This morning as I was getting ready for work this Bible verse came to mind:
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up - Galatians 6:9
I love my life for the most part, but in all honesty some days if I focused on the mammoth task list ahead of me, I seriously would not get out of bed in the morning. Sometimes doing good seems like the biggest chore in the world and you just want to say; “forget it!” and go back to bed.
So I do three things at times like these:
I tackle my day in manageable chunks. I write down exactly what I have to do - I then do my best to focus entirely on one task at a time – sometimes it’s the very act of trying to hold so much info in your head at once that is most stressful. Our brains can only actually hold a few thoughts at a time before dropping balls.
2. Visualise the big picture:
I remind myself that the little choices I make today, will lead to a great future for me and my family tomorrow. In fact I actually have a dream book with pictures and written descriptions of the life I aspire to have and I remind myself of the achievements that have already been made.
3. I let go and let God:
We can only do what we can do and often the pressure we put on ourselves far out ways what others put on us. So I remind myself that if I do my best, God will do the rest.
I believe it’s so important to have clear goals and a strong sense of direction, in essence ‘A purpose driven life’ – purpose will propel you.
If you have more top tips for these moments of weariness, feel free to share in the comments box
World renowned advertising agency M&C Saatchi has a moto that I really like ‘Brutal Simplicity’ – according to joint CEO Carrie Hindmarsh in a recent article in ‘The Marketer’ this means; “Sorting the Wheat from the Chaff, working out the single most compelling message and saying only that”.
Apples ‘Think Different’ campaign exemplified this masterfully
There is clearly an art to simplicity and in my view it’s one of those relatively rare traits that all the best marketers have - the ability to say much with little.
I give my team a task each month to put together a PowerPoint presentation of scanned competitor ads and together we critique them in order to learn from them. Without fail the best ads are always the simplest.
The question is, how do you reach the point of ‘brutal simplicity’? Here are my top 3 tips:
1. Become a master of the product or service that you market
In order to be able to simplify your message you first have to understand the complexity of your product, in order to aptly convey it in the simplest terms.
Question; if a marketer is not 100% sure of what their product does and how it does it (in more than just general terms) how can he or she expect to market it successfully? And yet often this is the case.
All too often marketers lack understanding of the products and services that they market and this is reflected in the standard of the marketing they produce. Copy is often full of Jargon, sweeping claims and generic creative. Joe blogs could probably tell you more about a product than the person that has been tasked with marketing it, and then there is a wonder why marketers lack credibility in some circles.
Marketers need to work closer not only with sales, as is commonly spouted, but also with their techies and product departments. No matter how complex a product is, it is a marketers job to get to grips with its complexities in order to market it successfully.
2. Think differently
As an in-house copy writer for quite a few years I know how easy it is to fall into the habit of writing about the same set of features and benefits, in the same way, using the same jargon. Sometimes this is just sheer laziness and other times, time pressures stifle creativity and this is just the easiest option. I challenge all marketers to avoid this rut, change your perspective, think of ways that you can convey your message in a different way, a simpler way.
3. Consider your product from your customers perspective
Quite simply, what is the one thing that customers really want that your product or service can deliver? Say this as succinctly as possible. As Michael Porter says; being the best is over rated it’s about being unique:
Managers who think there is one best company and one best set of processes set themselves up for destructive competition. “The worst error is to compete with your competition on the same things,” Porter said. “That only leads to escalation, which leads to lower prices or higher costs unless the competitor is inept.” Companies should strive to be unique, he added. Managers should be asking, “How can you deliver a unique value to meet an important set of needs for an important set of customers?”(Knowledge Wharton).
I’ll leave you with a few great examples from an article entitled ‘26 Brilliant Minimalist Print ads’ that demonstrate clearly that ‘master marketers master simplicity’.
The thing about being a manager is that the higher up the ranks you go is the further you can move from the specialism that got you there. Marketing is my specialism and although I enjoy my role as a manger of people and have worked incredibly hard to get here, I’m determined not to lose my marketing roots.
