I've been a student of marketing now for decades. I teach it, I practice it, I study it, and I always seem to be running fast just to keep up...which is exactly why marketing is so exciting today. So that I never overthink the subject, the profession or its complexities, I always come back to the simplicity of Regis McKenna's iconic February, 1991 HBR article, "Marketing is Everything", which still rings true today...maybe even more so today...as I re-read this morning just one paragraph from the article.
- Marketing today is not a function; it is a way of doing business.
- Marketing is not a new ad campaign or this month’s promotion.
- Marketing has to be all-pervasive, part of everyone’s job description.
- Its job is neither to fool the customer nor to falsify the company’s image.
- It is to integrate the customer into the design of the product and to design a systematic process for interaction that will create substance in the relationship.
Yea, I might change the word, "substance" in that last sentence and substitute "customer value", but other than that small nuance, everything still works for me 30 years later.
Not to take on the much bigger subject of marketing as I kick off the semesters at MIT and at Tufts, I thought that I would bring the subject down to the N-of-1, and talk about how one markets oneself.
After all, if, as sales and marketing experts, we can't market the most important product-ourselves-correctly, then how can we ever expect to market the products and services of our companies?
September is the perfect time to ramp up marketing and selling activities!
- Plenty of time between now and December to close deals and get over quota!
- Budgets for 2021 will be set during the next 60 days.
- Most people are in a "back-to-work" mentality after "a summa' like no other".
Currently, at our own firm, we're deep into a number of sales and marketing process projects, and as a result, we're looking for a number of new sales and marketing players for our clients. We have an in-house recruiting arm, so we're relatively experienced in the process and the science and methodology of recruiting. That being said, when we're recruiting marketing associates and management, we do expect to see candidates take the process...and themselves...to the next level, since after all, they're professional marketing and salespeople.
a few Factoids on looking for a job:
- We believe that this is an excellent time to be looking and also to hire.
- Overall, average resumes for all jobs, get looked at between 6 and 7 seconds.
- Resumes for management positions get reviewed a bit longer for 12 to up to 15 seconds.
- First pass decisions are made - Yes, No & Maybe. "Maybes" get another 5-8 seconds.
- It's very common to use the resume only to copy the name and see what their LI shows.
The Search for a Marketing Manager
We have a small, well-established, brand-name software client we're now looking to scale which led us to a current recruiting process for a marketing manager.
- First, we went to 25+ of our favorite marketing managers asking for "guidance & connections".
- The next day, we broadened our search to a narrowed-down LI focused on specific parameters.
- One day later we posted the position on Indeed with detailed parameters.
- 3 days after we began, we had over 300 "pretty-good" resumes.
- 1 day later, we had narrowed those down to 75 and then to 21.
- Then we dug in: total years, # of jobs, education, skills match, stated metrics & resume format.
- Then we matched that against their Linked Ins looking at format & recommendations.
Here's what we found from the 21 before we contacted anyone:
- 3 did not have LI profiles-immediately out- "Easy No"
- 1 had no LI picture and less than 300 connections-immediately out - "Easy No"
- 3 had the standard blue star LI backdrop-immediately out-"Easy No". This is a marketing job!
- 7 were "pretty good", not exceptional, did not market a differentiated product-"The Maybes"
- 7 others matched their resumes exactly to their LI.
- The same 7 had "different", attention-getting" resume and LI formats.
- The same 7 spelled out their skills matched with marketing metrics & ROI results.
- The same 7 had LI recommendations.
- The same 7 did not waste time with a boring "a cover letter email".
- The same 7 did research matching their specific values props to our client.
- The same 7 gave their emails and cell phones under the LI "more info" button.
- We're now in the process of detailed discussions and will present 5 to our client.
The Marketing of me...and you
In 2014, Lindsay Kirchoff, one of my brilliant Tufts students began her blog, "How to Market to Me", landing her not only numerous job offers but speaking gigs at major companies. Today, Lindsay is a very successful independent marketer and editor and continues to diligently market herself with her own distinct and welcoming style.
When my friend, David Meerman Scott, world-renowned marketing speaker and author, called me one New Year's Day and asked me for my best intern, I immediately called Lindsay, and she jumped into the job, and David has continued to mention her in every (now 7th) edition of his iconic book, The New Rules of PR and Marketing.
