Beware the hot, cross buns

Spring is coming and, already, the little marketing bunnies are sticking their noses  out of their  burrows.

After the dark winter of ‘no budgets’, ‘too busy’ and ‘re-organisation’, businesses are thinking about new products and services and  prepraring to meet new demands from their customers.

“We must have a marketing strategy!” they cry, “Oh, and a communications strategy as well. Let’s go for it”.

And they sit down as a group, sometimes bringing in agencies or consultants, and develop a whole programme of activity to keep them busy until at least the next dark winter.

They work away, getting hotter and crosser until they’ve ticked all their marketing boxes.

Spring comes again and they review their activity.

“Well, that went well” they say, “We did loads”.

Then the head bunny says, “And what, exactly have we achieved?”

The bunnies all look at each other.

And then someone mentions measuring, or more accurately, monitoring and evaluation.

Why do all that marketing if you don’t know what you’re aiming for and how you can measure it?

Investing in a bit of stakeholder, brand perception or customer satisifaction research can help you compare your business aspirations with the needs and desires of your customers and clients.

And, more importantly, it gives you benchmarks and success criteria that you can use to set your goals and assess your performance.

I’m working with a prestigious medical organisation on their brand hierarchy at the moment.

Before they do anything else, I’m recommending that they do some brand awareness testing with their target audiences.

Then they’ll be able to set some goals about how much they want to increase awareness, over what time frame, before planning their brand communications.

So, next year, the marketing bunnies will be able to see just how much their hard work has paid off.

That should put a Spring in their step.



About Philippa

Philippa Cowley-Thwaites is a no-nonsense South Londoner with a passion for communications. Since graduating in English from London University in 1983 she has established herself as an expert communicator for a variety of brands in the private, public and voluntary sector with great success – she’s one of the best business writers in the business.


  1. Excellent blog, Philippa. It is so true that without constant testing, tracking, monitoring and evaluating any marketing plan, whether offline or online, is a half-baked exercise.

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