Where should you focus?
Where should you put your energy and effort?
How do you know that this is what you should do?
It all starts with the diagnosis.
If the diagnosis is off, then the solutions, the prescriptions won’t work. Yet we often skip diagnosis to get to solutions because we want results fast.
Imagine you have a problem with your car. The drive light on your dashboard, the D, keeps flashing. When you run an initial diagnostic it tells you that there is a communication problem and that perhaps the brain box needs to be changed. The brain box is changed and the problem remains. Several things have been checked and changed before this point:
- The transmission switch
- The battery terminals
- The harness to the transmission has been checked and cleaned.
Still the D light flashes.
This is by the way a true story.
What I’ve observed so far is that the general mechanic makes some seemingly logical educated guesses. The transmission expert tries to determine if it’s a transmission issue. The electrician tries to find an electrical problem.
Which leads us back to the diagnosis.
Not enough time is spent on diagnosing the real problem. So in the car example, each expert charges to examine and still not fix the situation.
Sometimes not properly diagnosing a situation can lead to a lot of money being spent with no results.
Are you listening to the content marketing expert, or the social media expert or the Google Analytics expert?
Without a proper diagnosis, these are all viable solutions but not necessarily the solutions you need.
Sometimes we KNOW what the problem is and what solutions are available but the real problem is that we don’t take action. Again we say, we procrastinate, but that word in itself is a catchall for so much that could be going on.
Sometimes as you fix or attempt to fix in one area, another problem appears. You patch a leak and the pressure cause the faulty tap to explode.
In healthcare there is something referred to as a differential diagnosis – a method of analysis of a patient’s history and physical examination to arrive at the correct diagnosis. It involves distinguishing a particular disease or condition from others that present with similar clinical features.
A Clinical marketing definition according to Evan James SVP of Marketing at Time is Limited is this – Every market, industry and enterprise is unique. Therefore, to develop or optimize an effective marketing strategy, a company needs to undertake a prescriptive analysis in order to properly diagnose the communication (and content) strategy that will maximize return.
Differential diagnosis is key.
When developing a marketing strategy (or evaluating an existing strategy), it’s necessary to undergo the due-diligence necessary for determining the channels you should be creating and promoting content for. For each industry, size of company and business goals (see example below) there is a customized checklist that is necessary to complete before determining where you should spend your resources.
These are the topics Evan suggests you look at:
Once you’ve answered these questions don’t waste your time on trying to be everywhere.
Instead, focus your efforts on trying to deliver the right content, to the right audience, at the right time and via the right channel.