You can read a lot of articles about how to crank up your company’s marketing effort. You read things like “create some content” and “run ads on Facebook, Google, etc.” and “run webinars, create video, create infographics.” Those are all great, but yet for every one of those, you have to ask the question, “how do we do that?” Each marketing effort requires some sort of process. The more generic the idea, the more vague the process. And, ultimately, your marketing process needs to be efficient in order to make it repeatable.
A Content Creation Process
Let’s start with the simplest example: creating content. Perhaps you’v already created your content marketing strategy. First of all, what type of content is best for your audience? You need some sort of process to find that out. Let’s say you discovered that the best type of content for your audience is long-form blog content. Now what?
How do you create a blog? What subjects or topics will you write about? How do you know what keywords to highlight? How often will you publish? All of these seemingly small decisions require a marketing process.
And then, where will you get your content from? Somebody has to think of it. Someone has to create it. Then somebody has to edit it. Finally, someone has to approve it and publish it. What’s your content creation process?
When do you have a marketing process, how do you make it simple and repeatable? The simple answer is, “trial and error.” Do something. The more complicated version of that is that you try something, watch it fail, try to figure out why, and then go back and change it. In reality, the process looks much more like the latter than the former.
A Simple Marketing Process Example
I know what you’re thinking: process leads to bureaucracy and slowing down and not getting anything done. Perhaps, but your processes will match your culture. If you have a get it done culture, then your processes will look similar to your culture. Here’s an example of a simple process for finding and gathering ideas for content.
Any employee from this 30+ person enterprise software company who has an idea for some kind of content describes the idea in as much or little detail as they have or like, and ends it with #content in slack. The content team does a regular search on slack for #content, and finds everything. The content team then throws the ideas into a simple Google Sheet, ranks and prioritizes them, assigns them, and then puts them into the bi-weekly content creation sprint.
Simple enough? That’s what we mean by a simple, repeatable process. Prior to “implementing” (aka telling everyone on slack to “do this”) this process, there was no process, and thus there was no content.
Execution is all about the process
Marketing is not easy and, just because you can think of something to do, doesn’t mean you can actually get it done. A huge part of the battle of executing against any strategy is find and implement a process – any process – for getting something done, knowing that you will change that process 10 times in 6 months.
But you’ll get something done. Very much like a tech startup’s MVP, your marketing process needs to just get the job done in the early stages. Later, when you’ve learned what works (that’s another topic), you can and you will refine the processes that you’ve created.
As we say in the startup world, ideas are a dime a dozen, but it’s execution that counts. Marketing is no different. There are 1 million marketing ideas. What is your process for executing on your idea?