I am feeling lost and found.
Over a decade, as a marketer, I have been lucky to build many marketing solutions, analytics products on one end and build communities and narratives of products on the other.
By building marketing solutions, the objective was that we were going to democratize marketing, We already knew that everyone is a marketer but we were going to make it easy to do marketing.
However, the more marketing solutions that came about, it brought more problems than solutions. And the more you had to learn all the products — it took you away from the essence of marketing. Surprisingly, it became a race to learn the tools and position yourself as an expert to be viable in the marketplace.
And with that, we came a full circle.
We are back to marketing. And it is again that it is not everyone’s cup of tea.
Your story matters: With all these products and experts, again we know your narrative, your story is the only way you can stand apart and spread the message.
Less is more: Without a powerful message, the tools are of no use. And if your message is strong then even one channel will be effective to get the word out.
Watch out for the so-called experts: Before you hire anyone, ask about the relationships they have, ask about their stories, and what came out of them — know that machines don’t do marketing, people do. Machines only help you collaborate and connect to the world — marketing is a people’s job. If you can collaborate — you can market if you can write a story — you can market. But it can’t use a tool — you can learn, if you can’t understand data — you can get a tool to process it — but if you can’t imagine, can’t express, can’t relate — you can’t market.
Interestingly, in the process to democratize marketing, marketers found their niche.
Marketing guru, Seth Godin sums it up “I made a decision to write for my readers, not to try to find more readers for my writing”
So where are we headed?
We found out that good marketers are like good artists. They are hard to find but there is nothing more fun than to see them work on their craft.
I find marketing is all heart — your creativity delivers results. Only when your heart is at work — only when your passion is leading you to experiment and try new things — only then you deliver marketing campaigns that are successful. Only then you can use all the tools you possibly have to optimize, analyze, slice and dice, segment, A/B test, build interactive immersive experiences, set KPIs, cross-promote, upsell, get market intelligence for competitive advantage…etc etc etc.
Tell your story: It takes time but learning the art of storytelling is possible and super rewarding.
Marketing technology is easy: It is marketing that is difficult the tools are easy and only delivering efficiencies. It takes time to build content — the good news is that all the tools have made it easy to share our stories and connect with customers.
KPIs are different: The fight for page-views and traffic is only worth it if it gives you customers who are in it for a long-term relationship. Rest, if someone is ahead — don’t worry. If someone is behind, don’t underestimate. The KPIs for marketing are — trust index, community support index, and loyalty index.
So, keep learning the tools, don’t sweat it if you are not an expert, the tools will change in a few years. Be a marketer, cause when you are up against large marketing budgets, remember marketing loves underdogs.