The web is constantly evolving – both in the way search engines rank and index content and in the way people search and digest it. Now more than ever, the priority for every digital marketing plan should be delivering people the exact content they’re searching for. This is probably a taller task than most marketing teams would like to admit because it requires taking the spotlight off of your company’s solutions and focusing it on what your customers need.
Switching the mindset from us to them, however, requires getting CXOs and marketing teams on the same page and pushing marketing strategies beyond the “we’re so great” mentality.
Here are three important habits you should develop to put the emphasis back on the what a company can do for its customers in order to create a strong marketing plan:
Habit #1 – Ask why…a lot
Look out marketers – there’s a dangerous new phrase in the industry that puts “we’ve always done it that way” to shame. It’s “because I said so.” Successfully executing the what in any strategy is first dependent on an understanding of the why, and in marketing it is no different. Because of this, it is paramount that marketers always ask habitually “why?” throughout any strategy discussion. Zeroing in on the goals of their marketing strategy will help create a digital marketing plan that delivers.
Habit #2 – Stop and map direction
With any marketing strategy comes the balancing act of staying focused on each program while not getting caught in the weeds of any of them. Taking the time to map out the larger goals of any digital marketing plan will help teams stay forward-thinking and not get lost in the minutia of the marketing process. When in doubt, always work to create a quantifiable link between your marketing tactics and explicit business outcomes.
Habit #3 – Think bigger
Part of maintaining momentum in a marketing strategy is keeping perspective. As marketers, it’s easy to get tunnel vision on the project we’re working on or the client issue we’re resolving. Handling these day-to-day tasks is great, but it’s important to maintain a perspective of what these projects are accomplishing. The best way to do this is by continuing to analyze and report on your on-going marketing efforts. Steve gave some great suggestions for how to “think bigger”:
- Spend 2-4 hours/month reading up on the industry you are serving
- Research the CEO’s main talking points and spend 1 hour per month to review
- Share monthly coffee conversations with trusted marketing friends that you don’t work with
- Combine & organize any new context into your strategic content (CRM, notes, journals, etc.)