13 Marketing Lessons Learned in 13 Years Part 2

Last week’s post was the part 1 of a 2 part post, 13 Marketing Lessons Learned in 13 years.  Have you started your social media summer challenge? If not, read this post, then start working on it. I would love to see clients taking advantage of the summer to plan for more online, mobile and social projects this summer and fall.

Here are some key lessons I have learned in marketing, content and communication during the past 13 years applicable to every industry.

lemonade stand hutchinson mn8. Reach Out, Volunteer & Help – Create alliances to help the organization succeed and create external goodwill in industry associations.  As a new employee at an organization that was trying to break into an industry, the alliances I made by volunteering my time at tradeshows, especially the registration table, helped give me exposure to key industry players.  These people became some of my first customers and helped rocket sales from $2 million to $8 million in less than 3 years.  Never underestimate the power of professional/industry associations.  That’s where the players spend their time.  And volunteering just makes you feel good, just ask the kids of Vivid Image after next week’s Lemon-aid experience.

9. Try new things. Some of the best work experiences happen as a guinea pig. Be on a test pilot program for new software, start a mentor/mentee program.  Your opinion matters and you become an expert within an organization to help it evolve and grow.  Even if the program is a bust, you still show a willingness to try new things.  I will always pick an enthusiastic go-getter to be on my team!

10. Bullet points are friends. They help:

* organize thoughts
* bring a call of action to an ad
* help your audience quickly understand an objective
* draw attention an important part of a letter.

Use them, your audience will appreciate it.

11. Don’t publicize a launch date/time of a website. Launch the site, then look for errors. You may get instant feedback from trusted advocates and co-workers asking you what has changed on the site.  Correct things while the site is working and when you are pretty confident any glitches are corrected, then send out the email.  When I launched a site 10 years ago, the entire sales rep team started sending me messages about a part of their section that needed to be fixed.  Getting dozens of emails on the same problem was inefficient.

12. Admit mistakes.  It doesn’t matter if you are a rookie or seasoned veteran. We’re all human and admitting when an error occurs and then working hard to rectify the situation speaks volumes. It is basic PR that celebrities and politicians should know.  Almost every mistake can be fixed.  Honesty is the best policy.  And if you are going to blow off steam, because of an error, leave your desk before you do it.  As a temporary employee, I witnessed a permanent employee hang up on customers and throw a phone across the room.  After seeing how unprofessionally the permanent employee treated customers, I chose not to remain with that organization.

13. Thank You Means Everything.  A simple thank you should be given often. Manners matter, especially in marketing. Thank you’s can help build a reputation, build a client base, help write employee reviews, build credibility and so much more.  It’s free and so easy to do.  In fact, Jim Connolly’s article illustrates the example perfectly.

balance scale
*BONUS LESSON – Balance is key.
Sometimes marketers must work on vacation, sometimes you play more than you should at work or chat too much at the coffee pot. Keep it in perspective. Think about the hours put in and the goals to achieve. If you still struggle, maybe this blog post on How to Explain Social Media to Your Spouse will help clarify things.

This is not meant to be a be-all, end-all list. What are the best marketing lessons you have learned? Please share. I urge you to spend some time reflecting on what you have learned, it can be the start of several great blog/Twitter/Facebook posts, website updates, employee incentives or even a new advertising campaign.

Creative Commons License photo credit: winnifredxoxo