorts of brands, F500 and start-up, and all ranges of budgets. But a common theme pervades – get scrappy.   Call it a desire for accountability (necessary), or a lack of resources (quite common); but the call to make amazing things happen on less occurs frequently.   And at this juncture many either excel or fail.

Getting scrappier asks us to do (3) things really well:

1. Dig deep.  At risk of sounding philosophical,  limited resources force us to do two things:

–       Identify what we are really good at (are you an awesome copywriter? do you have an amazing background in analytics?)
–       Consistently deliver marketing events/programs that drive (tangible) results (no results after 7-14 days? move on)

2. Start talking. Maybe you are new to a job? Or perhaps your small business doesn’t have a clearly defined target audience yet?

The Little Engine “I think I can” mentality – flip it on. But most importantly, start engaging in (online) conversations. That’s right, you will learn more out of blog posts, industry forums, and your social networking experiences in 30 days than anywhere else.  You will learn who your competitors are, what they are talking about, what their customers (or your prospects) are asking for, and most importantly you will glean a lifetime experience of building a personal and professional brand from virtual networking by “tuning in” to cyber chatter.

3. Make lists.  Some hate, some love. I love lists.  For me, lists enable me to effectively prioritize everything from my life, to which marketing projects I must get done.

The purpose of lists is two-fold:

  • The adage if you write something down, it will stick, is 100% true.  Write it down, more likely to get done.
  • It forces you to downsize.  Think about it. How realistic is it to (re)define your messaging strategy, post original content 20 times on Twitter per day, set-up a new email campaign, and set-up a reporting dashboard for all inbound efforts you have live? In a week, doable. In a 24-48 hours, not likely. Take that one step further. What if you could only do one thing to deliver incremental results?  You get the point – get scrappy.

Want to take the next step to creating simplified, effective marketing?

Download your FREE copy of Get Scrappier here. Or buy here to read on your favorite digital device.  Do more on less. Get Scrappy.

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About Michelle Fitzgerald

A product evangelist with over twelve years of traditional and emerging marketing experience. Provides FT and PT consultative services to the startup community to help brands develop a better understanding of what drives results (analytics), what drives connections (branding/PR/social media) and what drives revenue (performance marketing/media). Past and current work experience includes Tout, StyleStalk, iCharts, MyBuys, Zinio, Yahoo!, the LA Times and CareerBuilder. Michelle also publishes ebooks, regularly contributes to Upmarket Magazine, speaks at industry events and guest blogs.

4 responses to “The Back-Up Plan, The Everyday Plan”

  1. Theron Burchfiel says :

    I always was concerned in this subject and still am, thank you for posting.

  2. Joi Griesbaum says :

    Simply wanna remark on few general things, The website style and design is perfect, the content material is very good : D.

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