How to excel at marketing

The answer to this question has little to do with tools, techniques, or, of course ‘tips and tricks’.

It does however depend upon your view of the purpose of marketing.  For example:

It’s not actually about generating ideas.  No – anyone can generate ideas. Most of us do. You can look around you any day of the week, read questionable online comment or watch business / reality TV programmes and you will not be short of ideas.

Many businesses fail whilst they are still brimming with ‘ideas’.

What marketing really is, in essence is the ability to successfully and repeatedly exercise the commercial judgement to determine the right idea from the sea of ideas that we all encounter.There is little more to it than this.

It’s not about data either

We need information to support decisions. But in order to make the right decisions, we need to know – what is the question that we are trying to answer?

The biggest mistake made in the digital age is obsessing about the current visitors and customers. Unless you have a monopoly position in your target market (and assuming the target market has been correctly defined), this is not the source of major growth.

Factor in the reality that 99% of businesses are small and 97% micro, and this is even more so.

It doesn’t matter where the right idea comes from

Systems should be in place for generating feedback from throughout the business (including any external partners used). Those on the shop floor are closest to customers, so their insight is useful. They may not be fully plugged in to the business strategy though, so their insight needs to be properly applied. It is also possible that the wrong questions are asked. For example, it may be believed that your customers are obsessed with price; but that might be the case simply because you sound the same as all the others.

So, whilst the ideas can come from anywhere, the system for choosing the right one is a function that should belong to senior marketing and business leaders.

Doing something is not always better than doing nothing

We’ve all been in the meetings or the office conversations where it was announced as if a truism that ‘We have to do something’. This imperative can lead to some disastrous business decisions. Where is the continuity in behaving like this? Where is the understanding of your market position?


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