I’ve run a small marketing agency for over 25 years now and have seen a lot. You see, one of the coolest aspects of my job has been the need, the requirement if you will, to become intimate in the workings of my clients’ businesses – from the inside out. Great marketing comes from the inside out. For example, great brands are not painted onto products, they are reflections of great strategic plans that are executed to leverage every part of the business, from how phones are answered to the company picnic. And why not? In a competitive environment, why not use every scrap of asset you have?
Since a great brand becomes a living, breathing, and vitally important aspect of the organization, it’s only natural that I, as a member of the strategic marketing team, should get free run to tour every nook and cranny of the operation and ask questions about any part of the business I’m interested in. And that is exactly how it usually is. For a guy who’s always been fascinated with business in general, this part of my job has been beyond fun. But there’s more… there’s more than the business model and how it works, there are the owners and managers. They’re the ones behind the success, and they demonstrate characteristics that seem to show up over and over. Characteristics like this:
- They plan their work and are organized.
- They work their plans and do not change direction easily.
- They keep things simple and try to see the big picture in spite of overwhelming distractions.
That is the essence of successful marketing as well. You start with planning. It may require research or expert opinion, or both. Then you fashion a strategy that contains goals and tactics and you execute it. Then you stay on the road. This is one of the areas where a client depends on their agency – to help stay on the road (strategy) and not react to ‘golden opportunities.’ Then you review and adjust. But it’s not over yet – not quite that easy. What happens when you do it all right and it’s working and then the economy crashes and ruins your markets? Or some other catastrophic event occurs and your business suffers greatly. What then?
Megan Duckett, who manages Sew What? and Rent What?, knows the answer. She lives the answer, and it’s persistence. She just doesn’t give up. She gives in, but she doesn’t give up – big difference there. A persistent force, executed over time, will gather momentum. As long as you stay on the road and follow your strategy, your business will gather momentum. It may not be as great as it once was, but it will return with persistence – the unbeatable force in business.
So when the going gets tough, and too much information and too many options cloud your mind, go back to your plan, keep it simple, and then move forward with persistence. You can’t lose!