Sand Castle Marketing And How To Avoid It

A client of mine, Dana Barciz, recently used a phrase I haven’t heard before:  Sand Castle Marketing.  Sand Castle Marketing is when you build a beautiful marketing plan, and the wave of budget concern/re-prioritization washes ashore and sweeps away a good portion of your hard work.  If you’ve been around marketing for a few years, you know exactly what it is.  The question I’m going to address is how to avoid it.

The answer lies in three parts:

  1. Don’t build your castle too close to the water’s edge;
  2. Create an infrastructure allowing you to take your basic design and remodel it quickly if the wave hits; and
  3. Knowing if you’re on a beach, a wave will get you someday.

Don’t build your castle too close to the water’s edge.  Sell-in to all senior management that your marketing efforts aren’t discretionary budget items, but integral to sales. Use facts and customer testimonials to do it.  Capture the high ground by spending time and effort selling internally as well as externally.  It goes without saying you have to have a good track record to do it.

Create an infrastructure that will allow you to take your basic design and remodel it quickly if the wave hits.  As part of your planning process establish the pillars upon which your plan rests, know the levers that give you the opportunity to quickly move new plans into action, identify alternatives to all your resources/materials, and determine priorities.  If you do this you will be able to move quickly, and senior management will appreciate it.

Knowing if you’re on a beach, a wave will get you someday.  It happens.  Be prepared to handle it professionally and your management team will be impressed.  Don’t resort to histrionics, because you may end up as history.

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About bobcouch

Bob Couch is the president of OROGEN Marketing in Menlo Park, CA. During his almost 30 year career he has worked with some the the biggest brands in the world, and several Silicon Valley startups. OROGEN Marketing provides a comprehensive set of marketing tools to help their clients grow big, and bigger.
This entry was posted in Advertising, budget, management, Marketing, marketing plan, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Sand Castle Marketing And How To Avoid It

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Sand Castle Marketing And How To Avoid It | Bob Couch's Blog -- Topsy.com

  2. Dana Barciz says:

    Great article Bob! Very on point and something that all marketers should read and think about as they build their marketing plans.

  3. Srini Srinivasan says:

    The analogy is brilliant
    Holds true for any project in IT or Ops as much as it does for Marketing.

  4. Kathleen Chance says:

    I loved this article and that you mentioned one of my favorite marketing people, Dana Barciz. I think she should copyright the term “Sand Castle Marketing” !

  5. Jim Roach says:

    Bob, great thoughts on dealing with corporate reality. We’re finding year-round sell-in approach crucial for maintain funding priority. The “budget waves” are striking more often with greater intensity these days.

  6. sam says:

    how did you build this it is awesome!

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