Here’s a simple truth: you are a marketing expert. In fact, we’re all marketing experts in our own right.
Everyday we express our opinions on the marketing we consume and interact with. We tell others what we think of that advertisement, or how well this brand communicates their message. We constantly process and hone our marketing expertise through our own experiences and perceptions. It’s all part of being a connected person in today’s consumer landscape.
So, if we’re all marketing experts, how can we bring a marketer’s mindset to our work lives? How can we tap into the strengths and benefits of this kind of thinking?
Four principles of a marketer's mindset
Marketers and communicators, such as myself, are often accused of having an unfair advantage in the basics of business communications and interactions. “You’re such a good writer!” or “You’re so great with words!”
Sure, I’m a decent writer, but I’m no office Atwood or workplace Wordsworth. The real advantage that I, and other communicators have, is practice. Specifically, we’ve had years and years of practice working with four simple principles.
1. Write like others are reading
Everything you write will be read. From the humble post-it-note to the hastily written email and all the documents in between. It all gets read by someone.
If a message is riddled with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors and delivered with little to no creativity, it is destined to be dismissed, deleted, or totally misunderstood.
When we don’t take the time to craft our message, what we’re trying to communicate gets buried beneath an untidy pile of words that looks like an unmade bed.
Whether it’s an internal memo or an email to a client, we need to take the time to write like others are reading. Find the right words, proofread with purpose, and check for coherence. Tidy the room and make the space clean, clear, and inviting for your guests, whomever they might be.
2. Know your audience
Are you writing an email to your leadership team, or drafting a report for your client? Are you creating a brief for an external vendor, or drafting an important memo for your team?
Identify your audience and understand who the message is intended for. Unless you know who your audience is, what motivations drive them, and what their perspective is, you can’t draft a compelling message that matters to them.
Before you start writing, ask yourself a few questions:
- Who am I writing to and what is their point of view?
- What are their needs/wants/expectations?
- What kind of action do I need them to take?
- What motivations might drive them to act?
3. Tell a story
Everyone loves a good story. Personal, engaging, and entertaining stories leave us inspired and motivated. The fundamental superpower of the best marketers today is storytelling. You can bring this to almost any business communication by understanding the pillars of what can make you a better storyteller:
- Be human: show yourself and tell human stories through your words.
- Shine a light on what matters most: don’t cloud things with too many facts or a mix of details…just get to the point.
- Be economical with your words: when it comes to stories, less is more. Be ruthless in your editing to get as concise as possible.
- Context is everything: don’t assume that your audience knows everything you do. If you think context is required (such as urgency or historicals) then do that.
4. Present with purpose
Great presentations don’t come from hours of Toastmasters or next-level PowerPoint skills (although those things can help.) Great presentations are the result of engaging the Four P’s.
Put it into play
What if you could improve inter-office efficiencies just by delivering creative, clear, and concise communications? Imagine writing effective emails that actually help others take specific action.
When we apply a marketer’s mindset at work, we begin to powerfully affect the processes and people we connect with every day.
So let’s get to it! There’s an email waiting in your inbox ready for you to tackle with this new mindset. Go communicate like the marketing expert you know you are.
Communications + Marketing Consultant | Certified Leadership Coach | Certified Designing Your Life Coach
Colin is a marketing + communications leader as well as a Certified Leadership Coach at Smart Savvy Academy. He provides coaching to leaders and marketers who embrace an outcome-oriented, positive and human-centric approach to personal development and growth. He is also a Certified Designing Your Life Coach. This innovative program takes a design-based approach to building a more purposeful and fulfilling life and career.
Smart, Savvy + Associates are experts in helping marketing and communications leaders find people and develop teams that thrive and deliver inspiring results. As a people performance company, we specialize in finding marketing and communications talent in the Pacific North West. We also offer training programs for leaders and teams as well as options to become a certified coach or get coached.