Marketing

Five Tips For Mastering Your Marketing Performance

Over the past 22 years or so, I’ve worked as a start-up marketer, and there is one thing that I can tell you for certain.  I’m definitely not a magician. People would really like to believe that one experienced marketer can fix everything – products that don’t meet the needs of customers, poor name recognition, slow sales cycles, etc.

Great marketing managers can help to address those issues.  However, waving around a magic wand a few times won’t make them disappear.  Maybe your colleagues will be disappointed learning that isn’t how magic works. It is difficult shattering illusions.  You can see the look in their eyes, no tooth fairy, no Santa, no marketing magician?

After you have admitted to yourself you will never be able to live up to those types of expectations, then things will get much easier.  It will give you the freedom to make significant changes and make a significant lasting impact as well.  The following tricks are ones that have worked the best for me personally.

After you have admitted to yourself you will never be able to live up to those types of expectations, then things will get much easier.  It will give you the freedom to make significant changes and make a significant lasting impact as well.  The following tricks are ones that have worked the best for me personally.

1. Set just two big goals.

It can get complicated to set a marketing strategy.  You get plenty of advice from colleagues on what they believe marketing can change or do.  Listen to this and get the input synthesized.  Then select the two major goals you will be focusing on.

For example, for a majority of start-ups, that might include driving demand and building awareness.  Just choose your two big goals, and don’t get into the details to much at that point.

2. Imagine ‘what if.’

Imagine a where everything works.  There is very high demand for all of your products, customers are giving your gifts, the media is calling you.  Then work backwards from this.

If you actually focused on your two big goals how would you have reached this point?  What opportunities were you able to seize on at just the right place and time in order for your success to appear magical?

3. Map out your tactics.

Don’t avoid tactics.  Let’s face it: based on my personal experience, about 90% of marketing is made up of tactics.  Great ideas don’t just occur on their own. Instead, success involves a lot of stamina, diligence and hard work.  People get rich and win wars using smart techniques.

Plan out your steps to your “what if” scenario and then run your list against your two big goals one more times.  Say no (or at least “not now”) to anything beyond that, hold people accountable, and set deadlines.

4. Embrace feedback

For many marketers, feedback is a serious trigger word.  When somebody emails you to say they want to provide you with some feedback, it is difficult to not hit your delete button.

Instead of doing that, reframe your thinking.  A majority of individuals really would like to help you, and they have enough trust in you to have a genuine conversation. You don’t need to act.  However, it is important to listen carefully.  There is a big opportunity waiting for you.  When you explain your goals, along with your tactics and “what if”, you can educate people at the grassroots level to open bilateral negotiations up.  Even better, their suggestions might provide you with a shortcut or a more certain what to achieve your “what if”.

5. Discover your secret society

I will head out to a retreat very soon with 45 fellow chief marketing officers.  Make sure that if ever have the opportunity to meet with a small group of marketers to have real conversations about your struggles and triumphs that you do it. If everybody is willing to talk honestly and openly, then the advice that you gain (and empathy you receive) most likely will turn out to be the best time that you have spent on all of those years of professional development.

David Copperfield has been credit with saying that the real secret to magic lies in its performance.  I think that is the truth.  And in order for the performance to appear like magic, you need to practice your tricks and master them.

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