Marketing is a Practice

Marketing is a practice.

Much like yoga or meditation are practices. Force does not make marketing better. In most cases force has the opposite impact on the quality and effectiveness of marketing.

Marketing gets a seriously bad rap because it’s fraught with time consuming exercises that don’t seem to go anywhere or deliver tangible value. The exercises that do end up going somewhere (somewhere people can see) typically end up in a redesign of the website, a change in a logo, the creation of a stock newsletter that rehashes low-value content or a refreshed presentation template – all of which deliver limited value in the grand scheme of things.

This is what makes marketing hard – continuous attempts to solve large problems while omitting the time and attention that needs to be paid to the everyday details. As marketing, your customers don’t live in a land of strategy or theory. They live in a land of practice and execution. Help them execute.

Instead of attacking these larger problems that have questionable ROIs and approach strategy more than practice, go back to the basics. Practice marketing. That’s right – Practice.

Practice being a marketer, not a marketing strategist – not a marketing concept artist. Do the work.

  • Get out of the office and listen to your customers. Address the issues they’re raising – not the way they’re raising them.
  • Get out of the office and listen to your partners.Address the issues they’re raising – not the way they’re raising them.
  • Use your product or service with a new customer. What are the two new things you learned?
  • Use your product or service with a long-term customer. What are the two new things you learned?
  • Talk to your sales team and listen to the stories they tell you. Address the issues they’re raising – not the way they’re raising them.
  • Go on a handful of sales calls with your sales team and see these stories in action.

When you’ve finished each of these exercises, note your learnings. Share these insights with your sales, marketing and product teams – being sure to note why they’re important.

If they’re truly ground shifting developments, share them with your executive or management team – again being sure to note why they’re important and why management should care / act.

Marketing is hard work. Progress is most often disguised as small gains that are very typically missed or overlooked.

Be patient.

Practice.