The #1 Thing You Need to Do to Be Successful in Marketing


Have you read Good to Great?  If you run a business, you should.

According to Jim Collins, the author, the first step a company should take on its path to greatness is to pinpoint what it’s best at and the most passionate about, and focus solely on developing that one area.

Collins’s well-known Hedgehog Principle was inspired by the way that hedgehogs use their sharp quills, the only tools they have available, to defend themselves against predators. Hedgehogs don’t have any fancy tricks or cool moves, they just roll into a ball and let their quills do the job.

Similarly, a company that has seen successful results in their marketing efforts through a core channel should continue developing that channel rather then jumping onto something newer and more exciting, that may take more resources but may not necessarily work.

And if you need further proof of this idea just take a look at the recent research report released by Glencaster which shows that the companies that are most successful in their marketing efforts are those that focus on the one or two marketing channels in which they are strongest, rather than try to be “multi-channel”.

So what does this mean for us business owners?

1. First begin by determining what your company’s core channel will be by asking yourself these questions:

  • Which marketing channels yield the highest results monetarily?
  • What are you already doing well?
  • Which channels are you most fluent in?

In our case we have worked hard to develop a strong online presence through social media and email marketing, and we have seen good results from our efforts. Therefore we will continue to focus on social media marketing as our core channel.

Now we have identified the two core channels that are the most successful for our business and so the majority of our time, effort and dollars will go towards developing them.

2. Once the core channel is set up and you feel like you’re getting the hang of it, then add on other marketing channels one-by-one, ’till you get comfortable with each.  If there are some you’re not comfortable with, or you don’t see as relevant, give it a try anyway.  But if that feeling continues, even after you’ve figured out how you’re “supposed to do it,” (if such a thing exists) and it’s still not clicking, just give it up.  The channel needs to fit you, your style, and your audience.  You don’t need to fit it.

For example, if your people aren’t on Twitter – and you feel you’ve given it your all – don’t worry about it!  No need to feel like a loser or that you’re missing out.  Focus on your strengths.  

Although our focus is social media & email marketing we will still occasionally reach out to customers by calling them on the phone or sending information to their mailbox. While these marketing activities aren’t what we regularly focus on, we like to surprise our clients once in a while just to remind them that we’re here at their service.

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1 Response to "The #1 Thing You Need to Do to Be Successful in Marketing"

  1. Maahir Shah says:

    Good stuff. I would recommend changing the background color. I can barely read some lines.

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