By AZLEEN ABDUL RAHIM
Definitely, strategy is very important when you’re embarking on your marketing journey. From branding to marketing, without proper strategy or planning, you will face great challenges to bring out your brand value. Without it, you’re doomed. No doubt about it.
However, overdoing it can be a disaster too. Keeping yourself surrounded by theories all the time using secondary data or scenarios from other people’s experience won’t make your plan any better.
It requires action. The real situation out there will help shorten your learning curve. Out there, it’s just nasty and it’ll teach you a very good lesson.
So, my advice to you is this. Stop fine-tuning those plans until they reach perfection, bro. Instead, have some balls to execute them. While you’re checking yourself down there to see whether your balls are still there jiggling between your legs, have a look at these eight areas where you need to be braved at.
This podcast might interest you: Raise Your Game: Strategic Marketing And Leadership
1. Have balls to make your brand’s first impression credible
I can tell you this right now. A professional con man is very good at this. He will ensure that the first impression will last.
He will dress well, converse professionally well, have a convincing ride on that day and ensure all details that meet the eye are well positioned. When he tries to convince people to give him money for whatever reasons that might be, he knows that the person he talks to will try to justify quietly that the decision he or she is about to make will be the right one.
While considering it, that person’s eyeballs will be wandering around to find reasons for him or her to say yes (or no). And those eyeballs will catch all the ‘convincing’ details about this trickster, looking at his expensive pen, his sports car, his watch, his smartphone and all other minute details.
As the eyes are wandering around, logic will come into play too. The way he tells stories and the details of the stories are all within this observation. Will this crook score the money after that? Obviously, he will.
So, you need to have balls like this guy too. Build your brand’s persona convincingly. The first impression must last. Anticipate what the customers’ experience will be when they visit your official website, blog and social media channels.
If these can’t do the work convincingly, make that decision to take a step back and iron things out quickly. Don’t chicken out now even though you’re still at the initial stage. Be a man. This is the stage where the foundation of trust is built.
2. Have balls to learn
Robert Kiyosaki keeps reminding us to surround ourselves with great advisors. Even professional tennis players such as Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have coaches too. That is why they are successful. They have balls to admit that they still have many things to learn. And they are willing to do it. They know that this is the only option for them to evolve and be better in their games.
This interview with Kiyosaki might interest you: The Leaderonomics Show: (Unedited, Uncensored) Hard Talk With Robert Kiyosaki
Unlike you, who seems to know everything. Stop this nonsense and have some balls to learn new things as marketing is no chicken feet.
Do you actually know what is the best marketing method for your business? If you do not know the answer, find someone to teach you.
3. Have balls to embrace the reality
Nike has a great slogan for this – Just Do It. Plan your marketing strategy accordingly and let it out to the real world. Embrace reality. Should you think you may hit a big wall right in front of you, pivot the plan. Then strive forward again. Do these until you find your own momentum.
4. Have balls to invest where necessary
Everyone knows Coca-Cola. The brand is among the most recognised brands in the world. Nevertheless, they spend billions of dollars annually to market themselves out.
On the other side of the spectrum, start-ups and SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) view marketing as a matter of survival. If they don’t invest in it, their business will be as good as gone in no time.
Between those two extremes, however, an interesting thing often happens, i.e. companies forget about marketing altogether! Once they hit past a certain figure in revenue, it’s tempting to let things slide. For some, they simply stop marketing altogether by focusing on sales activities.
They simply forgot that marketing is a lot like food. It’s the regular, sustained nourishment that gets your business to where you want it to be, and keeps it there. You need it throughout the day, every day. Global organisations are consistent about this, having a well-funded marketing plan regularly even when they’re already successful by any measure.
Meanwhile, inexperienced organisations like yours would wait until you’re starving before you start looking for nourishment to keep you strong again.
5. Have balls to write articles
Whether you’re an expert on search engine optimisation (SEO) or not, being aware of the power of search engines is crucial if you’re working in an online space. In a nutshell, increasing your search ranking is self-explanatory: it means making your blog or website easily searchable when someone uses a search engine like Google to find information.
By writing articles, you’re creating a better focus keyword for your blog. You can target certain terms – the ones which you know your intended audience are likely to search for, in order to bring more traffic to your site.
If you want to know more about SEO, you can read my layman explanation about it here. Adding a blog to your website also allows Google to index more pages, which in turn also increases your search engine ranking. Don’t wait, have balls to write your own articles before your competitor does.
6. Have balls to outsource your weaknesses
You might be wondering what this has to do with running a marketing department. For the things you’re good at, do them and do them well.
For the things that fall well outside of your expertise, don’t agonise over them or spend hours doing what will inevitably be a bad job – outsource them out!
Instead of spending time experimenting things, have some balls to trust other people who are really good in what they do to do the work on your behalf. From content writing to graphic design, from blogging to video editing – there is definitely someone out there waiting for you to find them.
7. Have balls to make mistakes
Steve Jobs certainly made a lot of mistakes before he found success with iPod. Michael Jordan also failed many times in competitive basketball games before. Jobs and Jordan prevailed and each of them become legends in their own respective fields.
Not forgetting, you must have heard the story of J. K. Rowling’s strings of failure when she first wrote Harry Potter books. It was a very long and hard journey for her, experiencing a failed marriage, unemployment and multiple rejections from many publication houses. Yet, she kept going forward.
Why is that? These people have balls and dared to fail. Failure inspires them to defy all odds and go after their dreams. Are you willing to do that with your marketing initiatives?
8. Have balls to be patience
Nothing happens overnight. It takes time to market your complicated products. People need to go through the process of getting to know your brand and your products better.
To reach them is one part of the story, to convince them with what you’ve got is the next part. Once the latter part is done, then only they will buy or subscribe from you.
There is a great quote from a guide book called Successful Advertising by Thomas Smith, written back in the year 1885. He mentioned this:
“The first time a man looks at an advertisement, he does not see it. The second time, he does not notice it. The third time, he is conscious of its existence. The fourth time, he faintly remembers having seen it before. The fifth time, he reads it. The sixth time, he turns up his nose at it. The seventh time, he reads it through and says ‘Oh brother!’ The eight time, he says: ‘Here’s that confounded thing again!’ The ninth time, he wonders if it amounts to anything. The 10th time, he asks his neighbour if he has tried it.
The 11th time, he wonders how the advertiser makes it pay. The 12th time, he thinks it must be a good thing. The 13th time, he thinks perhaps it might be worth something. The 14th time, he remembers wanting such thing a long time. The 15th time, he is tantalised because he cannot afford to buy it. The 16th time, he thinks he will buy it someday. The 17th time, he makes a memorandum to buy it. The 18th time, he swears at his poverty. The 19th time, he counts his money carefully. The 20th time he sees the ad, he buys what it is offering.”
Recommended reading: Why I Love Marketing, And Why You Should Too!
Bringing all the balls together
You just have to repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat and continue to repeat your message to the world and be very patient while doing that. With perseverance, you will see results coming your way. And you just need to have balls for this waiting period.
You know, the ladies also play the marketing game too. And some of them do have balls, unlike some men.
Azleen is a free-spirited marketing strategist and blogger who loves to help people and organisations with their digital marketing journey for maximum input. Do you have the balls to win in the marketing field? Share your thoughts with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more Hard Talk articles, click here.
Reposted with permission on Leaderonomics.com.