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5 Tips to Become a Better Marketer

by Jacob Morgan  |  
April 28, 2009

Let's start off by discussing what marketing is. According to the American Marketing Association (from Wikipedia)...

"Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. The term developed from the original meaning which referred literally to going to market, as in shopping, or going to a market to buy or sell goods or services."
The above tasks are by no means easy, especially now during our less than stellar economy. Marketers have fascinating yet challenging jobs that essentially boil down to making business work. I was thinking about a few things that marketers can do to help improve their game and wanted to share those things with you.

Stay up to date with technology

Technology is shaping how we market to and build relationships with our users. We have tools that let you communicate to the world instantly, social networks that allow you to build fan pages, applications that can tell what store carries a particular product and for how much, etc. As a marketer you need to be aware of the new technologies out there and how they could potentially impact how you do business.

Create conversations not broadcasts

Broadcast messages are dead, they are just too easy to ignore and tune out. Instead of focusing on creating broadcast messages to large groups of people, shift strategies and try to create conversations with your marketing tactics. The more flow of information you can create the better.

Communicating the new

It's no secret that the marketing landscape is changing. It's not enough to just want to be a part of the new type of marketing. You have to be able to understand why you want to be a part of it and how to communicate that to senior execs. Take twitter as a simple example. Would you be able to justify using twitter for business to your boss? Part of marketing is being unique and standing out, being the "purple cow;" the other part is communicating why and how you are going to become that "purple cow." Desire and ideas will only get you so far, you have to back up your actions and decisions.

Metrics and measurement

Part of being an effective marketer is the ability to show results. How do you do this? by identifying metrics that tie in with your marketing objectives and then showing those metrics increasing. How do you justify the cost for a billboard ad or a television commercial? How do you justify creating a facebook fan page or a twitter account? Learn how to use online analytics and measurement tools and make sure you understand how to correlate your metrics with your actions.

Listening and responding

As a marketer you should be keenly listening to, observing, and engaging in the conversations and discussions that are going on around your product or service. Pay attention to what your users want and don't want what they like and don't like. Technology has created virtually free ways for marketers to monitor their brand and create online focus groups. Much of the information a marker needs can be found online for free (or can be gathered). If your customers complain, listen, if they talk to you, respond. This is how you can keep your conversations from turning into broadcasts.
There are several other things that can be added to this list but I'd rather hear from you. What are some of your tips for becoming a better a marketer?

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Jacob is a social business consultant and principal of Chess Media Group, a social business consultancy that focuses on two practices areas:

  1. Social-Collaborative Workplaces - Helping companies understand how they can use social tools and strategies to collaborate internally to meet business objectives (enterprise 2.0)
  2. Social Business - Helping companies understand how they can use social tools and strategies externally to meet business objectives through relationships with customers.

Previously Jacob ran a startup in the social media space and prior to that he worked at a marketing agency. Jacob has worked on or with brands such as Sprint, Salesforce, Adobe, Conde Nast, and Sandisk. Jacob is also the author of Twittfaced a social media 101 book for business a Power 150 AdAge ranked blogger and has been quoted/featured by the Wall Street Journal, Zdnet, and Mediapost.

Jacob is passionate about people and ideas and is an active adage ranked blogger on all things related to social media and marketing. You can read his social business and enterprise 2.0blog.

Jacob is passionate about traveling, chess, people, and ideas. Be sure to stop by and say hello to him on on twitter!

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  • by Abigail Tue Apr 28, 2009 via blog

    Hi Jacob, I completely agree with you and would add one more thing here... What the Obama campaign revealed is that the public is sick and tired of being lied to, misled and kept in the dark. In this new Age of Openness marketers need to adopt a consistent practice of 'Transparent Branding'. By that I mean, be open, be truthful and responsive to criticism.

  • by Abigail Tue Apr 28, 2009 via blog

    hi Jason, I totally agree with you and would add one thing... The Obama campaign taught us that the people are tired of being lied to, misled and kept in the dark. In this new Age of Openness, marketers need to adopt a practice of Transparent Branding --- be open, be truthful and be responsive to criticism.

  • by Nicky Tillyer @artrox Wed Apr 29, 2009 via blog

    Engagement is the keyword, I propose a new marketing word that will be a constant reminder "ME-kerting". The business of making it personal. It's all about your brand being interesting and interacting with ME. If marketers just remember that then the rest should follow. When planning a campaign or ad or promo...just think is it engaging with the proverbial 'me' or is it just a brand ego trip and take it from there.

  • by Diane Court Wed Apr 29, 2009 via blog

    Agree with all of you 100%. I would add "respect" for those people we want to engage as the basis for real conversations, and the importance of assuming an intelligent and discriminating individual on the other side. We need to "think like the other person." It's up to us to provide the "knowledge" that enables the value connection, offering a clear, validated, desirable benefit for people to want to pursue the engagement. If we agree that broadcasting to the masses doesn't cut it anymore (it's not your grandma's campaign), thoughtful targeting in preparing the evidence for multiple conversations is key.

  • by Joanne Lincoln Maly Thu Apr 30, 2009 via blog

    Another key to marketing success is to stay young... contemporary... current... smart. Our industry is changing so rapidly and I think many days I feel like I am back in college. Today's technology is requiring the creative minds to become more technically-savvy... and 'become savvy ' fast. Thanks for the article. Joanne Maly at Lincoln Maly Marketing, Cincinnati, Ohio

  • by Bill Lynn Mon May 4, 2009 via blog

    I think some of the posts above could be summarized as follows: Be authentic. American consumers are pretty smart (some would say jaded), and if you try to portray your brand as something it's not, you will not only lose potential customers, but they may use the technology tools that they have at their disposal to start a conversation about your brand that you may not like.

  • by Amit Sharma Tue May 5, 2009 via blog

    Very informative article and true posts here,,,, The one point that can also be added here is: "Don't Assume" Having wrong assumptions about the consumers can get the marketing man on the track to hell. A keen and constant observation on the market behavior and consumers will certainly be the key to success of a marketing campaign. Don't worry of expenditure.. think of the real long term return.. And again i say "Don't Assume"

  • by Vijay Rayapati Tue May 5, 2009 via blog

    Great tips - thanks for sharing.

  • by Laercio Sun May 10, 2009 via blog

    True. The same way companies produce and impose their products to markets, impose its direct communication. There is no interactivity. This is the paradigm of continuous error.

  • by saul Mon Aug 3, 2009 via blog

    The information is quite relevant and up to date. Personally what should be added is marketing deals more today with customers interation in a honest environment where there is space for dialague and feedbacks between marketers and consumers. In this way there will be data collection and analysis on changing trends.

  • by decsau Mon Aug 3, 2009 via blog


  • by Vic Sat Jun 4, 2011 via blog

    Yes, we need to value relationships. That is why instead of broadcasting, we need to engage into useful conversations. These conversations should touch the live of people for betterment.

  • by Asempa seth Tue Jan 2, 2018 via mobile

    I am a Shs graduate,and offered business which i did well in business management.I want to be a marketing manager in 5years to come,what are the courses i should persue in the tertiary for me to become a good Marketing Manager in future?

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