As I’ve been planning for next year I keep thinking about how to do more and go bigger. It’s so easy to get caught up in a “can’t do it” mentality, or “we tried something like that and it didn’t work”. So often, we stop trying and stick with the status quo.
What’s the one big… nay, HUGE idea you have for 2018? What’s going to make 2018, not just a good year, but a phenomenal year? It could be in your personal life, or at your job / professional career, or maybe something for your family.
I’ve decided I’d rather shoot for the stars and miss, but land on the moon, instead of keeping my head down staring at the ground, content that I hit my mark.
So what’s my one BIG idea… well, I’m still working on it, but plan to define it in the next few days.
When I started the marketing department here I knew things had to be done at a higher level than previous teams that’d I’d worked for. We’re a small team, but we were asked to deliver big results.
Buzz phrases like Rise Up – Go Big – Dream Big – Fly High – all came to mind.
Little did I know I’d be taking our marketing to completely new heights and new elevations… literally!
This week we had the opportunity to travel to Southeast Oregon to visit one of our regional offices. There we jumped aboard a couple of our planes used for aerial imagery capture – soared over the city and passed over the vast forest surrounding the area. The military green Tecnam (plane) has been converted to only a 2-seater – the pilot seat in the cockpit and the operator seat in the back. The other two sets were removed making room for powerful remote sensing and imaging technology.
Getting out of the office and up in the air was amazing – a total blast! While there we captured some great video footage for upcoming marketing campaigns.
Some of the real value of the trip was talking with our Oregon team: learning about their challenges, understanding their customers’ needs, knowing what challenges they face, and what advantages they have.
If all of your market research and marketing intelligence comes from sitting behind a desk, you will inevitably be missing out on a wealth of knowledge and understanding that only comes from interacting directly with the customer, or those closest to the customer.
Make 2018 the year you elevate your marketing through direct interaction with other teams and with your customers, or potential customers.
This is the time of the year where annual goals, strategy sessions, and development of marketing and sales plans consume much of our time. This can be foundational to provide direction and an understanding of the work to be accomplished next year.
As I’ve been finalizing my 2018 Marketing Plan I’ve begun to realize – that plan doesn’t start January 1st. It starts now!
The work we do today will create tomorrow’s success!
What I accomplish in the final 5 weeks of 2017, is certainly far more important than what I plan to do the first 5 weeks in 2018.
Don’t wait to work on those plans – start NOW!
I remember once when one of my direct reports told me “This has been one of my most productive weeks.” He told me about all the projects he’d worked on. He was doing a lot of good work.
I’ve always worked on teams full of talented people who work hard to be productive. Good teams focused on being productive, not just busy. But, the definition of productive often is misconstrued.
(Warning – football analogy)
A “productive” football may chalk up amazing stats – tons of rushing and passing yards, passes completed, yards per carry, 1st downs and more… and yet, all of those stats don’t mean a thing if they lose the game.
Great teams focus on results!
In football, there’s only one stat that matters – the final score. That’s it. Did you win or did you lose?
To win, everyone on the team needs to focus on how their role contributes to overall success. Their focus should always be helping the team win.
The first question to ask is:
“ARE WE WINNING OR ARE WE LOSING?
If you don’t know – that’s where you start:
- Determine if you’re winning or losing
- Document what it will take to start willing –or- increase your lead
- Develop strategies accordingly
- Ensure everyone on the team understand how what they do contributes to overall success
- Then go and do it!
Strategies, projects, marketing plans, and sales materials should all be driving results that contribute to the overall success of the team.
Do the work that drives results. Have the courage to turn down work or projects that don’t contribute to success.
Why focus on being productive, when you can focus on being GREAT!
My lack of focus on writing has led to a lack of article this year. I’m hoping to turn that around and start writing more frequently.
Weekly? Hopefully. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Two months ago I transitioned from my role in product marketing to a new role taking over marketing for a sister company. Same parent company. Same building. Different business unit. Different floor.
A great opportunity!
Coming to work each morning is…
- A Rush!
- A Roller Coaster
- Totally Awesome!
Our parent company is great to us giving a sense of stability, while as a business unit we are like a start-up. Every day new challenges come up. Each day is different than the one before.
So yeah, I‘m loving it.
The new marketing department consists of me…. and me. A department of one. I continue working with my old marketing group as they support our efforts, almost like an internal agency. They continue to be great to work with.
The focus here isn’t on projects and staying productive. It’s all about results! Building brand awareness to drive revenue. That’s it.
So I’ll be writing more, documenting the process of marketing and branding – from the ground up!
It starts now!
I recently hiked in Arches National Park in Utah. It was 102-degree Fahrenheit with only 7% humidity. An energy sucking, dry heat unlike what many people are used to experiencing.
One highlight of this trip was the climb to Utah’s iconic Delicate Arch.
As the sun pounded down it drained both energy and spirits. Having visited the Arch before, the vision of arriving at that magnificent mark fueled my trek. My Brazilian friend, Pacall, was visiting the National Park for the first time. He’d seen pictures of the Arch and wanted to see it in person.
Arriving at the top of the trail and beholding the beautiful Delicate Arch made the journal worth it – both in seeing the massive Arch and in defeating the brutal conditions required to do so.
Success in our personal lives and careers also takes a vision of what the “Top” of the journal will look like and a passion for getting there. While challenges and obstacles may line our path – an eye single to reaching the top will drive our ability to overcome.
Close your eyes – envision YOU succeeding and reaching the top.
Now open your eyes and take the first steps forward to making it happen!
(In full disclose – this is a picture of me and Pacall, but at another arch, not Delicate Arch. But I think it’s a cool pic. Haha)
Let it be known that I’m a fan of checklists. There’s a certain excitement felt by checking off items as they’re completed.
Recently I met with several managers in the company regarding a specific project. Each of them, myself included, owned a portion of the project. One by one they told me they had completed their portion. Each person truly had checked off their assigned task.
However, the overall project wasn’t progressing.
Too much focus had been placed on the tasks – and not the overall goal of the project. Each step was being done but without a visual of what needed to be achieved.
Communication, coordination and a drive for project success (not just completion) were lacking.
Look at your to-do list this week – which tasks are achieving higher, overarching company goals?
I’m reviewing my checklist, updating my priorities, and emphasizing success that exceeds my individual tasks. We’ll see what improvements this makes over the next few weeks.