In ski racing, you’d never race a course that you hadn’t previewed if not studied before the race. Race courses are usually set up to include a few complex turns, such as gates that don’t require a turn or that are set against the fall line in a giant slalom, and hairpin and flushes set into a slalom race course.
So racers and coaches slip along the side of the course, discussing and memorizing any tough turns or terrain quirks that they need to be thinking about. While racers wait at the top of the course they visualize parts of the course and how they will ski through each. Review and planning helps ski racers avoid mistakes that lead to crashes on the race course (coded as DNF for “Did Not Finish”) – or, perhaps worse, finishing last (coded DFL for… ….well, I’ll let you decode that acronym!).
The same is true for your marketing. Don’t just jump in the start gate ready to go. Plan what tactics and campaigns will maximize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. Put the plan in writing and access it every month or every week to calendar upcoming marketing tasks or tick off accomplishments. I use an Excel spreadsheet as a one-page marketing plan that has everything I need to calendar tasks, assign responsibilities and track expected and actual expenses and results.
With a plan you’ll find that your marketing will go a lot more smoothly and will be less stressful. You’ve already mapped out what you will do and how much it will cost, so there should be no surprises like the crazy hairpin or flush ski gates in a ski course. Now all you have to focus on is get through the plan (the race course) without missing any tactics (race gates) you so carefully planned for. With your plan ready and having previewed your course – it’s now time to go as fast as you can and have fun!