My One Big Fear
And how I cured it.
When I went into advising and consulting full time 18 months ago I had one big fear.
It wasn’t failure.
It was that I would wake up one day and realize I had become that guy.
The one who is completely out of touch with:
How marketers actually get things done.
What tech is the most current.
What are the modern playbooks and approaches.
I’ve seen that person. They were once at the top of the game and then got out of the trenches. They are still talking about the playbooks they used to use and the results they got.
They don’t realize things have changed.
So in order to avoid that I made 2 commitments to myself.
I would always have at least one client that I not only helped with strategy but also execution.
I would talk to a new marketer every single week to learn what they are seeing. What channels or approaches are working best for them. What tech they are loving right now. How they are measuring things.
As of this week I will have done 50 of those calls.
They have been incredibly helpful and I have learned a ton.
But the biggest thing that has stood out to me in all of those calls - of all 50 marketers I have spoken to, only 11 are being measured off of revenue. Just 22%.
The other 78% - a few pipeline, mostly leads and a few don’t have any sort of north star metric at all.
How is this possible? The best content, PR or Brand strategy in the world will end up on the chopping block eventually if it isn’t impacting one thing - Revenue.
At every company I have ever worked at, the most valuable people and teams always had a direct impact on revenue and could show that.
So if you aren’t being measured by revenue and want to get started in 2024, here are 4 key marketing principles that have helped me build teams that have had a large impact on revenue:
Turn speed and focus into a competitive advantage: only do things which will move the goals you are after and do them with speed. Embracing speed allows you to try things at a faster pace - shipping campaigns, testing marketing channels, testing messaging variations, designs etc. The faster you can get to answers, even when the answer is failure, the closer you are to finding success and the big opportunities for the business.
Understand Demand Capture vs Brand Building: The demand vs brand debate is tired. Understand the importance of both in order to scale. 95% of buyers aren’t looking for your solution, how you market to them is as equally important on long term revenue as how you market the 5% who are.
Stand Out. Markets are crowded. Everyone is doing paid, creating content, posting on social, podcasting, sending emails etc. If you sell a marketing automation solution you aren’t competing with the other 300 companies selling the same thing, you are actually competing with all 12,000 martech solutions going after the same buyers. The easiest path to success isn’t to try and be better at running paid social than 11,999 other companies. The easiest path is to do it differently. That could mean your creative, your offer - really anything. And that’s the fun part - figuring out what can set you apart.
Be Okay with Failure: build a team culture obsessed with hitting your goals and being fearless in trying out new things. This means being okay with failure. If companies are operating at a high speed, rapid failure is going to happen. And that is a good thing if you are learning from those failures. They should be celebrated and help you find you wins faster.
Hope that helps.
PS - in case you missed the big announcement last week, I launched a new growth marketing agency. If you are interested in working with us check us out: