I don’t think marketing has changed all that much in core values in the last five, ten, twenty, fifty years — but how you can do that stuff has changed. In layman’s terms: the ‘why’ is the same, but you have to be able to adapt to a new ‘how’. The basics still hold true, but in defining my ‘marketing-style’ I wanted to spin my version of why those basics are tried-and-true, and more importantly, distinguish myself with the ‘how’.
I thought a long time about the best way to describe my marketing style. What is ‘marketing style?’ More importantly, what is my marketing style? I’ve long thought about how I would describe my style if ever asked and I would like to describe it within the context of four marketing pillars:
- Relationship building
So I decided to write my ‘one-page’ manifesto, and then unpack each of the four pillars in subsequent blog posts.
Broadcast marketing is a default style for the majority of marketers. However, you can have all of the best insights, a pile of cash, and be the smartest person among your peers and colleagues, but if you haven’t built a relationship it’s as good as throwing a dart to a dartboard in a pitch-black room. Consumers are smart, and have just as big of a soapbox to stand on, so if you aren’t learning and engaging with your market, you’ll quickly become the Microsoft Zune of music.
I’m not the first person to recognize that data and analytics are paramount to marketing success. Businesses now have greater amounts of data available to analyze — more than ever before — and the Internet of Things (IoT) is only adding billions of more data points every day.
A good online marketer has to understand how to use these data points. The amount of research before and during a campaign should increase the likelihood of success, while allowing for the real-time pivoting of a message. Marketing has changed; No longer is the style of learning if the best idea works after a campaign ends considered a best practice.
The marketing world is now a 24-7 business opportunity. Messaging can be, and should be crafted to reach different markets at different times because optimal points of inflection are distinct for both physical and digital locations. SEO, SEM, ad campaigns, social media, social networks, newsletters, email campaigns, inbound/outbound lead gen, live chats, blogs, infographics, can be researched, measured and work cohesively to impact website conversions which, in turn, directly affect sales.
A good online marketer has to be obsessed with control, being social, and long-term oriented in his/her goals. Quality marketing is always building towards something bigger, not hoping for short-term gains.
I hate buzzwords, the ‘talking heads’ of social media and online marketing geared toward cornering the reactions of ‘shiny object syndrome’ and exploiting it for marketing dollars that they don’t truly understand how to most optimally, use. I say that tongue-in-cheek because I was once ‘that guy’.
There is no silver bullet when it comes to content, regardless if one is referring to websites, blogs, emails or social media channels. You have to create relevant content and do it consistently in order to obtain the most value. A game plan must be created, executed and coordinated to meet concise objectives. Marketing campaigns are not ‘one-size-fits-all’ and if you try to be “all things to all people” with your content, you’ll be the master of none.
Timing is everything
A key to all four pillars is timing. A great marketer has the ability to think quickly on his/her feet, and benefit from real-time national stories and memes. Creativity in online marketing allows for an opportunity to see significant gains in attention and awareness, but does not come without risks. I like to describe my marketing style as follows:
Think long-term and constantly be working towards bigger goals. However live in the real-time and take advantage of any opportunity to accelerate those long-term goals.
I believe I have a very unique skill set when it comes to marketing. I understand the importance of being more “walk” than “talk” because results-driven marketing is the kind that produces for clients and grows business. When it comes time to get my hands dirty, I don’t believe in failure; I get it done. However, I understand and recognize the importance of the relationship building pillar; one can’t simply ‘be a good people person; the ability to listen effectively is worth its weight in diamonds to a marketer.
Within the four pillars framework, my marketing ‘bones’ include seven steps:
- Fact Finding (meeting with clients, Q&A, research market opportunity, research competitors)
- Game planning (creating high-level objectives, getting feedback from team/client, challenging one to two areas of potential failure)
- Calendar creation (finalize g game plan into measurable objectives, time-lining everything, creating content calendar, creating social calendar, creating weekly reports)
- Reporting (collecting all incoming data, modifications and tweaks to campaigns based on data collected, creating additional assets from the data collected both for client and for ourselves)
- Wrap-up (what worked, what didn’t, what can be improved, what did we learn, etc.
Finally, style is individual and not a dime a dozen. When you think of Ryan Cox, I would like to believe that the following tagline resonates: you can find me at the corner of charisma and execution.