The 6 Characteristics of Good Marketers

I had a column open on TweetDeck yesterday for a search term and the following Tweet came up (I’m paraphrasing) “Let me teach you marketing and make money from Twitter.  Just set it and forget it!  Click here.”

Guys like these give Twitter, and more injuriously, Marketing a bad name.

There is simply no such thing as “set it and forget it” marketing.  To be sure, I have seen folks, good folks that I like IRL, storm into something like Twitter with a product to sell, program their promotional Tweets and set it only to regret it, as their followers dwindle to Bots, other MLMs and inactive accounts.

Business owners often are not comfortable with marketing and wisely employ someone else to take those reigns.  But I’ve observed that these same business owners are often concerned that their marketing person is taking the slow boat to the land of abundant pipelines.

They wonder and ask about putting all their marketing eggs in one basket: If email marketing is working, why don’t we quit attending events and just send out more email?  If we aren’t getting any leads from direct mail, why don’t we quit mailing and spend that money on SEO?  Or, yes, our direct mail is working, but do we have to send it out every month?  Could we go every 6 weeks?

They get nervous when the marketing person wants to try something new.  They fret over the marketing person suggesting a different look and feel than the stock art multi-cultural crowd hanging around in the conference room.

Business owners, you are going to have to learn to trust your marketing people.  I believe that if they are displaying the 6 characteristics below, you can relax.  In fact, you can celebrate.

  1. Curious – Good marketing people are curious.  They love to delve into the contextual aspect of where and how your products and services fit.  They want to know more about everything – the products, the services, the customers, the nature of the customer’s business, how the customer is using the product and services for better results, what makes a good customer, how can we find more of those.  Their brains are always clicking on these things.  When you hear them talk about these things, it’s a very good sign.
  2. Consistent – Marketing people have been schooled on the necessity of consistency.  They know the formidable challenge of your brand becoming top of mind with your target market.  They know that there is a difference between frequency and spamming.  They know that you can’t start a blog, post 3 or 4 articles, return a few months later, blow off the dust, and make another post.  Consistent doesn’t mean uniform – so they will want to change up the look and feel from time to time to see if their consistent effort can engage in a new way and get better results.
  3. Results Driven – We love our metrics!  From raw leads and number of hits to adds to the pipeline to average revenue per customer.  My marketing team (self included) would perk up around mail time.  How many cards did we get today?  How many hits to the website?  How many leads have qualified?  Conversely, when a campaign didn’t work, or didn’t draw as much as a previous campaign, we examined the possible reasons why.  Had we not been allowed to fail from time to time (and none of these failures were crippling), I truly believe we would not have had the ability to live the “out of the box” thinking and come up with some breakthrough campaigns.
  4. Experimental – Good marketers are willing to experiment with new marketing channels, or to restore marketing efforts that previously had become tired.  For example, maybe your company dabbled with webinars and didn’t see good results.  Those efforts were table to launch a new product or update the web site.  When there is time to revisit and re-evaluate, good marketers like to take a fresh look and an old effort.  Perhaps the content was less than compelling.  Perhaps the title was unattractive – or failed to address what the attendee was looking to learn or solve.  Good marketers are keeping tabs on things like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and how B2B are employing those platforms.
  5. Fun – The best campaigns I’ve ever launched were ones that the team had fun creating.  One of unheralded values we can deliver to our customers and target market is to give them something that is fun, playful, different than the usual grist and brighten their day in a small way.  I’ve written about the “Sleepy Elvis Returns for the Dead” direct mail piece that did just that here:  https://dwesterberg.wordpress.com/2009/12/15/sleepy-elvis-returns-from-dead-to-endorse-mip-fund-accounting/
  6. Open – All of the business owner’s questions listed above and many others, I have been asked.  When asked if we could reduce our direct mail from monthly to every 6 weeks, I knew in my gut that we would take a hit.  I expressed that, but said that since I didn’t know for sure, I would move to a 6 week cycle, track it and compare it to the previous 12 months at higher frequency.  That I was right was not the important thing.  The important thing was being open and testing what the business owner was asking me.  Going forward, my “instincts” held more water.  The point is good marketers are willing to advise but also revise – they too want to know if there is a better mousetrap.
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