Marketing Humility: What is Needed, Not What YOU Want

Well, this is not the post I was planning on in my editorial calendar. And yes I like to have a thematic calendar of posts I am planning ahead of time. It can be very beneficial in strategically tying into other efforts to help make all marketing streams generate the most impact and the right outcome.

The post I had on my calendar was going to follow the theme of my initial Steamfeed post [Shaping Your Branded Sphere]. The second post was featuring information on branding the foundation to your marketing facets with a little caveat of homework, [Brand Strategy and Development: Yes You Have Homework!]. Did you do your homework by the way? ;-)

In any regards this post seems to be more in the forefront of what I am currently working with and felt it could be helpful to some of you in your own efforts in pulling together marketing strategies for your clients.

Now to suggest that marketing has any humility would most likely be inaccurate, but truthfully, when crafted correctly, the best strategy is laid down with complete humility.  The humility is selecting the best channels for your client that gets them the results they need to move forward. Let’s review humility for a moment so that we really have it well defined in our minds.

[Humility (adjectival formhumble) is the quality of being modest and respectful. Humility, in various interpretations, is widely seen as a virtue in many religious and philosophical traditions, being connected with notions of egolessness.*]

When a client asks us to create a creative strategy for their product or service how do we start to formulate this plan?  Do we pick our old standbys, our tried and true methods we have used countless times because we know how they operate, function and their predicted outcome?  Or do we decide on the buzz-worthy, trendy new channels to grab that ‘wow’ factor and be able to include that into our repertoire for our other clients?  Here are three steps to keep your marketing strategy humble:

3 Steps [down] to Keep Your Strategy Humble:

  1. The best choice is the one that works – Where is your audience most likely to gain visibility or traction from the positioning of your messaging? How is the message delivered in that environment and directing that audience to what they need or want? Don’t go for the ‘big bang’ theory just because the entire entourage is on that path. Make it make sense and IT will!
  2. Bigger is not Better – So you have a new pony and it is doing some tricks! Those tricks are not necessarily giving your client what they need …. Sales!  More income and larger reach. Your client may just need a great ‘cardboard box’ … give it to them!
  3. It was never about YOU – Think and rethink what kind of strategic program you have put together for your client. Their customers’ needs and dynamic have to be considered here too.  It was never about how you felt or your grandiose scheme of being a big cheese on the block. Cut back that ego and see where you can perform better for your client in a much less pricey vehicle. Go for the low hanging fruit first!

So in general sometimes the strategy you think you are going to deliver is not actually the strategy that is needed. Clean off the fluff and trendy flashy methods that get a lot of hoo-ha-ha but hardly any real results (revenue).  In the end it is the trail of dollars that your clients find drifting into their bank accounts that puts the smile on their faces and not how razzle-dazzle YOU can be!

[Oh, so what was my original post? Web Presence and Visibility - Duende, check back here the beginning of November for that post and as always I appreciate you!]



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  1. BrandEdu says:

    This is a wonderful post Anya. You nailed it. Strategy should start and stop with it's ability to be effective, period. It should never be about awards, flash or sizzle.

    Make it smart. Make it custom. Make it right for THAT client.

  2. Anya Downing says:

    Sing it David! It was a point that so moved me that my original post was 'shelved' until the next scheduled time.

  3. BizAssure says:

    Great post Anya! It is so true! In our Industry, egos can run high. But staying humble keeps us safe with our interaction with customers and prospects and overall reputation.

  4. Anya Downing says:

    Thank you! It is good in all things and definitely when supporting a client's needs.

  5. Jeff Howell says:

    Love the post. It's never about us, it's always about them. The best marketers are the ones who are always coming up with individualized plans.

  6. Anya Downing says:

    So "true" Jeff … be original, be creative but be grounded to finding the path that best supports your clients goals which sometimes is very simple but effective.

  7. Randy Bowden says:

    Great post Anya you have hit on something that I am always sensitive of. Much is lost with many as they are often reflecting their ego in both their own as well as clients work! This trend has spread like kudzu in the social niche! I am often reading between the lines – look at me!

  8. Anya Downing says:

    Thank you Randy! I love when I see people proud of the good work that they do and share it with others but understanding that to serve your client's needs first is the primary step in a dynamite strategy. ;-) Purity of intention wins the day.

  9. J. Nolfo says:

    Great post! I stumbled upon it from my Twitter feed. Serving clients and their needs first is of primary concern in any type of consulting business. However, sometimes we need a reminder of that.

  10. Anya Downing says:

    ;-) So happy you found the article and it resonated with you. I completely agree … we all need reminders, it keeps us on the right path! Wishing you great success.

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