You might think that top marketers drink a magic drink to make them successful. But the secret is not in the drink, but in their behaviour. They read a lot and never stop marketing training.
“How did you become so successful in marketing? And why is it that all your marketing campaigns seem to be hugely successful?” – these are questions I have often asked top marketing professionals over the years.
The answers are almost always the same:
When you study the great marketers of the past 100 years, you will notice that all of them put enormous emphasis on studying. To become really good at their work, they all studied marketing every day. And they all believe that studying has been a crucial component to their success.
Reading books is key to all of them. And not just your typical marketing books. But all kinds of books related to consumer behavior, psychology, economics and many other topics.
Having interacted personally with many of these folks, I have noticed that most are very knowledgeable in many different areas. Not just in marketing. That may be because of their natural curiosity, as mentioned below.
The need for marketing training never ends
These top marketing professionals also attend a lot of marketing training seminars and workshops. They never miss an opportunity to learn. And they understand that repetition is important. To learn something is one thing, but to learn that same thing over again is much more powerful.
At seminars and conferences, I have noticed that many speakers arrive, deliver their presentation and then leave early.
Not so with top marketing professionals.
They come early, deliver their presentation and stay for the duration. They are active listeners and committed to use every opportunity they get to learn more.
Some of the top marketing gurus I know have a programme for their own marketing training. They spend a good amount of time and money each year to get specific marketing training.
“I am curious, I wanna know”
Being curious is a remarkably powerful trait for anyone who wants to succeed in marketing and communications.
People at the top of their professional game are often the most curious and inquisatory people in the room. They ask questions. And then they ask more questions. They want to learn and to understand how things work.
If you think about the curiosity trait in the context of a marketing brief, it makes sense, right?
The best marketing agencies in the world ask a lot of questions. That’s because they know that questions leads to information. The more details they have, the more they understand. Understanding completely is key to creating, planning and executing successful marketing campaigns.
The last trait I have noticed in highly successful marketers is this:
“I use failure to learn from. I study failure and success with equal interest”
Personally I believe that failure is a big part of anyone’s success in marketing, advertising and communication. Successful marketers use failure to learn from. They don’t see failure as failure. But as part of the process to better understand. These folks use the insight they gain from failed campaigns to improve future campaigns.
Equally important, top marketers aren’t afraid to fail. They know that there is no one right answer or no right approach in marketing. They also know that the true – and only – judge of any marketing activity is the audience.
In other words; we cannot possibly know what an audience thinks and how an audience will react until the message reaches the audience. It is at that moment everything becomes clear. And at that moment we know whether we’ve succeeded or failed.
Learn from failure and study successes
But top marketers also study their successes. They take no pleasure from merely celebrating their success. But understanding WHY a marketing activity was successful is valuable and – above all – actionable.
This is an important part of their marketing training. Failure teaches. And if we study the teaching well, we’ll get valuable insight that can help us turn failure into success.
When I think back, I can remember only a few occasions where my team or a client were adamant about understanding why a campaign succeeded. Most of the time we were too busy celebrating our success. Not willing – or smart enough – to know that the key is to understand WHY we succeeded. Because only then would we understand how to replicate the success.
In this respect creating a culture of experimentation can help. More about what that means in another blog article.
PS: For the past year or so I have spent 45-60 minutes every day on my own marketing training. It takes dedication and discipline. But I find it to be highly useful and inspirational at the same time. You should do the same. Start with these videos