Marketing needs constant attention to sustain manageable growth.

Leave it too long (ie: lose focus, leave your digital department out in the wings, set up social media without integration into your business plan, or ignore basic customer insights) and your business becomes difficult to turn around and slow to react to market demands.

Pay it too much attention and you start majoring in the minors. Anyone guilty of this?

Remember to P & F!

Prune – quality is better than quantity. Unless you’re producing corn (don’t start me. Anyone seen Food Inc?) then it’s better to scale back some marketing initiatives and focus on your quality returns. I’m seeing marketing plans that are overgrown with activity yet contain projects delivering little to no return. Cut them!

Fertilise – add a bit of a boost (or incentive) to your marketing teams. Don’t be afraid to raise the stakes and throw in an incentive from time to time. As humans, we tend to get comfortable with routine. Break it. You can also challenge your teams’s creativity by adding an external specialist or independent consultant for a fresh, new perspective. Challenge your advertising agencies to bring in external resources for truly innovative thinking. Collaboration is critical in today’s open source world however if the same team is collaborating then chances are you’re on the same treadmill.

Harvest the fruits of your labour

Most importantly keep in mind that you should be enjoying what you’re growing (marketing). Don’t get bogged down in process, politics and negativity. Focus on harvesting the right mix of people, ideas and actions. Prune and fertilise occasionally. It may sound simplistic, however it’s often when we get back to the basics that we truly unearth the fruits of our labour.