Lightning-fast speed, twists, and turns: welcome to Roller Coaster Marketing.
The first step to bracing for the wild ride of marketing is to accept that it will indeed be a wild ride.
Once you've committed, there are four key qualities that will help you instill confidence in your marketing strategy despite the ups and downs. These four marketing cornerstones are essential to your stability.
Organizationally, a cornerstone represents a key quality that the organization is built around. And when it comes to marketing, when you build around these four qualities and you’ll be well on your way to instilling confidence with every decision you make.
The Four Marketing Cornerstones are:
These cornerstones don’t stand alone. They are set on the foundation of your Mission, Vision and Values statements. Your Mission, Vision and Values statements will guide what you are consistent about, what you are driven to be proactive regarding, what communication avenues and expectations you align with and how you portray positivity in your unique company culture. So, it’s essential to have your mission, vision and values statements clearly defined as an organization (or even just as a department).
It’s easy to say “be consistent” or “be proactive” or “communicate better”, but what does that really mean to your organization and how do you weave these qualities into your culture so that they are truly integrated into day-in-day-out operations? And, why is it these qualities that are the cornerstones and not something else?
Let’s start by taking a look at what each cornerstone is. Then, download a handy guide to help you internalize these in your organization.
Cornerstone One: Be consistent
Whether things are great or not great, be consistent in the information you provide to your leadership team. Additionally, project consistency with your own demeanor, attitude and communication.
In good times – while there is less scrutiny – providing data, innovative ideas and scenario planning, along with poise and calmness, will boost confidence in your personal leadership skills and presence as well as in your strategic business and marketing mindset.
Cornerstone Two: Be proactive
Instead of reacting to whatever comes your way, embrace an enterprising mindset and plan for a variety of scenarios. By being proactive, you are putting drops in the bucket so that when the inevitable comes – the “enhanced” scrutiny caused by an economic downturn or recession – your voice in the decision making, especially pertaining to strategy, budget, and the department personnel – will have much more resonance. You will have a full bucket to pull from (and you’ll need it!).
Cornerstone Three: Be communicative
If leadership isn’t hearing from your department, it can give a poor impression that sabotages confidence. Assumptions are commonly made in the mystery of silence, and they don’t tend to have a positive bent. If your leadership team has a feel for what is happening under your purview, it will provide provenance as well as ownership from those that have the final say regarding budget and staffing. This directly affects your team and your goals – and the organization at large – both in the short and long term. It would be in everyone’s best interests if you were to err on the side of over-communication.
Cornerstone Four: Be positive
It’s okay to experience stress, we all do. However, acting stressfully puts others on edge and strips them of confidence in you and your leadership. Take a deep breath and make sure your head is straight before you interact with others. It is important that you get the support that you need as a leader so that you can in-turn provide the lift your team needs (and not contribute to the problem instead). People rely on you to set the tone and provide feedback and direction. If you are spiraling and frantic, they will feel unsteady and be unproductive.
An “I think I can, I think I can!” attitude bolsters confidence. A Debbie Downer “The sky is falling!” mindset can pervade your team, deflating their enthusiasm and tanking their energy. You need positive group energy to face tough obstacles and prevail. Be positive and protect the team’s energy and zeal.
We're all living in the world of Roller Coaster Marketing. Putting these four marketing cornerstones into place with your team will help your team understand the “why” behind everything as well as equip everyone to handle the “what” and the “how” that they need to address no matter what is happening in the marketplace.