A month ago, I attended Leadercast 2014. Frankly, I wasn’t expecting much. I was blown away.
It’s not just that I learned a lot that day. I also left with a bigger vision of what’s possible not just in our company, but also for Suite 4, our clients’ companies — and in the world in general.
This past year, my life has been a journey, and growing Suite 4 from a one-woman shop working out of a home office,focusing mainly on social media marketing — to a downtown suite with true team members who are all-in playing this Inbound Marketing game with me, has been an adventure to say the least. I’ve tried to stay open to all the many different possibilities and paths that I could go down and where I could take this business. And I’ve been blessed with the most incredible team members and clients who trust me and my ideas and who also buy into the vision of being something bigger than just you, your business and your immediate products and services. Our clients understand that Inbound Marketing has shifted the way their customers interact with them. They see that Inbound is a way to provide value, build trust and set yourself apart from your competitors because you’re putting your customers and their needs first and serving them — even before they ever spend a dime with you.
Sitting there at Leadercast for an entire day, listening to the speakers and their stories, I learned 3 unexpected (to me) things that I feel compelled to share because I think that if any company wants to truly be a leader in the marketplace, they must keep these top of mind in their marketing strategy:
1) It’s not about you – It’s the things that are beyond you. Look at GoPro for instance. Their motto is “Be a Hero.” If you watch even just one of their videos on Youtube, it’s clear that they’re selling so much more than just a little camera. They’re selling a movement, a lifestyle and an idea. For us at Suite 4, we want to teach our clients how to use marketing as a force for good in the world — how to make your company stand for something. And we aim to do that for ourselves as well. So what is that “something” for you?
2) Which gauges should we be watching? In his Leadercast article, leadership expert, Andy Stanley, said, “At a glance, the right set of gauges will tell you a lot about the health of your organization. Knowing the right three or four to watch is critical. Your mission and vision should help narrow your focus to the numbers that matter.” For us and our clients, website traffic is an obvious one. But if we focus only on website traffic, we won’t get a complete picture. Customer conversion numbers are the ultimate goal, so we also need to be watching for email sign-ups, resources downloaded from the website, webinar sign-ups, contact forms filled out and several other key indicators that point to new leads in the door. A regular glance at the right gauges will keep you on track for the long haul.
3) Where do we make the biggest contribution to the world? To keep up, we are often tempted to try to do and be everything to everyone. Generally this leads to ultimate failure because as the great Bill Cosby said, “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” We must ask ourselves where we add the most value to the marketplace. In other words, “What does your company do that only you can do?” Perhaps there’s more than one thing that you do well. Your goal should be to spend the majority of your time, money and people-energy doing the things that make the greatest contribution. On the flip side, you have to stop doing some things – even if that means saying no to money, contracts and other things that in the short term might seem tempting. Because true leaders in the marketplace become known for doing one or two things really well.
Maybe this is a top-down approach. Maybe it’s bottom-up. And maybe it’s both. But it’s worth taking a good look at the leadership stance your company has internally and in the marketplace and asking the tough questions: How are we adding value? Are we true leaders — or are we following the boring old traditional marketing methods that everyone else is doing? Are we doing the little things that make a big difference?