Marketing gurus keep secrets better than any other kind of professionals. They know the secret to effective marketing and they must keep it secret. Why? Because if everyone in business learns the secret, their services will no longer be needed.
However, most companies can’t afford the internal marketing staff required to keep their target audiences continually engaged with their brands. Most CEOs have too much else to do with their severely limited time so they provide strategic direction and let their marketing team (comprised of internal and external members) implement the fundamental best practices.
Marketing requires about 5 key elements + “the glue” to work:
- Singular branding that is easily understood
- Relevant value proposition (emotion-charged)
- Multiple audience channels
- Consistency and frequency of messages
- Sales, service and product authenticity
Now, whenever you have several elements in a working model, you need glue, right? You need the glue that holds everything together. And what is this glue? It’s a secret! And yes, and I’m here to reveal it. The glue is commitment – the big C word of which so many bachelors are terrified!
Most small businesses fail to execute the five elements because they lack the glue of commitment (across teams). Companies that commit to consistently doing all 5 aren’t that small anymore, or they choose to manage their growth. They have real company culture with engaged employees and loyal customers.
The companies that do okay with only a couple of the 5 elements tend to keep sputtering along without much changing over the years. Monday morning feels pretty much the same as it did 10 years ago.
Here are a few more secrets of effective marketing:
- The only thing that actually works is work.
- Unless action is taken, nothing happens.
- There is no such thing as perfection. Don’t require it.
- Value is created only by expending effort.
- Business is people.
- Relevance matters.
- One thing is much easier to remember than 4 or 5 things.
- Repetition and consistency make ideas sink into consumers’ minds.
- Performance is its own testimonial.
When it comes to implementing certain marketing tactics, I hear people say, “I tried that once and it didn’t work.” The honest response is, “I tried it about 35 times and it worked 12 times.” Understanding your key marketing metrics will help show you where the actual sales come from and help you focus more on those areas.
Commitment only comes from a willingness to keep working and moving a plan forward with consistent actions. Where that willingness comes from (your driving purpose and motivation) is a topic for another day or a different guru.