The Secret of Marketing

Persistence.

There, I just saved you months of marketing book reading and countless dollars as you burn through another group of marketing agencies that claim to have the next “secret sauce.”

Sure, you need to have a message that is rooted in a core purpose that means as much to the people inside your organization as it does to those you hope will become customers but, other than that, the one thing you must have is persistence. And it is much harder than finding a new tagline or building a new web site.

It’s not sexy and it is not “current” or the latest fad.  What works for the long haul rarely is.

As they say, overnight successes take a long time.  And that is true for the success of your marketing messages. So why are we so consumed with changing them every year like a fresh coat of paint?  It’s obvious (and a worn cliche) that everyone is looking for the quick fix that will create a flood of new business and profits. But the secret is that there is no secret.

So we let our impatience cause our company to change our approach and message so often that we soon have none at all.  At least not one anyone remembers. 

So find that pure and simple message that fits your business and then, simply, prove it again and again. Not for the next few months or quarters. For years. The ways you prove it can change and evolve over time and you should never stop finding every possible way to make it real to your customers and those that should be. That is where momentum and results in your marketing will come from. Not from the message itself.

Stand for something great.  Figure out the best way to say it. Keep saying it and proving it. For years (and years).

Persistence.

 

Edit and Amplify

Loved this piece by Ellen McGirt on Nike CEO Mark Parker.  It warms my heart to see a CEO of a giant corporation that balances the left brain AND the right.  This bit summed that up nicely:

He repeats a mantra I hear early and often: Edit and amplify. “I’m trying to amplify the innovation agenda further, and short-list the things that will make the biggest difference. That’s an art and a science.”