The Myth of the 10x Marketer – How to Multiply Impact

As humans, we love stories.

It’s how we chronicle the values of our cultures. It’s how we teach moral truths to our children. It’s how we express ourselves.

In these stories, there’s one figure that pops up time and time again—the larger-than-life character, the hero, the myth.  Whether it be Odysseus or Iron Man, Athena or Wonder Woman, we associate with and attach our hopes to these figures that seem to be able to do it all and withstand anything. In other cases, though, we can become discouraged by these figures, feeling that we might never compare to them.

Is this what we marketers have done to ourselves with the advent of the legendary 10x marketer?

After all, don’t we all have enough on our plates without having to also live up to the standard of becoming marketing gods?

A concept originating from Seth Godin and developed further by Scott Brinker, the 10x marketer refers to a modern marketer that is capable of producing significantly more value than the average marketer. Keep reading and decide for yourself whether the 10x marketer is fact or fiction and whether it is helpful or harmful to the progress of marketing.

We Live in Complicated (Marketing) Times

Of course, many would argue that we live in complicated times in general. When it comes to marketing, though, we’re seeing vast transformations in the way our jobs are done and the way that consumers are reacting to this. Firstly, software disruptions are rumbling across the entire spectrum of industries. From Netflix to Uber to Marketo, the way business is being done is simply transforming. Accordingly, we’re able to do things faster with better software in terms of both our day-to-day lives as well as in our roles as marketers in an increasingly technological space.

As if that weren’t enough, your audience has (likely) adjusted to these changes much faster than your organization has. Their lives are consumed by the quantity of digital information, causing attention spans to decrease and expectations for brands to increase.

And while the solutions to deal with this landscape are more than available, when it comes to marketing technology, marketers are facing the same issue that their own audiences are facing—information overload. Chief Martec reported that there are over 3,500 marketing technology companies in existence today. Not only does this represent a 2,233% increase from 2011, Chief Martec actually estimates that this number only covers around 25% of the known universe of marketing technology solutions.

Of course, this creates an overwhelming amount of options. What is also does, though, is create an overwhelming amount of data, leaving organizations with no single point of truth. Couple that with the ubiquitous marketing skills gap, and you’ve got yourself quite the pickle.

This is where our hero comes in.

The 10x Marketer is Saving the Day

The 10x marketer may not be wearing a cape when he walks into the office, but he’s definitely saving lives (or at least some time, money, and effort).

And while there may be many specific, tactical ways to deal with the above problems, what sets the 10x marketer apart is not necessarily technical know-how (though that’s important too). Instead, it comes down to mindset—the ability to navigate complexities while fostering innovation and maintaining scalability.

Where your average marketer would crack under this pressure, the 10x marketers rise to the occasion and thrive by making order out of chaos.

Characteristics of agility, foresight, intuition, and persistence are essential. And yet, so are the qualities of objectivity and self-awareness—realizing that an effort may have failed, learning from it, and moving on.

The 10x marketer will be able to function outside of his or her marketing expertise, too. The complexities detailed above aren’t just affecting marketing, they’re affecting every aspect of business and of life. Only those marketers with a well-rounded view of their organization as a whole will bring their teams to success.

Admittedly, the 10x marketer is beginning to sound a little more like a myth at this point. If you’re wondering, who has all of those qualities and who has time to do all of that, you’re not alone.

The Marketing Multiplier Effect

The secret to the 10x marketer isn’t doing more, it’s achieving more. Along the same lines, being busy isn’t the same thing as being productive—an admittedly difficult distinction in today’s day in age. By utilizing the tools at their fingertips and setting their teams up for success, 10x marketers multiply impact instead of increasing efforts. Ultimately, the 10x marketer simply better deals with the complexity in the marketing space.

In fact, the talent to become a 10x marketer has always existed. What’s different now is the access to technology and software that is allowing marketers to increase the impact of their talent and efforts. According to Fathom’s Director of Technology Efi Golan, “Marketers’ talents were never in question! Now, amplified by marketing technology, marketers can really have a tremendous impact on an organization. The increase in impact will bring to life the rise of the 10X marketer and it’s going to happen because of software.”

What this 10x marketer truly is is a combination of a new set of traits that are becoming increasingly necessary to survive in the marketing space. According to Golan, the qualities of a 10x marketer include:

  • Technical depth
  • Business acumen
  • Creative flair
  • Ability to inspire and lead each other
  • Flexibility and adaptability

The 10x marketer doesn’t create success on his or her own, though. Instead, the success of the 10x marketer is achieved by making strategic decisions around technology adoption and team structure and then rallying the team around these crucial choices, achieving optimal impact from each investment.

Bringing the Hero to Life

When misunderstood, the 10x marketer may, unfortunately, function as an unrealistic ideal. When properly applied, though, it serves as a model for amplifying results. Ultimately, it should give marketers an idea of what’s possible when you leverage modern technology to your advantage.

Note: This article was adapted from a presentation by Fathom’s Efi Golan, titled Rise of the 10x Marketer


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Did you like this post? Let us know why (or why not) in the comments. In the meantime, check out our blog Blurred Lines: The De-Silo-Ing of Marketing to discover why breaking down organizational silos is key to staying agile and ahead of your competition.

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