Marketing: Being True To Yourself – Avoid Blindly Following Others
Be careful of who you follow in your marketing – for they may lead you to a place you may not want to go.
When I attend marketing classes or webinars or talk with business owners at our numerous meetups, I am struck by how easily people tend to follow what others suggest them to do.
Now, I am not averse to good advice/coaching, or for that matter bad advice or coaching – how would you ever really know which is which – even if you succeed or fail?
What I am more concerned about is the lack of thinking that goes into the decision-making around marketing strategy.
Ellen Langer (one of my heroines in science) wrote about this in one of her books – she calls it mindlessness (the opposite is mindfulness which is not
spiritual or meditative – but more about the following.
- Not being open to information that may point in a contrarian way. This is not necessarily about being a rebel or a revolutionary but more about being open to the information
- Not considering other categories or styles of thinking
- Not open to different perspectives
There is another form of mindlessness: when you fail to see what would work for you rather than trying to fit another person’s winning sales formula onto your business. This may be like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole – it may not fit! If it does fit, you are lucky .. for now – but luck has a habit of running out.
- Define clearly what you want to see happen in your marketing efforts in the next one year.
- Be specific with your measures of success e.g. at least $550k of gross income for the next calendar year.
- Define the possible strategies that will help you fulfill those goals.
- Does the strategy address possible and probable failure points?
- Set up frequent dialogue opportunities with a coach or friend or business mentor to go over your strategies to see if they are working.
- Does the strategy ‘feel right’ to you? If not, what is missing to have it ‘feel right’?
And lastly, one of the most important things you can do is sit quietly and assess whether this is in integrity with your higher self.
Integrity In Marketing: Why This Is Critical For Business And Leadership
Integrity implies two things for me.
- An alignment or ‘consistency’ in your context, values, actions and results.
- Nothing missing – all parts are contained.
Notice that this definition has little to do with what is right or wrong. Of course, I mean and intend to do what is right and avoid wrong – but it is not the driving force of integrity. Integrity for me has to do with alignment/consistency and having nothing missing for the fulfillment of my intentions.
Integrity in Marketing can go awry when:
- There is no alignment between your context, values, actions and results.
- Too many things are missing in the full conveyance of your marketing message.
Let’s cover these in a little more detail:
1. Alignment between your context, values, actions and results.
Someone once asked Warren Buffett how he became so successful or wealthy.
Without hesitation or blinking, he answered and I paraphrase: “Unlike most other people, I have all my gears going in the same direction.”
Your context could be your mission or vision – it is what expresses the future of your objectives and overall experience (for yourself and others). It is powerful to have a mission or vision statement – I use this as the ‘anchor’ or set of guiding principles for constructing integrity in marketing strategies and tactics.
Starting with and always having a mission or vision statement staring you in the face – one that dominates you and your business in a positive way – will help you stay consistent in your messaging and expression of what is in your company’s future (and in the client’s future). This helps you keep all your gears going in the same direction.
2. Too many things are missing in the full conveyance of your marketing message.
This occurs for example when you neglect or forget to put in messaging that expresses your context, values, and actions.
- What are the things that are missing in your system that you need to put in place?
- What are the decisions that have not been made that need to be made?
- What are the actions that need to be taken that have fallen to the wayside?
- What is missing that you know you need to put in in order to have your integrity in marketing not only working but representing you, your context, vision and values well?
- List out what is missing or not aligned in your marketing systems and strategies.
- Create a set of action items to resolve what is missing or not aligned.
- Schedule times to take these actions OR delegate them to someone else to get done.
Since 1991, I’ve been reflecting on, designing, and implementing methodologies and systems for bringing a transcendent, creative and innovative approach to critical aspects of entrepreneurship.