Marketing and Grilling: The Unspoken Similarities (Special Summer Edition)
We've all been there, at a summer BBQ where the grill master is giving us the step by step process for his grilled masterpiece. "First, I brine it with this, then I rub it with that. I give it two smacks, but not three, and then put the meat on the grill at a 45 degree angle, two inches from my lucky burner. I put on approximately 4 ounces of sauce per pound of meat minus the percentage of fat followed by letting it cook for chug two beers minutes and BAM! The perfect pork chop!"
Let's be honest, unless you're a professional with experience and skills, grilling for the most of us is trial and error. However, most of us measure what works and what doesn't work so we can repeat and impress the next time. Even the professionals will tell you that they learned through mistakes and took some time to perfect their recipes.
Return on investment is typically a term reserved for the business world but it can be applied to grilling. If you buy a $15 steak at the supermarket and it tastes just as good as the $30 upscale restaurant steak when you're done cooking it, you have a 100% ROI which is impressive! If your $15 supermarket steak tastes like a $7 buffet restaurant steak you have a -53% ROI. Ouch!
Marketing is the same, it can be a trial and error process for most of us. Marketing mistakes can lead to lousy performance but when we get it right, it's awesome! A perfectly seared steak done medium rare is the same as having a post go viral. Those fall off the bone ribs that took all day to smoke is like beating your conversion rate goal for your email drip campaign.
Marketing is trial and error but the error should be measured as to increase ROI for future efforts. Buying the expensive steaks out of the grocery meat case can sometimes be a tough decision because we don't know if we are going to mess them up on the grill. Marketing buying decisions can be the same. The two things you can do to to make your marketing buying decisions easier (and less stressful) are:
Measure ROI. Not measuring your ROI is carelessness. Unless you have an unlimited amount of money, you need to be measuring your return. Guessing and estimating is not the same as calculated measuring.
Create a Marketing Playbook. Document what works and what doesn't work. Document all details for every effort that you do. Document the who, what, when, where, and how. Just like professional chef's stay disciplined to well tested recipes, marketers need to stay disciplined to high ROI marketing strategies.
Like grilling, marketing is fun and exciting. Marketing with discipline leads to more enjoyable and consistent outcomes.