For me, there’s nothing better than a beach vacation. I love the smell of the salt air, the feeling of smooth sand between my toes, and the sounds of ocean waves as they reach the shore.
Peaceful moments like those would clear most people’s heads of any thoughts of digital marketing – but not me. So while the surf rolled in I put down my adult beverage and jotted a few notes about things that marketing gurus can learn from vacations.
#1 Plan Your Journey When on Vacation – and in Digital Marketing Too.
We drove from the Dallas/Forth Worth Metroplex to Destin, Florida – about 720 miles – over two days on the way there, but all in one day on the return trip. Believe me, you do NOT want to drive a total of 1,500 miles without mapping it out.
The same thing goes for your digital marketing activities. Knowing that you need to use your website, your social media accounts, your blog, email campaigns, SEO/SEM, and all the other things is great. But without a plan to coordinate and schedule your activities, you’re pretty much lost out there.
Marketing Lesson: Make a plan and do your best to stick to it. While you may have to adjust along the way, keep your eyes on the final “destination.”
Unpack, settle in, crack a beer … you’re there to relax. Whether you’re on vacation for a few days, a week, or more, you’ve earned it and you’ve paid for it. Enjoy every minute of it, so get to relaxin’!
And much later, back at the office, remember to attack the day. You’ll have a head-start on the sleepy heads, and take a lot of pressure off of Afternoon You – and of course, 5 O’Clock You.
Marketing Lesson: Time management is crucial, whether you’re trying to get the most out of your vacation time or optimize your workplace productivity. (See what I did there, office-speak friends?)
#3 Bring Only What You Can Carry.
Unless you’re staying in a beachfront house you’ve got a walk ahead of you. While we stayed only about a block and a half from the sand, we didn’t want to keep going back to the house. We wanted to relax on the beach!
But the first day, we miscounted the chairs. And frankly, we aren’t a crowd of “just sit there” folks – we swam, went for walks, dug holes and built sand structures (not polished enough to call “castles”).
When it comes to digital marketing, the temptation is great to create a huge plan with all of the amazing apps and networks and technologies that are available. But when it comes down to it, you’ve got to be smart and focused.
Marketing Lesson: Budget, manpower and timing are all valuable commodities – so keep them in mind when you’re deciding which marketing activities to put in your plan.
#4 Find Your Comfort Zone on the Beach – and in Your Digital Marketing.
The beach we were on had beautiful if very uneven sand – especially in the shallow parts of the ocean. So with every few steps, you could be ankle-deep, then waist-deep, and then knee-deep.
Finding just the right area to hang out and watch the kids on their boogie boards was sometimes tricky. But once we found those sweet spots, that’s where we stayed.
It may take a while, but you’ll find a “sweet spot” for your marketing efforts, where you’re comfortable with your budget expenditures, media choices and time investments. (Of course, many will tell you that’s the time to do something new – which isn’t always bad advice either.)
Marketing Lesson: Trial and error can be good to try, but watch how much it costs you in time and money. Once you know what works for you (and because everything nowadays is trackable, you can do that quickly and efficiently), stick with those things for awhile.
#5 On Vacations and in Digital Marketing: Mind Your Budget.
It’s easy to go nuts with spending on vacation. A few big seafood dinners, ice cream treats every day, overpriced T-shirts and souvenirs, and all the painted seashells you can stuff in a bag to take home!
Even if you follow #4 above – and you’re pretty much in your marketing comfort zone – there are always temptations to “go bigger.” If that Facebook Ad you ran got you 100 engagements for a $50 investment, imagine what you could get for a $500 investment!
Time out, friend. It doesn’t work like that (or at least not that often). Just know what your budget is and the kind of return on investment you’ve had before. While that ROI is never guaranteed, you can pretty much tell when stuff works.
Marketing Lesson: You can never take a vacation from maintaining your budget as unplanned and unnecessary overspending can be disastrous for your business. Of course, saving up for bigger and bolder marketing tactics can be rewarding.
…I hope you’ve taken pictures along the way to remember all the good stuff.
And for your marketing, keep good notes, save your creative ideas, and file everything away as the valuable research that it is.
Have any vacation-inspired marketing lessons? Share your tips in the comments below. And do share this blog with your social networks if you found it helpful!