Every So Often, Be Your Own Marketing Consultant

Authored by Guest Blogger, Carrie Majewski

At Trilix, an application development and systems integration company, we just turned one. In addition to blowing out the candles and making a big wish, we also spent time reflecting on Year 1—what went really well, areas we want to evolve, etc.—and cast our hopes for Year 2. As Principal of Marketing for the technology startup, I decided our one-year anniversary was the perfect time to do some reflection in my specific domain.

As marketers, it’s important that we are always assessing the efficacy of our efforts:

· Did that direct mail campaign yield a favorable amount of appointments?

· Is our latest white paper resulting in strong lead generation?

· Did our last conference contribute to our successful product launch?

We need to be agile and introspective, ready to move on a dime, try something new and forever throw that elusive spaghetti against the wall. But sometimes we need to rise one step above introspection. Sometimes we need to look at our marketing efforts through the lens of a third-party consultant and, in so doing, really assess our efforts objectively and without emotion.

On the heels of our one-year, I asked myself a simple question: if we were to hire a third-party marketing expert to review our initiatives over the past year, what would they share with us after performing a discovery? For instance, what are three tactics they might identify as most effective and suggest we continue as investments? Alternatively, what vehicles and channels do they feel no longer serve our goals? How on- or off-course do they believe we are in hitting key milestones?

I put on my consultant hat, not allowing myself to be married to any ideas, tactics or initiatives and instead looked at everything from a brass-tacks standpoint: did it work or not? After a few days of deep diving and evaluating, I created a document with the top 10 marketing action items I believe we need to prioritize in the next year. Over the next few days I will be reviewing these action items with my peer leadership group.

In performing this exercise, I extracted a few key lessons I wish to share with you:

1. It’s OK that something you believed in 100% did not work. Maybe it was that tongue-and-cheek blog that you were sure would go viral and didn’t. Or maybe it was a landing page that yielded next to no conversion. The beauty of marketing is that it’s not predicable. It’s a delicate balance of art and science. Sometimes it works in our favor, other times it doesn’t.

2. It really does take a village. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when it comes to marketing initiatives. For instance, with Facebook and LinkedIn considerably altering their algorithms for how business page content displays in newsfeeds, it’s become harder than ever to show up. Talk to your colleagues about this. Enlist an army of social ambassadors to help you spread corporate messaging. Marketing cannot be done by just you.

3. Success is a balance of the lofty of the pragmatic. It’s virtually impossible in today’s saturated market of messages to just choose one path to marketing. Instead, you need to have a balanced mixture of practical marketing tactics and creative pursuits. Sometimes the eBook you create will prove to be your most effective tactic. Other times it may be the innovative podcast series featuring guest speakers that generates movement. By incorporating both into your marketing strategy, you keep your initiatives dynamic, engaging and relevant.

So, try it out. Whether you are at your one-year anniversary, in the middle of a quarterly marketing push or somewhere in between, grant yourself permission to be objective and consultative. What you advise yourself may surprise you!

Carrie Majewski is committed to affecting change. As Founder of the Women in Leadership Nexus, Carrie is fueled by a desire to create safe space for female luminaries to convene to redefine the notion of leadership. She has forged a career around strategic writing and storytelling, having led a digital marketing agency for almost three years and today working as Marketing Principal for Trilix Tech. Carrie is a 2017 Rhode Island “40 Under 40” honoree and a 2016 Rhode Island Tech10 Winner. In her spare time you’ll find her trying out a local hip-hop class, exploring parks with her rescue dog Tori, and sipping coffee with other powerhouse women.