When asked what the greatest challenge I have had in marketing, I really had to sit back and think about this one as there were and are just so many. Every day new obstacles seem to present themselves, but if I had to pick just one, I pick two.
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The first would definitely be when I was given the task to go from primarily selling all the time to needing to grow our brand and develop a marketing plan. I still remember having a glazed feeling and really not knowing where to start. Should I hire a consultant? Who should I talk to about this? Are there books I should read? Do I just do what feels right? I probably had a hundred other questions circulating at the time, and I was basically paralyzed for a couple of days before deciding to just jump in and start figuring it out. What I did was read, read and read some more. At the time, I bought some books, which evolved into finding some awesome marketing experts to learn from . Once I got going, everything just started to build up; my intelligence on the subject, as well as our companies’ success.
After doing countless hours of research and self education, I ended up with a plan, which brings me to the second part of my biggest challenge: Selling what I learned and believed to the owner. Other marketers understand this pain-- knowing what you should, but your bosses just don’t get it. It has to be the most frustrating obstacle we all deal with.
I was relentless with my beliefs and the direction we should go, which was to put a heavy emphasis on content marketing. I was relentless in explaining the theory behind it and showing how and why it works. Now I’m not suggesting anyone do this, but I pretty much threw a temper tantrum when it looked like I wasn’t going to get the go ahead (I had a unique relationship with my boss.) I know he doesn’t realize this, but if I hadn’t made such a stink that day, his company might not be around today. This is not so much any sort of credit to myself, but, considering the size of company we were and the state of the printing world at the time, we would have been in serious trouble over the years if we hadn’t adopted these practices. To my boss’s credit, he eventually did defer to the person who had put in the marketing blood, sweat and tears, and the rest, as they say, is history. Not all owners would have done that.
So to all of you new and established marketers out there, I say be relentless. Be relentless with your passion for learning, be relentless with your beliefs and be relentless with your boss when you know it’s the right path (just save the temper tantrums for another time.)
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