Many people believe that a startup marketer is a magician and can fix anything – poor name recognition,slow sales cycles, products or services that do not meet the needs of their target market and so on. However, this is not the case. I have been a startup marketer for about 22 years, now a marketing director, and I can confidently tell you that I am not and I have never seen myself as a magician with all of the solutions when it comes to marketing.
The issues we mentioned earlier can only be solved by great marketing and not magic. But you should also keep in mind that these issues will not completely disappear just because you have used great marketing once or twice.
Once you accept the fact that there is a magic trick that can solve all business problems, it will become easier to make your business succeed. Here are some tricks that have worked for me:
1. Set Two, and Only Two, Big Goals
Setting a marketing strategy is complex. Your colleagues will tell you what they think about marketing and what it can do or change. Listen to them and synthesise their input. Then, pick two big goals worth focusing on.
For instance, most of the startups out there focus on building awareness and driving demand. However, remember that this is not the time to go into the details. At this point, the only thing you have to do is to choose two big goals you will focus on.
2. Visualise the ‘What If’
Imagine a world where everything goes according to plan. Your products or services are selling like hotcakes and your customers are sending you gifts and the press is calling you. Once you have visualised this, work backwards. How would you have reached this point if you kept your eyes on your two big goals? How many opportunities did you seize at the right time and place to make your success look magical?
3. Utilise Smart Tactics
Some people make a mistake of shying away from tactics when marketing. However, what they don’t know is that tactics are an important part of marketing. In fact, I have come to realise that tactics make up 90% of marketing. Good ideas don’t happen on their own. Success is the result of diligence, hard work and stamina.
Smart tactics have helped people get rich and win wars. Ensure that you map your steps to the “what if” scenario and run your list one more time against your big goals. Ensure that you set deadlines, say no or not now to any extra thing and hold people accountable.
4. Embrace the Feedback
Most of the marketers out there like using the word ‘feedback’ as a trigger word. When a person sends you an email saying that they would like to give you some feedback, I know that it will be hard not to hit the delete button. Reframe your thinking. Many people would like to help you and they trust you enough to have a conversation.
You don’t have to act but you have to listen. You have a huge opportunity. Explaining your goals, your “what if” and your tactics will help you educate these people at a grassroots level and enable you to open up a bilateral negotiation. Their suggestions can even provide a shortcut or a sure way to get to your “what if.”
5. Find Likeminded Friends
Soon, I will be going to a retreat with 45 other chief marketing officers. If you get a chance to join a small group of marketers for real conversations regarding your success and struggles, go ahead and join them. If everyone is willing to talk openly, you will have gained valuable advice and maybe receive empathy that will most likely amount to the best time you have spent in years on professional development.
David Copperfield once said that the real secret of magic lies in the performance. I have come to believe that this is true and can apply to marketing. So, make your performance look like magic by practising and mastering the tricks in this article.