Friday, August 21, 2020

Lessons from Mobile Matters: Stop Being an Order Taker

How many times have you heard the expression, ‘marketing just makes things look pretty’? My blood is just typing those words. Yes, making things look visually appealing is one part of marketing, but there’s so much more to the job than some realize. Mathew Sweezey, Principal of Marketing Insights at Salesforce, dropped even more advice for marketers on his second episode of Mobile Matters. Think of this recap like a mini therapy session for marketers.

Stop Being an Order Taker

I’ve never been great at handling a situation where people tell me to do something. When I was told to pick up my room growing up, I would passive-aggressively put away some socks to prove a point. Imagine my surprise when I chose a career in a field that usually gets depicted as an order taker 😑 . Marketers, how did we get here? More importantly, how can we change the narrative? Testing is how we will solve this issue, folks.

Don’t get me wrong – testing isn’t going to stop some people in your organization from giving you a few ‘helpful suggestions’ here and there, but the data will prove what the best strategy is. As someone who is early on in their career, I can fully appreciate how difficult it can be to counter a senior leader’s opinion. The data you get front the tests you run will make doing this ten times easier. Mathew suggests implementing something called a stretch budget ( like a line of credit). You need to have an upfront meeting with senior leaders, specifying that if you are able to prove a tactic has a phenomenal return, money can be set aside to invest further in that thing. But if it doesn’t yield the expected results, it’s time to give up on that idea.

Marketing Is Not a Secret Recipe

Top Chef is one of my favorite shows. I love to witness the chefs racing around the kitchen, collecting ingredients, all the while trying to keep what they’re cooking a secret. It’s comical – the other contestants can clearly see what they are cooking, plus, their dishes are so different from each other that catching a few glimpses won’t create a carbon copy of what the other is creating. As marketers, we have to stop acting like we’re contestants on this reality show.

Fireside chats that boast about how prosperous your marketing campaign was two years ago, without revealing any concrete takeaways aren’t helpful. And throwing a picture of your MarTech stack on LinkedIn without sharing any context is pointless. We want to know which platform you use for your video strategy, why you use them, and what your strategy is. We want to hear about your failures and how you pivoted your marketing strategy to turn it around. And FYI, what works for you may not work for me in my industry. Sharing real stories will turn you into a thought leader. Plus, other people will be inspired to follow in your footsteps, so you can learn a thing or two from other marketers. Talking about real sh*t is a win-win.

You Are a Kick A** Marketer 

Repeat after me: I am a kick a** marketer. We would be lying to ourselves if we didn’t say imposter syndrome gets the best of us sometimes. I’m going to go out on a limb and say most marketers reading this are Type A personality. We put this enormous pressure to achieve on ourselves, and when we don’t hit all of our goals, we feel as if we’ve failed. Mathew is the author of multiple books and he still feels an imposter sometimes. But here’s where testing comes into play, right? We will never grow if we always play it safe.

My other piece of advice to prove to yourself that you are in fact a kick a** marketer is to find yourself a great mentor. If your boss isn’t the host of a podcast titled, “REAL MARKETERS”, and you’re struggling to find a mentor outside of your organization, try looking in a marketing Slack channel. Or make a list of at least five marketers you want to learn from and reach out to them via LinkedIn. People love to give advice and talk about themselves, so I’m sure you won’t have any problem finding someone to talk to.

Being a marketer is hard. Consumer behavior is constantly changing, everyone has an opinion on how to do marketing, and we can feel like a failure if our idea doesn’t yield a high ROI. What works today, might not work tomorrow. But that’s part of the fun. We get to try new things every day. Being a marketer is tough, but I wouldn’t want any other career path. If this marketing therapy session wasn’t enough for you, subscribe to our REAL MARKETERS podcast. Stephanie’s not holding back this season. 💥