Many people think of marketing as ‘one and done.’
This myth is perpetuated by consultants who go for the easy sale, and fail to educate their clients about everything that’s required to create success.
There are certainly aspects of marketing that are one-time investments. But if you want to produce results, it’s an ongoing process.
The most important investment is of time and caring.
Marketing Is A Process Of Overcoming Constraints
Like manufacturing¹, all marketing can be boiled down to overcoming constraints. A constraint is something that limits or holds back the possibility of success.
Constraints, like excuses, are self-imposed.
Like ‘lack of money.’ Or a ‘lack of time.’ Or ‘It was a terrible product.’ ‘I had the wrong business partners.’ ‘I got screwed over.’ ‘We got the timing wrong.’ ‘We lost our distribution.’
These are just a few of the excuses I’ve made in the past.
There’s no shortage of excuses…
Nothing Beats Taking Responsibility
Stop the excuses. Identify the constraints.
Identify the constraint. Fix the constraint. Increase your throughput².
There are always constraints.
Constraints, like excuses, are convenient to blame when things fail. How about overcoming the constraint?
Most people will do anything to avoid taking responsibility.
The greatest breakthroughs come when you realize—with every fiber of your being—that none of your previous failures matter. They were all constraints. You just weren’t ready yet.
It’s a beautiful moment when you realize you’re just a flesh and blood human being. And you can be compassionate with yourself. Just because things didn’t work out the way you expected doesn’t make you a bad person.
The only thing that matters is getting up, brushing yourself off, and trying again.
To overcome all of the stupid constraints that have been holding you back.
The Four Constraints Of Marketing
Irrelevance: First, you must “create something worth making, a story worth telling, a contribution worth talking about.³”
Apathy: Second you’ve got to “design it and build it in a way that people will actually benefit it from and care about it.³”
Lack of Clarity: Third, you’ve got to “tell the right story to the right people in the right way.³”
Laziness, Neglect, and/or Despair. Finally you’ve got to “show up regularly, consistently, and generously.” From now until you’re ready to pass it on, “for years and years, to organize and lead and build confidence in the change you seek to make.³”
It’s clear, our job as marketers, is to fight the forces of: irrelevance, apathy, lack of clarity, and laziness, neglect, and/or despair.
Don’t give up. Never give up. If we are successful at overcoming these forces, we can do anything.
Especially when we work together—anything’s possible.
(1) “The Goal“, Eliyahu Goldratt, 1984
(2) Identify And Fix One Marketing Bottleneck To Produce Results, Les Proctor, November 2014
(3) “Marketing in four steps“, Seth Godin, August 2016