Today’s blog, or rant, is about ‘The Myths of Internet Marketing’. In fact, it is equally about business in general as it is about marketing your products or service. We had a new graduate start yesterday to do AdWords Management and she’s brilliant… at least we hope she is. She has the right degree in marketing, specialises in social media (they all do) and has a strong can do attitude. She probably believes marketing is about being agile, dynamic and entrepreneurial… unfortunately, that is wrong.
The Unpleasant Truth
I have run a business for longer than I care to remember and each time I try becoming “Entrepreneurial”, “Edgy”, or “Dynamic” it blows up in my face and often very painfully too. The truth is, to be a successful business manager or marketing manager you need to do a whole raft of boring tasks repetitively to deliver a consistent outcome. You don’t need any black magic SEO skills, a creative talent or mad skills in Web Design. You just need to know what needs to be done, then execute the task, measure the outcome and finally adjust to hone in on your target outcome.
Sure, you have to take risks (running a business is the biggest risk you will ever take!) and be a disruptor in the market, but this is usually when you launch a new product or a new business and this phase only lasts a short time. Once launched, it is back to the plan – Execute, Measure, Adjust and Repeat. The problem comes when we ask humans to execute the plan and this goes further than AdWords Management and even Marketing in general. We are not very good at execute, measure, adjust and repeat. It bores the living day lights out of most people and the new generation of millennials are all looking for that rewarding job that “they simply deserve” or too busy swiping left and right on Tinder.
The Chainsaw System
In the States, we have a telesales team who are using an in-house system that I created. It’s a bit like a chain saw… let me explain. It is not very smooth in its interface, but it cuts through trees like butter. The system requires staff to follow a set process each and every time – and guess what, they don’t like it. Each time we recruit a new salesperson, they will go on about PipeDrive or some other CRM system and extol their sales ability. You could compare them to very capable skilled lumberjacks – they sharpen their sales axes and work on their cutting technique day in day out.
However, take a new younger sales person with some experience and provide them with a little bit of in-house sales training using the Chainsaw System and pit them against the experienced sales person. The young sales person just wanders around with the chainsaw cutting through trees whilst we point them towards even more trees to cut down, whilst our experienced lumber jack is still on the first tree! The system wins hands down.
By following a system, great results can be achieved. I admit that developing the system is very expensive and difficult. It takes time and experience working on hundreds of accounts and years of experience. Something you just cannot wing with entrepreneurial flair. My sales manager has always said about The Seven P’s: Prior planning preparation prevents p%*s poor performance! And, it’s not just for his sales team that this is followed in the business, it is a mantra we take into every department.