This line concludes the thought on a pretty comprehensive and easy-to-digest list of things that every marketer should know.
Seth wrote it three years ago and like many obvious and somehow hard to do things it is still excellent advice today. Excellent because so few do it.
It may be the knowing vs. doing gap's fault, or it may be the new shiny objects syndrome that has marketers try to reinvent and complicate things all the time.
For the benefit of my readers, I'd like to highlight a couple of his points and add some commentary about each:
- If you are marketing from a fairly static annual budget, you’re viewing marketing as an expense. Good marketers realize that it is an investment.
What happens when your budget decreases? Of course your budget is not the end of the world, it's important to have the resources you need to get the work done, to go from knowing to doing, yes. However, there are other ways of going to market with a smaller budget.
They start with the way the business is engineered - if it wraps warmly around the customer, with products and services she values and needs, then you know where your meager budgets go.
ROI is easier to see when it's not there. In other words, when you are not gaining traction, when your company is not even a contender, when you are doing less of the same tired things, only worse: that's when you can see that you have not invested. Investment is in time, too, and can be involvement, and become influence.
- Marketing is not an emergency. It’s a planned, thoughtful exercise that started a long time ago and doesn’t end until you’re done.
Are you all running around with your hair on fire all the time? That is marketing in an emergency - reactive, ineffective, still catching up with your competitors' work. I have sometimes compared marketing to networking, it is best done in a planned, continuous, and - I like the term - thoughtful manner.
When you engage in a marketing conversation, when you open the door to your customers and prospects, you better be a gracious host. When are you done? Are you planning to go out of business? That's when you are done.
From the impression your receptionist gives visitors, to how you conduct meetings, to how you answer the phone, to how you interact with colleagues, to how that transfers over to your external customers - that is all marketing.
- Most marketers create good enough and then quit. Greatest beats good enough every time.
Why do five things badly, when you could choose to do one best? Life is full of choices and so is marketing. The pundits have been saying it for a long time, yet it seems not long enough - it is better to excel at fewer things than to try and boil the ocean.
Yet I see trade offs being done all the time. I see it in the unexciting materials companies produce. I see it in the lack of editing and polishing that delivers simple, clear, concise stories to the people who are listening. I see it because deep down we know that there is an enormous difference between good enough and great. And that is in the involvement and response (or lack of) it elicits.
[image Rubik's cube from Wikipedia ]