What I’m about to tell you may cost me money.
Our company could benefit from me presenting myself as an intimidating expert who attends all the conferences, a member of the “growth hacking” elite, uniquely capable of bestowing growth on your company like a magic spell (for a fee, of course).
But that’s not who we are at Timeshare CMO.
We think growth marketing is a democratic skill that every company can employ. Everyone should be able to use the techniques pioneered here in Silicon Valley, whether you’re a unicorn tech startup or a family-owned business. We have learned by experience that well-informed clients are the best clients, in both results and relationships.
When it comes to being a great growth marketer, there’s no complicated formula, no matter what agencies and “thought leaders” say. That’s because being great at marketing has far more to do with who you are and how you think than any other attribute.
You may never spend a dime with us. But your company will make more money, guaranteed, if you as a marketer (and by extension, your team) embody these four secret principles:
1. Have empathy for your customers. Love them. Listen to them.
Understand them, dig in to their problems and feel their pain, their hopes, and their dreams. If you're in b2b, make your customers heroes on the job (that's one of our company's great pleasures in this business). If you're in b2c, understanding your customers' pain and desires makes it much easier to make their lives happier, easier, or safer.
2. Hone your communication inside the company as much as you do outside it.
For your clients, you're at the intersection of their company and the market. It’s your job to wrangle engineer-speak, business-speak, sales-speak, and design-speak into a message, a strategy, and a way to COMMUNICATE with your company's customers.
But you also have to own communication INSIDE your own company, because brands are only established through consistent communications to keep everyone—sales, product, exec staff, and customer support—aligned in their connections with customers. On top of that, good communication creates more effective teams. When people feel heard, a more authentic workplace emerges, where everyone is empowered to work together and fix problems faster.
3. Measure Your Work.
If we're not driving business results, why are we here? CMOs have the shortest tenure in the C-Suite, in part because it’s very hard to associate their hard work to tangible business results. Longevity in your marketing career is directly tied to your ability to both get results and to communicate those wins—to convince your peers and CEO that you (and your team’s) efforts were actually a driving force behind the business’s wins.
Keeping track of results, good or bad, is how you keep yourself and your team motivated and helps you communicate your team’s progress within your organization so you can get the budgets and staffing you need.
4. Get Stuff Done, Every Day.
Ideas aren't the problem in marketing. After all, everyone thinks they can drink scotch and come up with ideas just like Don Draper in “Mad Men.” The reality is that 80% of effective marketing is the discipline of daily, weekly, and monthly efforts, measured over quarters and years. Just like everyone wants to be a novelist but few can sit in the chair every day for a year, so it is with marketing. There are no silver bullets, only the discipline required to produce consistent results.
It may seem overly simple, but these principles are harder to live by than they look. In fact, you should be suspicious of programs that promise the world and complicate everything. The physicist Richard Feynman was once asked by a Caltech faculty member to explain a complicated scientific principle, and responded, "I’ll prepare a freshman lecture on it." But a few days later he returned and said, "You know, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t reduce it to the freshman level. That means we really don’t understand it." So don’t be blinded by hype, fancy degrees, and confusing, jargon-filled “growth hacking” posts. When it comes to execution, then yes, experience and technical knowledge can save you time and money. But until then, whether you’re an aspiring CMO, a marketer engaging an agency, or an entrepreneur looking to hire a marketer, implement these four principles to grow and find success.