There Are No Secrets to Great Marketing
It’s true – there are no secrets to great marketing. Everything that we, as marketers, do is on public display (and if it’s not, is it really marketing at all?). This places marketers in a unique position – every other function
in your company has the advantage of secrecy. Can you imagine if the engineering team was forced to post their source code on the company website, or the sales team recorded their customer meetings and published them?
This lack of secrecy is both a challenge and an opportunity. It’s a challenge because our competitors can (and frequently do) mimic our efforts and marketing strategies easily, making it that much harder to stay ahead and differentiate. At the same time, the opportunity comes from being able to learn easily from the best performers in every aspect of marketing.
The mistake that most make is that they pay way too much attention to the direct competitors in their space, and very little attention to the very best marketers in ANY space. The problem with chasing your direct competition is that your view is narrowed and if your competitors are just “okay” marketers, then you’ll stop improving at “okay.” Nobody wants an “okay marketer” on their resume (and since your marketing efforts are public, your work IS your resume).
Look outside your own 4 walls for marketing inspiration
- If you want to focus on building a compelling content marketing strategy, then spend some time with someone like Content Marketing Institute or HubSpot. How do they present content to you? What can you learn from their graphics & creative? There are also some great posts in these very pages on how to get up to speed in content marketing.
- Looking to up the ante with your email marketing program, then think about which companies consistently get you to open and respond to their emails. What is it about their subject lines that gets your finger on the trigger?
- Getting sick of seeing the same stock image of a cup of coffee, a MacBook and a reclaimed wood desk on your B2B website? Perhaps the B2C world is the best place to get your inspiration. For many B2C companies, their website is the sole storefront running their economic engine, so it’s a fair bet that they have spent a ton of time on design and testing. Why not learn from their efforts?
- See a company out there that is getting way more press than they deserve? Go check out their press releases. Is it their news that is driving the coverage? Is their PR firm doing a bang-up job on trendjacking breaking stories? Do they have a superstar spokesperson with undeniable charisma?
- Want to see how the experts build their email nurturing streams? Mosey over to Marketo and sign up for some of their content under an email address they don’t already have. How do they work to educate you through the buyer’s journey? If you’re really tricky, you can respond to offers and see how their marketing outreach changes to get some insights into their lead scoring.
The list goes on and on. Of course, you don’t always know what’s working for others, but if they’re at the top of their game, there’s a good chance that what you’re seeing is something that works for them. Regardless, it’s so incredibly easy to try new things out that you can see the results for yourself. From there, follow your existing measure-analyze-improve cycle to get superior results. No secrets necessary.
Rich Campagna drives product management and marketing strategy for Bitglass. Prior to joining Bitglass, Rich was senior director of product management at F5 Networks, responsible for access security, and at Juniper Networks, where he was responsible for SSL VPN, NAC, and mobile security product management and marketing. Follow Rich on Twitter or LinkedIn.