Nowadays marketing in this pandemic world is different than it used to be. What do B2Bs do when they are on endless zoom calls and have little face to face time with leads, clients and even staff? They change their marketing or else become obsolete. Marketing in this new pandemic world is pivoting. Saying that you get all your business from referrals can’t cut it anymore. Putting that marketing plan on the “back burner” is coming back to hurt some. More and more people I’ve connected with have said they don’t know where they are with their marketing. As a marketing professional, it’s hard to even get these people ready for something as simple as marketing goals. I’ve learned that in these situations, it can be best to get my clients together as a group and just do an effective “Marketing Retreat”.
What is a Marketing Retreat?
To start, a Marketing Retreat can be many things. A few things include:
- Stepping away from the norm to strategize improvements
- Brainstorming a few hours together with key staff
- A review of your marketing and sales numbers
- Time to focus on better marketing effectiveness
It’s basically some time to regroup on what’s important for your clients and your company. With all the ways you can market your company, it can be mind boggling as to what’s your best route. Many times each person has different ideas on what can be done. At times when a decision maker has to decide on a path, hearing multiple ideas ends up sounding like lots of disjointed plans. That’s not usually the case though. When we get all the major stakeholders together (marketing VPs, researchers, salespersons, etc.) and fully review the ideas in a loose, but fun, structured setting, it’s an opportunity to bring out the best ideas, to brainstorm, and comprise a strategic plan.
Here are some obstacles that may come up when you bring up a “Marketing Retreat” to your staff.
Isn’t a Marketing Retreat a Time Waster?
Some may say “with all I have to do, and all the proposals I have to fill out, do I really have time to sit and think about my marketing.” Yes, I’m sorry but you have to take some time to do something you don’t normally do. You may learn that some of the time you currently take on sales and marketing may be going in the wrong direction. What if you’re working on sales that are not pulling in the best paying jobs for the company? Having a good marketing retreat takes time to looks at sales and recognizes what’s a good use of time, and time wasters. I’ve worked with clients that have made shifts away from what they thought were good sales on their websites to marketing other items that were better for their clients and paid better as well. A Marketing Retreat at the least is not wasted time.
Marketing Retreats Can’t be Fun?
For those who are more action-orientated and not number-crunchers does it all have to be work, to be work though? Many times, you can add intentional fun. You can add games that answer marketing questions. At one retreat I was at, we actually climbed a small mountain. Mind you, none of us were dressed to do this, but for some reason we all agreed. At one point, we were actually scaling a small wall. I’ll never forget the stories we came back with. The thing was, we all did something that bonded us together better, and it lasted way after the retreat.
Marketing is not as effective as on-the-street sales. Why focus on that?
Sales is integral to keeping a company growing. Every salesperson needs leads. Some leads may come from cold calls and friends but others can come from online sources. Still others can come from inbound calls off of sales materials out there. Any salesperson knows that the better the leads, the better they are able to make sales. You can try and make cold calls all day long, but you know if they don’t have interest in your specific products, there can be lots of time lost in those calls. Why not have leads that come from marketing strategies that are tailored to a prospect’s needs that “clever” marketing has discovered. I know a real estate salesman who just relied on his referrals. Over the years, he knew he needed to be more strategic with his marketing but he never made the time or budget the cost to get the marketing moving forward. We tried to lead him several times. Instead he did very little. The thing is, he continued to make money but his partners did not do as well. Because they could not come together to decide on a marketing plan, it affected the growth of their leads and eventually the partnership fell apart.
So really, what is a marketing retreat?
The real answer is that a marketing retreat can be whatever you need it to be. When you work with a good marketing expert and a creative event coordinator, you can hold it for a day at a close by outdoor resort, or a half day on your campus grounds or board room. It can become memorable, and cause a transformation for your organization. A good marketing retreat will usually have these components:
- Stats of current sales and marketing campaigns
- Strategy and target discussions
- Goals discussions
- Campaign options
- Next steps
Our organization has done marketing retreats for a variety of organizations. If you need help finding focus in your marketing, schedule a call with us to help you create it at 973-655-9396.
Todd Sayles, Principal of Creative Mind Consulting Group, has built a successful organization that services real estate, retail, hospital and wellness clients among others. His team’s expertise includes problem solving/market strategy, design and marketing consulting, creative design, online website development, content and design creation for digital media and print collateral, public relations, search engine optimization and collaboration with outside designers and writers.
Creative Mind Design Group teams up with clients to strategize on marketing challenges and design goals. We come alongside companies to ultimately create inspired design alongside brilliant results.