This holiday season has been an extended time of self-reflection for me, which is saying a lot because I feel like I’m in a state of constant self-reflection. I haven’t written this newsletter in the last three months and even before the break I was infrequently writing. I have always written this newsletter as a way to speak to myself with the goal of understanding the world of marketing better along with spending time to truly think about what I want my role to be in this industry.
Those last three or four newsletters before the break were often bleak, my frustration with an industry that wants to emotionally manipulate people in exchange for money was bleeding through. To be honest, it still is. The role of digital marketing means that you have to align yourself with the objections not only of your employer, but also Facebook, Google, Microsoft and the other tech giants. You don’t learn SEO to only help your company, you also help Google become a better search engine and in turn make more money.
My period of self-reflection has primarily been about what I want out of my life. Does my vision match my actions? Are the tasks I did today/yesterday/last week match where I want to go in life? This has all led to some drastic changes in my life professionally.
In essence I was climbing the wrong mountain. It has been a beautiful trail, with many great sights to see. But in the end, it is the wrong mountain. I can’t announce anything yet and I’m scared out of my mind what my life will look like at this time next year, but I know what I’ve been doing over the last 2 years isn’t the right path. And the longer I keep doing the wrong thing, it is less time I spend on finding the right thing. The right thing won’t just land in my lap, I have to go find it.
Look for changes soon. Just as plants go dormant in the winter and shed all their beauty, remember they soon come back to life in the Spring bigger, brighter, and more beautiful than ever.
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Stop acting like everyone is your customer
One of the things that truly irks me about modern marketing is their disconnect with their customers and the job they need done. Rather than knowing why a customer would contact a company and what the customer needs done, we lean too heavily on thinking that everyone is a potential customer, they just don’t know it yet.
This leads to what we have today. Interruptions around every corner, upselling on every page, perpetual UI and UX changes that only satisfy the sales team, not the customer. I have been fascinated by the “jobs-to-be-done” framework for sometime and I try to implement it in as much marketing as possible. You don’t invent a product or service and try to find a market. You need to learn what job your customer needs done and provide a compelling solution. Remember your customers want the transaction over as fast as possible so they can move on with the rest of their lives.
This is a great read about this framework.
Know Your Customers’ “Jobs to Be Done”
- What is Growth Marketing? A Beginner’s Guide
- Lean into Email in 2022: An Interview with iContact’s Hank Hoffmeier
This is an interesting read and for the most part I agree that companies should be emphasizing first-party data and communicating with their customers via email. Just don’t get lost in thinking that customer privacy is bad for your business. If you create good content and provide a compelling product that helps the customer do their job (whatever that “job” is), then not knowing their favorite color, the last 5 sites they viewed, their commute route to work, won’t affect your efforts. In reality those other metrics are weird, creepy, invasive, and just added noise.
Everything lead to this moment in time | Leadership – Coaching – Life
It is easy to look back and think, “I should have done X” or “I wish I would have done Y earlier.” But, everything that has happened in your life and everything you have done is what brought you to this moment. It would not be possible without what you have done in the past – good or bad, profitable or expensive – and the experiences you gained along the way.
Remember that the right time to do something is today. We all often look into the past and use it as a way to procrastinate what we actually want. We get this feeling that we missed our opportunity and now it is too late. It is never too late. Start today. All your past experiences have led you to this point. I give you permission. Go do it and don’t look back. The only path is forward.
Read the full video transcript here.