One Thing I Wish I’d Have Known A Few Years Ago


Over the past few weeks, I’ve been working to establish processes around the way we run our own marketing program. It’s been a curious challenge, because while we’ve run and developed a number of programs, addressing the parameters of our own always seemed like something of an afterthought.

On some degree of reflection, we decided that we probably couldn’t sell a thing we didn’t do for ourselves in good conscious. I came up with a number of common conditions people run into when they’re starting out, and decided that we would create our program with the same limitations.

A lot of the time we advertisers think of a problem as being solved when the last thing that has to be done is spend on media dollars. There’s a lot of things that have to to happen before somebody actually gets to this place.

There’s got to be a spark. There’s just got to be a degree of interest from real people out there.

There’s got to be a process. Things have to happen consistently. They have to happen in the same way for a period of time.

There’s other things too, but one feeling I’ve come to learn all to well is the sensation of wondering “why isn’t anything happening.”

It occurs to me that all too often, we as advertisers don’t explain what happens in this chunk of time. Why it’s so important to put together plans and move forward, even when you don’t have much to go on.

After the last few weeks, I can tell you, I’ve learned that we really should.

During this span of time, I’ve gotten a lot better at paying attention to discrete spikes in traffic. Every time I see a new city on our analytics read, I start learning about it.

I start exploring the businesses, the culture and the people of that area, and it changes the way I think about what we’re doing a little bit.

I start to look at the needs of people in those communities, and it changes the way I feel about the opportunities in my own.

In the past few weeks, I’ve gotten a lot better at looking for the ways we can help.

I’ve gotten a lot better at learning to be patient, too.

See during this span of time, I’ve refined all of the assumptions I had to make about what I thought would make our business fit into the marketplace. I’ve had to make those decisions based on scraps of data and you never really know if those are the right ones.

I get why that feeling makes it difficult to stay focused on a goal (like say standing up a marketing program from scratch) and I’ll bet that’s even more difficult if you don’t happen to be someone who can hack together an analytics stack in a (relatively) short amount of time.

That’s what this experience has taught me, we’ve got to get better at explaining what is is we’re actually doing.

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