The saying goes; if you don’t use it you lose it, so this section is one of the ways I continue to keep my finger on the pulse by sharing my thoughts, insights and experiences both past and present related to all things marketing.
I’m a big fan of social and digital marketing, it is true that marketing has changed forever and for the better, the days of pure push marketing are well and truly over. However, I am experienced in both on and offline, old and new school marketing and I believe a combination of both is optimal. I’ll tell you more about my perspective as I build this section of my blog, but for now here’s a video that encapsulates my view point, marketing methods may have changed radically but the core foundational principles of effective marketing haven’t…
My biggest motivation is God and my Christian faith – I know God is working so I smile
My faith is at the centre of everything I do, it gives me perspective and peace of mind. We have an acronym in Christendom: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth, for me that’s exactly what the Bible is. It inspires, motivates and energises me.
The tone of this section is very different to the others, there I speak about what I do, here I speak about who I am – throughout I’ll share with you the things that motivate me and make me smile, I hope they’ll make you small also
I have managed the marketing function for a few years but my Journey as a manager of people began in October 2011, and I must say it was all a bit of a world wind, I started working for my current employer in August 2011 as a member of the marketing team and by October 2011 I had flown to Germany to complete an assessment centre and was promoted to Head of the department.
I suddenly found myself managing a team of 3 that I had originally been employed to work alongside. My own manager was based in another country, the company was experiencing rapid growth and was in the thrust of launching a brand new product and huge marketing campaign internationally. The wider international advertising team (I am part of) had grown from 7 to 18 during 2011 and the company that already employed over 5,000 people across 3 continents was expanding fast across a range of departments. Deadlines were back to back and to say that my learning curve has been steep would be an understatement but I am relishing the challenge, absolutely love my job and most importantly I am still here to tell the tale and share the journey with you!
So read on and share in the roller coaster that is management, you’ll find all my management posts under the management category, feel free to chime in within the comments box it would be great to hear your comments and experiences
Well, this is my very first blog post and I can’t tell you how glad I am to finally be writing this, starting this blog has been on my to do list for quite a while and as I began to think about my goals for 2012 I figured it was about time that I crossed this one off the 2011 list.
So, why have I decided to write this blog? Well I ‘muse’ a lot about the things that are important to me, namely my family, my Christian faith and my career. I am a wife, a mother of two, a Chartered Marketer and a manager, like most working mum’s my life is hectic but also incredibly rich, and as I reach a place of relative maturity in terms of my career and family life I wanted to share some of these musings.
I hope the posts on this blog will connect with you and perhaps we can chit-chat from time to time on the posts and topics that resonate with you most. My goal is to produce quality content based on my experiences, observations and lessons I’ve learnt over the years and I hope this will be of benefit to you.
As you can see I’ve split this blog into 3 key sections; marketing, management and motivation, here’s why:
Marketing – I have been a practicing marketer for the past 5 years, I’m incredibly excited and passionate about the current marketing landscape and in my view there has never been a better time to be a marketer than now!
Management - I have been a marketing manager for a while but I am a relatively new people manager. As such I have recently become reacquainted with management theory and I was surprised at how much there is on leadership in comparison to modern management. Of course the former is part of the latter but practical management is also more than leadership alone, so I figured I’d share some of my thoughts and experiences as I go a long.
Motivation – this is the most personal part of my blog, here I will talk about the things that motivate me, namely my family, my faith and the things and people around me. Here you’ll get to know me a little better and find out who I am and not just what I do but why I do it, beware you might find some randoms here :).
I have also included a reading list – I decided a while ago that my blog wouldn’t be complete without books, I love books – I have at least one with me everywhere I go, so I figured I’d share some of my favourite reads and perhaps get to know some of yours.
This blog is quite indulgent in that it’s a culmination of all my favourite topics, take from it what you want and leave what you don’t – whether, good, bad or indifferent I’d love to hear what you think so feel free to comment.
Well, chow for now and I hope you enjoy what you find here enough to return again.