My daughter has recently given me a lesson in tenacity. A few weeks ago, she saw a girl swinging from the monkey bars at our local park. I immediately saw that look in her eyes and realised she had just taken on a new mission. At every opportunity for the past two weeks, we have been down the park and my daughter has been trying, trying and trying again to master the obstacle. It has been challenging and not without set-backs. On our second visit there was quite an impressive face-plant as she lost her grip, fell and tumbled forward, however, a quick daddy hug and she was back up there again.
My daughter definitely has the tenacious gene. If she decides on a goal, she will drive and drive until she achieves it. It is impressive and a lesson to us all; she is only six.
In terms of marketing, I have learned over the years that tenacity is not simply a desirable trait to have, but an essential trait.
Marketing is not easy
It really isn’t. There is no text book you can read that gives you a step by step guide to getting it right. The truth is, that ‘right’ is different for every organisation.
In marketing there are a lot of moving parts. What you sell, who you compete with, your target market, what their pain points and priorities are, and so on; and this just relates to how you articulate your proposition. When you drill down into marketing activity, it gets even more complex. Take organic search for example: what are the keywords that potential customers are using to find suppliers today, how do you beat the competition in the SERP rankings, etc, etc.
It is easy to accept good as good enough and salvage satisfaction on reaching micro-goals, while in reality you are miles away from your overriding objective.
Eyes on the prize
My son has an annoying phrase – “keep your eyes on the prize”. But it is also something that my daughter has focused on. In life we are taught to break a goal down into small achievable steps, however, does this work or does it just slow us down?
My daughter’s goal was to get to the other side of the monkey bars, traversing all eight of the hoops. Never did she consider getting to the second hoop before falling as a success.
As marketers we need to do more of this – have a clear goal and keep our eyes on the prize. Having a successful campaign that fills the top of the funnel is good: however top of the funnel does not pay the bills, you are only at hoop two.
In marketing, the ultimate goal is to contribute to revenue growth whether that be new customer acquisition, customer cross-sell/up-sell or customer retention. There are many things you can do to achieve this – but it is crucial that you focus on this goal and have the tenacity to achieve it. If the revenue number is not going up, then something needs to change. If it is growing, then what elements are making the greatest contribution to this? Can you be tenacious and improve this even further?
Back to the monkey bars – the goal is to get from one side to the other – it doesn’t matter how you do it. Once you have mastered that, you can then focus on doing it faster or with more panache.
So did my daughter achieve her goal? Too right she did: tenacity helped her to master traversing all eight of the monkey bars. Now she is focusing on being able to turn around at the end and traverse back.
Gary is the Managing Director of Cremarc, a specialist B2B marketing company that helps organisations to deliver effective marketing through storytelling, marketing automation and cleverly designed account based marketing. We have a number of workshop and coaching offerings that help people to maximise their investment in marketing automation.