We’re all trying to get things done in our lives. Clay Christensen calls these, “jobs to be done.”
- Some of these jobs are functional: do, get or give something
- Some are emotional: feel, see, taste, smell or hear something
- And some are social: connect with others around something
- Of course, some jobs include all three
A small collection of these jobs are gathered up under the name “marketing.” Marketing “jobs” include things like:
- Branding: Being known, liked and trusted by others
- Lead Generation: Getting requests or inquiries from others
- Conversion: Getting others to try or buy something
- Evangelism: Getting others to mention (or better recommend) you or your thing to others
The hope is that if the marketing job is done well, then your ability to sell becomes faster, easier and scalable.
The problem is that a lot of “marketers are average, at best.” And most marketing is unremarkable and unrecognizable. Why? Because leaders get blinded by their own myopia and magical thinking. And marketers tend to be organization-centered, rather than customer-centered.
I believe that when you remove the fluff, marketing essentially answers this:
Do I care enough about you that I know who you are, what job you’re trying to get done, where you’re looking for ideas and inspiration, and how to make it as easy and clear as possible for you to get that job done?
(The keywords in this are “care” and “know.”)
You can’t guess your way to answering this question. You need data, systems and specific skill sets to test your way there. Regis McKenna said, “To be successful at marketing, follow the technology.” And you need the care, courage and drive it takes to connect the dots and create remarkable, recognizable ways to get the job done. Seth Godin asks, “Would they miss you if you were gone?”
I call the care/courage/drive part “heart.” And I call the data/systems/skills side of this “smarts.”
The good news for you and me is…
- The world is full of leaders and marketers with smarts, but no heart
- It’s also full of leaders and marketers who are all heart, no smarts
- And it is full of leaders and marketers who lack both heart and smarts!
When a servant heart meets marketing smarts, great things happen. I’m not going to lie to you. It’s a tough road. It takes a long time to travel. But, in the end, you will build a legacy of improving people’s lives in meaningful ways.
Are you still in? Start reading…