Does your marketing have a real purpose? Do you know why you create content? Are you telling people something they have not heard before?
In marketing, going through the motions can be easy. Manuals can help you “paint by numbers.” Software exists that allows you to program messages without thinking, on a very wide scale. You can publish and blast content to every corner of the Web (and every last inbox). But I encourage everyone to think about the actual impact of what you do on your users.
Who cares what you are saying? I don’t say this flippantly. Really, you need to ask who the audience is for whatever you’re creating—and does it care? If the answer is ‘no,’ you probably shouldn’t do it. This question is instinctive to creators, but not always to marketers. Good creators know their work doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and create accordingly. By contrast, some (measurement-obsessed, data-driven) marketers are incapable of looking anywhere but at the numbers, which results in backwards vision, as opposed to innovation or captivation: The stuff of creation.
To illustrate, Fathom’s vision is to inspire transformation. We want to be your steady, trusted advisor that makes order … in a rapidly and continually changing world of marketing. To inspire transformation means creating strategic differentiation. It means collaborating on a plan to motivate your own audience. It means challenging yourself (and your organization) to look in the mirror and find what you have that truly inspires. It is not always easy, yet it is necessary. And it is not for everyone.
Plan all the way to the end
Strong vision makes everything associated with it stronger, because the weight of a unifying theme enhances messages and variations on that theme. Strong vision allows marketers to plan around a lofty goal, stage by stage. All the steps add up more easily when supported by an ultimate end. (No small wonder “Plan all the way to the end” is one of The 48 Laws of Power.) Determine a grand goal, and you can then interpret/apply all marketing within that framework.
Having an end in mind also enables you to be ahead of competitors who are still wondering what the next move is. It prevents you from making random pivots because you will have a reason for changing course, a destination governing your journey. By the time competitors figure out how to react, you’ll be far past them. If the game of marketing is like 13-dimensional chess, then the one who has the best vision is the one that wins. The ones without a governing philosophy are floating from tactic to tactic without rhyme or reason. That’s just the truth. And the truth is powerful. So is marketing supported by a compelling, clearly articulated vision.
Photo courtesy of Jason Jenkins via Flickr.