Chartwell Agency recently moved to a new office space (down the hall into a much sweeter suite!) and while it was a short physical move, there still was some extremely heavy work to do as we sifted through boxes of collateral, papers, tradeshow materials, and other such “we-cannot-throw-away” items. 

After 20 years in business and almost 10 years in one location, these items seemed to have added up and I realized that our storage room had been taken over by so much more than what we intended (even if well-intentioned) to keep or need.

As I rummaged through yet another box of “stuff,” I realized that all too often organizations do the exact same thing with their marketing and communications – they keep, save, and repurpose efforts to move their company forward – or in many cases, allow it to become stagnant.

When we are called in to assist businesses in rebranding we ask a lot of clarifying questions during the facilitation – many of which are to address the “why.”

  • Why do you attend this conference/tradeshow (pre-COVID)?
  • Why are you marketing to this audience vs. another?
  • Why is your brand message defined in a specific manner?

These questions are meant to allow us – and the client – to better understand purposes and decisions made for and about the company’s marketing approach. (NOTE: “Because always have done it that way” should be the biggest warning sign of all.) Most definitely, deliberate decisions were made to meet a specific business objective/need – at a certain point in time.

But when those needs change, enhanced products or services are created, new customers are identified, or the brand that worked for you yesterday no longer holds relevance today, it’s time to sift.

While it’s taken me a physical move and almost 20 years to review and purge items, I’m not going foolishly recommend that sifting through your marketing can/has to happen every year. But regularly scheduled reviews of your marketing efforts should be something you consider at key points in time.

Here’s some suggestions of when it may be a good time to look at your current marketing efforts:

  • Development of a new product or service line. If your organization has taken the time to invest in the research and development of something new, don’t relegate it to another page on the website or just a new sales slick. Determine how important it is to your short- and long-term growth and determine if it’s time to look at how you market your organization.
  • Addition of key staff. If you’ve hired leadership members with specific expertise, you’ll want to make that more than a press release. How important is this individual/division to your operations and growth? You’ve made a deliberate decision to hire; make a deliberate choice to market appropriately.
  • Tired approach/mimicked approach to marketing. After some time, communications efforts can begin to be lackluster when the same strategies and tactics have been used for years. Or many times competitors imitate what you’ve done for quite some time. If your marketing becomes a checklist of “same thing, new year” or competitors are doing exactly what you are, it’s time to move the needle for your organization. This brings renewed enthusiasm to the marketing and forces competitors to try to catch up with you again.

Dust off those marketing efforts and decide if this fall, winter or the year ahead is when you get serious about sifting through your own organization’s communications activities to make an impact.  

At Chartwell, we’re ready to help in your efforts to move forward into a clutter-free marketing world.