What can one of the 4 Mount Rushmore presidents teach us about marketing?
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
– Theodore Roosevelt
We’re all guilty of it as building product industry marketers. I’ve heard it countless times myself. I’m talking about making excuses for why we can’t do something.
We have a small staff. We can’t get that information. We have a limited budget. Our budget got reduced by 20%. The head of sales won’t work with us. Those are the kinds of statements I thought of when I read this quote from President Theodore Roosevelt. And I don’t think he was saying to be complacent or accept the status quo; that was never an option for TR and it shouldn’t be one for you, the building product marketer. So what can we do, as marketers?
- Don’t spend time on it if it’s not aligned with the business goals: quite often, an organization has a long-standing commitment to something that doesn’t make sense with the business today. It might be a tradeshow that used to be the industry event, a publication that you’re always advertised in or a customer event you’ve always supported. There should be no sacred cows in your marketing.
- Make sure you’re collecting usable data: for too long, we had to frequently justify mass media as being solely a branding effort. After all, how could we tie it directly to results? Now, with the ability to create and track unique URLs, use tracking phone numbers and create QR codes, it’s possible to tie results back to every single piece of communication possible. Start doing that, and it becomes a lot easier to decide where your dollars should best be spent – no more sacred cows in the media plan either.
- Automate It: technology has made it easier for us to automate so many things that used to require time from internal staff. Want to trigger reminder campaigns? Tie your sales data into your email marketing platform, set the business rules and let the system run. Tired of creating custom spreadsheets with pivot tables and other data visualizations? Look at marketing automation/analytics platforms, of which there are many.
- Bring in strategic partners: we’re all being asked to do more with less, but we can’t all be experts at everything. Maybe you can’t afford a full-time website designer and developer, but hiring a website development firm to build a site with a content management system (CMS) that your staff can use to update the site might be just the ticket.
It’s easy to say something can’t be done, but it’s an incredible experience to overcome all those obstacles and achieve the goals in place for the business. I think that’s what TR had in mind, and the organization he was leading had more problems than we’ve ever had to consider, as marketers.