Preface: no gender bias is intended. Coined in the 1950s and popularised by the disastrously loveable Bridget Jones, the euphemism ‘big-girl pants’ relates to need for successful marketers to be realists.
Here I examine why the best Marketers (male/female/otherwise) have the maturity to see it like it is, are honest about their performance, and have a laser-like focus on the tasks that actually turn consumers into customers.
How do you know if something has been successful if you don’t have absolute clarity on what you set out to achieve?
Heritage brands and start-ups demand the same level of discipline when it comes to developing the strategic marketing plan. This includes asking the tough questions about their:
They flow each of these elements through the campaign mix with specific and measurable objectives in mind. At every stage great Marketers ask the hard questions: does the campaign respond to the plan with integrity? Does the campaign and/or the plan need to be refined to hit the objectives?
2. The best Marketers focus on functional, not sexy
As marketers, we are innately attracted to aesthetics; sexy and witty creative, tightly curated social media, head turning billboards, and award winning TVCs. Teams of people turn out content like Kardashians and Instagram addiction is almost an occupational hazard. It’s the fun, creative and CV enhancing part of job that we crave. However, likes, followers, reach and clicks tell Marketers about consumers who are attracted to their ‘look’. They give very little indication (if any) of propensity to purchase.
Consider traditional mail. Good Marketers know the sexy and expensive direct mailer is always outperformed by the plain A4 Letter. With digital clutter on the rise, they are also taking advantage of the snail mail renaissance.
Great Marketers spend their time behind the scenes immersed in their data. They are in the trenches analysing customer behaviour and carving out automation routines for ‘in-the-moment’ customer experiences. It's not sexy, but it's where the marketing gold is found.
3. The best Marketers are honest
“Good Marketers throw out at least 50% of the campaigns they try”
This is the mantra of Regan Yan of the Digital Alchemy Empire. Assessing all the quantitative and qualitative feedback about a given campaign helps Marketers make informed decisions. Being honest about the results also means accepting that your hypothesis may have been disproved; the purpose of continual testing.
“If you are not trying something new, you’re not learning”
4. The best Marketers just deal with it
The best laid plans don’t always work out the way we envisaged (our beloved Bridget Jones was caught out a few times through lack of planning). In marketing the need to be agile and the ability to pivot is crucial. Great marketers show courage and class by the way they get on with it.
Last year our guest speaker for the annual sales conference turned up at the wrong venue, an hour away on other side of town. We stretched out the content either side of the agenda and had some of the more gregarious sales people recount their success stories. Let's face it, what sales person doesn't like to talk about their wins? Not only did this yield some hilarious anecdotes but it also added to the audience engagement and buy-in at the event. No one noticed the speaker’s absence.
5. The best Marketers learn
This year our conference guest speaker was early.
Enough said. #biggirlpants
Vicky Mann, V|CMO Principal, is an old-school generalist Marketer with a passion for strategic frameworks, digital process automation, and data analytics to drive sales outcomes. V|CMO provides freelance services to companies wanting to move forward. Whether you need to do more with less, or are busy boot-strapping your business, V|CMO can help you deliver your business objectives (without the cost of an FTE). Get in touch