I have continued to provide my best interns for David, and in 2019 he selected David Levitsky, another marketing and sales rock star, who just graduated last May from Tufts.
My very close friend, Dan Tyre, Director, Hubspot, is a superb sales guy, an extraordinary marketing personality and a superb author in his highly respected "The Inbound Organization". A gifted speaker, author, adviser, mentor, investor, and board member, Dan speaks on head-turning topics such as "How to Be Your Own Best Cheerleader without Ruffling other People's Pom Poms" and "How I generated 1,000 customers from one blog article".
This picture btw comes from one of Dan's and my periodic breakfasts at Hubspot's main office, and the notebook is where Dan takes copious notes on every meeting.
I've learned as much about the real world of marketing and especially social media from my good friend, Jamie Turner, than I have from anyone. Internationally known speaker, author and creator of "The 60 Second Marketer", Jamie has mentored me through what video cameras to buy and tons of social hints from his blog that I have translated into my MIT and Tufts courses. Jamie will be one of our featured lecturers in my Tufts course this semester, a course in which both Dan and David have also spoken from time to time.
Lindsay Kirchoff, taught me about "The Marketing of Me". David continues to educate me in "The New Rules". Dan has mentored me through the tactics of value marketing and relentlessly is pushing me to video. I'm slowly getting there through Vidyard and Hubspot. And I've watched Jamie build a powerhouse brand from what began as a blog and has now branched into books, speaking engagements and his becoming a marketing professor at the University of Texas.
Bottom line here is that if you want to really market yourself for that new job, that promotion or merely the building of your brand, then connect yourself with mentors and coaches that you can learn from and are meaningful for you personally in what they do.
The marketing of Me & You:
If I return to the basics of McKenna's "Marketing is Everything", then in order for me...or, more importantly, for you...to market our most important product-ourselves...
- the processes we use,
- the tools that allow us to communicate and stand out,
- the specific value propositions that tie exactly to our targeted personas,
- the language and style we use in creating our own persona,
- the balance of that language somewhere between "a little pushy" and "even keel",
- and every exacting metric that needs to be marketed.
If you miss a step in your own marketing of you since this is an increasingly complex world in which we receive in one media or another over 3,000 marketing messages a week, (some wanted, mostly not) then you just may find yourself on the outside of the window looking in asking "what about me?" And, of course you wouldn't want that to ever happen, when, in fact you're the best!
PLANNING FOR THE FALL:
Every "normal" summer, I rewrite the content for my courses at Tufts and MIT. Typically, I edit 25% of the content of case studies, research and classroom material from the prior semester. This summer, I just scrapped everything and started over, which took me half of July and all of August. The prior HBR case studies were no longer relevant, the tactical experiments made no sense and the overall content just seemed "old and outdated".
I also spent time updating our Writing the Winning Business Plan and Writing the Winning Sales Plan ebooks even though I had gone through the process of an extensive rewrite back in January. Take a look and let me know what you think.
Since we believe strongly that true success in any business needs to have the very best in Marketing and Sales processes, tools, and people, we're very excited to be part of two upcoming informative, highly tactical and fun events. Dial in and connect to these highly tactical and timely events:
- Providence Chamber of Commerce Sales Boot Camp-6 Strategies for Success
Two full mornings on September 21st & 22nd plus individual call-in times later that week.
Hosted by our close friends at the Chamber. Very low price, very high value! Check it out!
- Selling & Marketing in a Covid World
9:00-10:30, September 22nd.
Hosted by our close friends at Katz, Nannis & Solomon. Very high value! Check it out!
Have a great day selling today as we move forward into embracing the changes this fall will bring!
CONFIDENTIAL SOUNDING BOARD
If at any time, you have a need for a confidential sounding board in business planning or for Sales or Marketing, just connect with me at any time. Text or email me, and I will quickly set up a call.
I'm a pretty good listener. Obviously, no cost for a call or two; just an opportunity to listen intently and make a few recommendations based on decades of experience.
Be safe, be positive, be a marketing pro!
Have a great week!