I've never met a marketer who said, "I have all the resources I need—I'm absolutely, completely, one-hundred percent all set."
Whether you're a big brand marketer or a "solopreneur" trying to get your business off the ground, chances are good that you'd do more if you had more resources. Maybe you'd experiment more with new channels, or create that brand-sponsored online magazine you've always pitched but never had the budget for.
Turns out the secret to effective marketing isn't having more, it's doing more with less—or, as Nick Westergaard calls it, "getting scrappy."
Nick Westergaard is a strategist, speaker, writer, and educator. As chief brand strategist at Brand Driven Digital, he works with organizations of all shapes and sizes to build better brands online through social media and digital marketing. Nick also hosts the On Brand podcast.
I invited Nick to Marketing Smarts to discuss his recent book, Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small, and how companies of all sizes can get more bang for their marketing buck!
Here are just a few highlights from our conversation:
Before you spend money, spend time on your strategy (06:21): "The most important thing...is getting smart—putting your brains before your budget. It's easy today to get distracted by all of the shiny new things, new networks, new features, new features on new networks, and we end up falling prey to what I call 'checklist marketing,' where instead of focusing on what makes the most sense for our business, we just treat it as a big, arbitrary checklist that we check all of these things off of. 'Facebook, check; Twitter, check; LinkedIn, check; Snapchat, that's a thing now, too, better get one of those.'
"[We do this] instead of focusing on what makes sense and what's going to help us accomplish our goals. So I start [in Get Scrappy to cover] some of the basics, about making sure that, as you step up to the new media megaphone that you make sure first that there's a brand behind that megaphone, that you take the time to map your marketing, that you know where it is you're trying to get, what business objective you're trying to accomplish.
"Because, ultimately, it's harder and harder to do everything, to use every single marketing tool, to be on every social network, to be creating every form of content, so instead you have to work and focus on what makes sense sense for your business. And you only know that if you've got a good, scrappy strategy underlying what it is that you're trying to do."
Scrappy brands look at the customer experience as a whole (13:01): "I think we get so siloed.... Eventually, all of these extra words are going to start to fall off of what we're doing via social and digital. 'Social media marketing' is going to morph into just 'digital marketing,' which I sort of feel like it already has... It's all just marketing. And with any marketing, online or off, we are able to do more with less if we can connect our dots a little bit more. Integration is one of those things it's easy to nod along with, but it is hard to do. It's hard on the digital side of things to connect all of our systems, but it's also hard as much as we think and overthink how people are experiencing our brands. They're not linearly going through all of this. They're kind of 'rationally irrational,' so we have to make sure that the whole experience adds up, as well....
"Something I've been talking a lot about lately is the 'Atticus Finch' school of marketing integration. We have to remember to walk a mile in our customer's shoes. That can sound like a nice thing to say...but it can have some very real implications if we actually clear out our cookies, empty cache, and experience our digital presence without some of those assumptions made. Go in. Fill out all the forms. Become a lead again. What is that experience like? Because, often, we think of these as discrete instances, 'this happens over here in lead gen,' or 'these are those emails when we set up that system,' but how it all fits together and what that's like from the customer perspective is huge."
Nick and I talked about so much more, so be sure to listen to the entire show, which you can do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!
Music credit: Noam Weinstein.
Nick Westergaard, chief brand strategist at Brand Driven Digital, and author of Get Scrappy Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. For more information, visit GetScrappyBook.com, and follow him on Twitter. You can also hear Nick discuss branding on his podcast, On Brand.