Marketing Shouldn’t Take Vacations Even When People Do

Everyone needs a chance to get away from work for a while. However, when it comes to trainers, consultants, and professional coaches, one person’s vacation can become a vacation from the firm’s marketing. With some planning and effective use of available digital marketing tools, there is no reason that vacation schedules should result in a lull in marketing.

Typically the suggestion that marketing not take a vacation is met with one of two excuses.

  1. It’s only (insert amount of time).
    The fact of the matter is that in digital marketing the expectation is real time responses. There’s not a lot of patience for delays. Even a day’s gap can lead to disinterest about something that in the moment was a priority. If the gap affects the assigned schedule of communications, it can disrupt consistency and have a lasting negative impact if it’s a communication your audience has come to expect.
  2. I’ve got (whichever digital marketing element the marketer finds important) covered, the rest can wait.
    Good digital marketing campaigns are built so that one channel reinforces the other. Removing one channel weakens the others. The entire process should be set up to function in someone’s absence either through automation or temporary responsibility reassignment.

The concept sounds simple but can be complex when analyzed. As an example, we have a client who owns a sales training firm that was taking a two-week vacation. The client was proactive in reviewing their digital marketing campaigns and asked us to fill in a few gaps that would exist in their absence.

We reviewed the plan for the two-week period and found that it looked solid. Emails and social media posts were pre-set and authorized by the client so that there was no delay in the approval and send process. All supporting promotions for the time period were set up on the website so that materials could be requested and delivered and events could be registered and confirmed, both in an automated way.

It looked pretty solid until the end of our review when we realized that while the requested material would be automatically delivered to the requester, the notification went to the owner who would be on vacation. So a follow up on the lead would be delayed until the owner returned from vacation or checked in to their email account. As a workaround we rerouted the notifications for the two week period to distribute to a few consultants in the firm that could follow up with a lead in the owners absense and set text message notifications so the owner had a record of leads for the time period.

This illustrates how a simple step in the process can undo a marketing campaigns goal of generating leads or sales. It also shows that overconfidence in the process or automation can result in critical errors. Even the best and most efficient marketing systems require human input. Make sure that the systems will continue to function if one of those people is absent.

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