Does your marketing suck?


It’s time for a pulse check.

Here’s a harsh reality about marketing: There’s no such thing as “set it and forget it.”

No matter how much you plan – or how good your plan is – you’ll always need to adjust and adapt as you go. Maybe something changed in the market. Maybe something changed with your product or your competition. No matter what it is, you’ll need to react and shift accordingly. 

That’s why we recommend an annual pulse check to all our clients. It’s a time for you to step back and assess. What are your goals and are you on track to reach them? What are you doing right, and where are you veering off course? 

At Oodle, we believe so strongly in the pulse check that we do it ourselves at least once a year. And we made this free tool to help you get started on your pulse check, too. 


What is a pulse check? 

It’s a simple idea. A pulse check is when you step back and take stock of what you’re doing. If day-to-day marketing is the trees, the pulse check is stepping back to look at the whole forest.

You’ll ask yourself questions about your website, your social channels, your marketing strategy and your data.

Is your website optimized for search, for example?

Can your users easily find the content they need?

Do you perform routine site health checks and UX audits?

Do your marketing initiatives have clear KPIs, and does every initiative ladder up to an overall strategic plan? 

At first, your pulse checks might feel more like emergency adjustments, a to-do list of urgent fixes. But as you get more into the groove, you’ll be able to dive deeper and focus on long-term strategy and improvement. 

“The No. 1 takeaway is it gets you out of the day-to-day,” said Oodle partner Ryan Hughes. “It’s really, really hard when you’re in the trenches, just duking it out trying to work on things, to take a step back and ask, ‘Are we going in the right direction here?’”


How do I get started? 

At Oodle, we take a week. Each of our three partners drops whatever he is working on and does nothing for that entire week except the pulse check. 

You don’t have to take a full week, but whatever time you do take, you need to make sure it’s dedicated time, set aside specifically for the pulse check. It’s impossible to be working in the day-to-day and to be simultaneously thinking strategically about the business.

For your pulse check, you’ll analyze what you’re doing and how it’s going, and you’ll make sure everything lines up with your marketing plan and strategy. When you’re done, you should have an idea of what’s going well and where you have room to improve. 

(Remember, if you’re unsure about the process, you can always get started here with our free pulse-check tool.)

It’s important to write down what comes out of your pulse check. Then, share it with someone else to help hold you accountable.

The more you do this, the easier and more natural it will become. And once you get into the habit of doing this on at least an annual basis, you’ll be much better aligned with your goals and strategy, and you’ll always be moving in the right direction.

If you do start to slip, your next pulse check will get you right back on track.