True marketing maxims

Slogans I choose to apply to my business life

As I’ve climbed–occasionally stumbling–up the path in my marketing career, I’ve collected some helpful maxims along the way: pithy sayings that have proven truth in them.

Some have inspired me. Others have helped guide me to the next level of knowledge, skill and career. I thought I’d share a few of them and let you know how I try to apply them.

The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing

This is attributed to the late Steven R. Covey, the well-known author of a number of best-selling books, the most famous of which is probably The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People–a book well worth reading (or re-reading for that matter).

I use this particular saying to remind the clients I work with, and myself, to keep marketing strategies and tactics tightly focused on driving sales leads.

I strongly believe that all other marketing objectives are secondary, especially for marketers with limited budgets who don’t have a lot of money to waste. These secondary objectives should come along for the ride while you are focusing your marketing activities on trying to convince potential buyers to raise their hands and express interest in your products or services.

Just do it

In my Marketing for Leads and SalesTM seminars and workshops, I like to quote Nike’s slogan: Just do it.

In other words, when it comes to marketing, stop thinking about it and get it done and get it on its way to prospects. Marketing that never leaves the drawing board doesn’t help you build your business.

Measure twice. Cut once

A web search found more than a million webpages featuring this gem. It was probably said first by some wise old carpenter who didn’t have a board stretcher handy!

When it comes to marketing, I believe this motto means you should think things through carefully before you act. Pay special attention to the Domino Effect, where one thing leads to another. For example, if you make an offer on your website, do you have the requested information or materials ready to go? Or, if you invite someone to a webinar, what will your follow up activities be?

Good enough is good enough

I think I came up with this one on my own, specifically to avoid getting stuck in the “tweek it again”  mode. However, a web search shows that even marketing guru Seth Goodin, the best-selling author of marketing books, is thinking about good enough too. So I must be on to something.

I have to admit that I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I could easily find myself fiddling with my marketing communications plans, campaigns or materials for months.

Instead, I’ve had to teach myself, and my clients, to aim for the best results instead of aiming for perfection when it comes to marketing.

Your brand is the promise that you keep, not the one you make

Kristin Zhivago, my friend and author of Rivers or Revenue, coined this phrase a few years back.

What this means to me is that all the brand marketing in the world doesn’t matter if the experience the prospect (or someone they know) has with your company is bad.

Want to build a great brand for your company? Instead of investing a bundle financing a snazzy new logo or wasting a truckload of money on brand advertising, invest in making sure that all the touchpoints your company has with its prospects and customers are enhancing the brand rather than hurting it.

And then some

I heard this saying early in my career. Sadly, I can’t remember who said it. However, it has become one of my mottos for customer service.

In other words, try to do everything your clients expect, and then some. The “and then some” might be an offer to provide some follow-up consulting by phone at no additional charge. (As a bonus in my case, these follow-up consultations often lead to additional projects.) Or, an unexpected gift basket as a “thank you” for their business.

I suggest you try “and then some” on for size. See if it fits. If it does, it might just help you build your brand.

Do you have any additional marketing maxims to share? If so, please comment below. If I think I can use them (with proper attribution of course) in future articles, blog posts or webinars, I’ll send you a bright yellow “Marketing Genius’ t-shirt.

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