Last weekend I reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin Although I'm not yet finished with the book, it has lots of good gems in it. This one passage keeps coming back to me, though:
"A workaholic friend of mine bought a fancy new tennis racquet because he wants to play more tennis, but he still hasn't used it. The tennis racquet is an expression of his desire to change something in his life, but just making a purchase won't accomplish that. He could have focused on fixing his calendar, not on finding the right racquet."
You know me: everything makes me think about marketing, and this is no exception.
In our busy lives as B2B marketers, there is so much to do and so much to learn. It can be tough to know what to focus on. If you're like me, some days I simply feel overwhelmed thinking about everything I want to do. Where should I put my energy?
Thinking about the sentiment above, ask yourself this:
Are you needlessly working on things that aren't going to generate a return until something else is fixed? Fix the most important things things first.
Sounds obvious, but I see examples of this everywhere, and I bet you do, too. For instance:
Are you putting a lot of effort into writing blog posts or other content, but they aren't resonating with readers because you haven't taken the time figure out what your readers care about? Step back and work on buyer personas.
Or, maybe you understand the need for marketing automation (yeah!) and have invested in a solution to nurture leads, but you aren't getting the results you want. Your problem: You don't have the content to support this. Work on that first. (Want to learn more about this? Check out this thoughtful post from Adam Needles on why content needs to come first.)
Or maybe you are spending all of the time and effort driving traffic to your website, but no one is doing anything. Does your website clearly communicate what you need your readers need to do once they get there or are you losing your attention?
Sometimes, you really need to work backwards to figure out what to do next.
So today I challenge you to think about your marketing to-do list like this: are you investing in a new racquet or are you finding time in your calendar? Fix first things first!
I'd love to hear your examples of how marketers have done things backwards. Share them in the comments below!
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About the author: Michele is the Executive Editor of the Content Marketing Institute where where she works with a fabulous group of contributors who know a lot about content marketing. She's also a B2B content marketing consultant who has a passion for helping companies use content to connect with their ideal buyers. You can follow her on Twitter or read more of her posts on Savvy B2B.