If there is one thing that my experience as a startup marketer has taught me, it’s that there’s no such thing as a magic silver bullet. While helping startups market themselves, expand, and grow over the past two decades, all too often I have run into business owners hoping for a magician and while I am definitely good, magic is for fairy tales.
Great marketing can create awesome results. There is absolutely no denying that. However, many people expect that a single campaign will instantly cure all of a business’s ills overnight, and that simply is not how it works 99.9% of the time.
Although breaking that illusion can be difficult, not only for the client but also for yourself, once you get through that, you now are in the perfect position to make a real lasting change on a realistic timeline.
Here are five strategies, highlighted by marketing executives, that have been crucial to my success in the field over the years.
#1: Two is the Magic Number
First, simplify your marketing strategy by setting only two major goals. This can sound too simple, but it is actually critical to prevent a convoluted and overly complex marketing plan from sinking you.
Get input from those you trust, realistically look at where you are in the process, and then figure out two major things you absolutely need to get done whether it’s building awareness, creating an online presence, or doing damage control, figure out your big two and work from there.
#2: Ask What If?
Take the time to practice visualisation. Now, this is not the woo-woo type of imagination that too many self-help books claim is all you need to do for success. But actually, think about your ideal situation. What would it look like if you are making the amount of money you wanted to make? What would it look like if you had more business than you could handle? What would it look like if you are the biggest name in the industry?
Figure out what your perfect ‘what if’ scenario is and then think about how your two big goals can start the path towards this place.
#3: Map Out Your Tactics
A good strategy is one thing, however without the right tactics, you are going to be hard-pressed to pull it off. Look, tactics make up over 90% of truly great marketing plans. The tactics are the nuts and bolts that help you figure out the very specific steps you need to take and the specific numbers you need to meet in order to make your goals a reality.
#4: Feedback is Good
Don’t assume your plan will be perfect from the get-go. While all of us struggle with ego when we are masters of our field, getting good and genuine feedback is crucial if you want the most success possible. Even if you choose not to act on the advice you get, just seeing the various reactions you are getting will tell you a lot about your plan, how you can make it better, and take a look at potential blowback you may not have been thinking of.
Listening also helps you learn other options that may help you reach your goals in ways you did not even originally consider.
#5: You Need Your Mentors
The best marketers I know all have their special groups they surround themselves with, comprised of other marketers. This should be a group of your equals in the industry, those talented individuals up-and-coming you can mentor, as well as several marketers who are better than you and can continue to apprentice you as well.
For the best marketers, growth and development never stop.