News is feeding us misery.
As marketers, we are in a powerful position to share bold ideas, and that comes with a great deal of responsibility. We have a moral obligation to put the concepts we help create, share and promote through a prism of optimism in order to influence the world for good and bring a little bit of joy. And to do that, we must stay positive.
Recently, I had the pleasure of holding a discussion on this topic with Yoel Israel on LinkedIn Live, and I’d love to share some useful thoughts with you, on what has helped me stay positive. I know they will be helpful to you too.
Let’s divide the topic into 3 focus areas:
1. Personal Growth
2. Professional Growth as it relates to your work
3. Interprofessional relationships with colleagues, vendors, etc.
1. Surround yourself with positive people.
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” Jim Rohn. You might have heard this quote before, but it’s right.
The truth is you can’t stay positive while spending a lot of time with negative people. It’s great if you physically have them in your life, but if you can’t find them in real life find them online. Some of my go-to gurus are Tony Robbins, Lisa Nichols, Oprah, Deepak Chopra, Tom and Lisa Bilyeu, Iyanla Vanzant and really everyone on the path to enlightenment.
2. Understand that you must be willing to be a student forever.
The only constant thing around us is change. Certainly, this is truer for marketers today as marketing changes quickly.
I know it’s easy to get deeply involved in the day to day business needs, and it may seem like you almost have no time to learn, but to think your MBA will ever be enough for you to stay in your job and be relevant and competitive in the market today, is doing yourself a disservice.
It’s necessary that you remain agile, keep an open mind, be curious, and keep looking for new ways to solve problems or even different approaches to what you’ve always done. The leaders, who find success and remain successful today, are those who live life like students – always learning, always digging deeper and always challenging the way things are.
Commit to learning 1 new skill each month by reading books or by listening to educational content online for example by subscribing to podcasts like Marketing School by Neil Patel and Eric Siu or CMO Moves by Nadine Dietz.
3. If you are a B2B marketer study B2C brands.
The more sources of inspiration you expose yourself to the more positive and creative you find yourself to be.
There are significant differences between B2B marketing and B2C marketing. However, while B2C marketers might seem like they operate in an entirely different world than B2B marketers, they have a lot of useful practices B2B marketers can tweak and adapt as their own, and vice versa. Ultimately, great marketing is all about the experience you provide for your audience, and so B2B and B2C marketers can find inspiration from each other.
PROFESSIONALLY AS IT RELATES TO YOUR WORK
1. Embrace the concept of progress over perfection.
Growth comes in progress, not in perfection.
As marketers, it’s fairly common to have high expectations and to want impeccable outcomes of our work. However, with this desire, comes the risk of getting stuck in the trenches for too long – a situation many marketers often find themselves in.
Progress produces a sense of accomplishment that inspires positivity. It’s, therefore, sagacious to embrace the concept of progress over perfection. This doesn’t mean you forego having an eye for details; it just means done is better than perfect. So ship your idea even if it’s not 100% done to precision.
2. Own your work and don’t just leave it to your agencies and contractors.
Trusted agencies and contractors usually come in handy to provide expertise and extra hands sometimes needed to take on projects which would normally be too much for your regular staff to handle. With our usually busy schedules, it’s easy to fall into the trap of leaving all the work to them starting from strategy to handling your brand and just expect results while you focus on other work demands.
However, it’s critical that you are involved in and own some things like the growth strategies and brand requirements and then bring in your agencies for the specific expertise you need for example creative, content, managing PPC (pay per click) marketing or HubSpot.
3. Rely on your data to help you be more positive.
We are not spending enough time on our data. We want to move to the next campaign and the next project without properly analyzing what’s really happening.
Q1 just finished. Have you dug into your data to check the quality of leads you’ve generated thus far? Don’t just look at the quantity. Do you know with 100% certainty which channels brought the best leads and not just the most leads? Do you know how many customers were closed in Q1 and which channel brought them?
If not, dig into your data for insights on what your best next steps should be. Better data analysis will allow you to make more informed decisions, and therefore you can look forward to the future with more confidence and optimism.
PROFESSIONALLY AS IT RELATES TO YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
1. Develop new partnerships internally.
Collaboration and strategic partnerships are essential to improving business outcomes. In the recent past, our emphasis has been on working in cooperation with the sales department. This crisis was a valuable learning curve that has pointed out the importance of working in collaboration with other departments like Finance.
2. Other important relationships to forge are with your Product Manager and Customer Service.
You need to have monthly meetings with the heads of these teams to understand what their experiences with the customer are and the real value (not benefits) the products offer.
3. And last but not least your team.
Be kind. I’ve met a few, not many, but a few, mean spirited CMOs. This affects the morale of your team. Marketing is a tireless job with very few rewards trickled down to the team that really keeps it together. So make time to appreciate their efforts and give meaningful feedback. Too often we are rushed that we don’t take the time to give real feedback.
Showing appreciation and providing meaningful feedback will keep your team motivated, inspire them to have pride in their work and create a winning organizational culture leading to outstanding results and superior customer service.
I hope you’ve found this information valuable. Let me know other ways that have worked for you in helping you stay positive in the comments below.