I spend a couple of hours each week helping less experienced chief marketing officers (CMOs). They usually seek my advice looking for quick wins, tips and hacks.
By now, I’m used to their sigh of disappointment when I share with them what I’ve found to be the four-part formula for marketing success. It includes no hacks, trickery or sorcery. Just four, time-tested elements I’ve found you absolutely must get right to build a successful marketing operation: strategy, execution, people and creativity.
Here’s what it’s not: pulling together an odd mix of campaigns in hopes of them coming together. They won’t.
Strategy can be difficult to achieve but should always be simple to articulate. What’s “the big idea?” If you can’t easily explain it, you probably haven’t found it yet. I’ve found it useful to have a “big idea” for my overall strategy and for smaller components of it, like trade shows (why will people line up at our booth?) or content (what will make them download it?). There should be a simple way of describing what success will ultimately look like. Then reverse-engineer your tactics to get there.
Different is better than better. I explained one aspect of this in my recent article on the unwritten rules of business-to-business (B2B) branding and why you should break them. Now I propose being different in your overall strategy. Unless you want to be a “me too” company, you’re probably better off choosing a strategy others haven’t tried rather than attempting to be 10 times better than another player already using the same strategy….[Read More]
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