Steer early, steer often

I started this post in February 2015, as a topic reminder.  Just about 4 years later, the simple concept is still applicable.  

Modern marketing is not about set it & forget it.  We don’t print brochures anymore.  Our messaging is dynamic.  It’s personalized and ever changing, based on the feedback we receive from our customers.   


From ‘What is Context Marketing’ blog post - Aug ‘18

A big part of modern marketing is listening.  Most of that is digital listening - listening for signals from our customers.  In Sitecore vernacular, we’re listening for pre-defined customer interactions (events), goals, outcomes and an overarching indicator of client engagement — engagement value.


The understanding comes from inferring meaning and context out of the listening that we do (the data that we collect).  It’s important to be able to mentally roll customer activity up to the strategic objectives that they support.  It answers the ‘why does it matter’ question; providing context to the activity.  That context enables us to make adjustments based on what we hear.  

Steer early, steer often

When we say, ‘Steer early, steer often’, we mean it’s important to adjust your messaging based on what you know about the customer.  Dillegently monitor customer activity and schedule regular review points.  Be aware of industry cycles and seasonality.  Account for that in your adjustments.  Understand what's working, and use it elsewhere. Understand what’s not working, and challenge yourself to ask why.  Develop a hypothesis, build some alternate messaging, and test it.  See what happens.  Continually update your roadmap based on your findings.  

A good sailor doesn’t draw a straight line to get from point A to point B.  They make a lot of little adjustments based on the wind, the currents, and a myriad of external factors. Today’s modern marketer should take a page out of the sailor’s playbook.