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The building blocks of successful marketing. Or a spaceship

Successful marketing is hard to make. So many things can derail even the most detailed plan. Customers don’t want your products or services. Other companies want you out of business. The deck is stacked against you no matter what you do.

Or is it?

In my experience, there’s one single trait that can successful your marketing teams have and others lack. It informs decision, drives action and produces results. Best of all, it’s something that nearly anyone can pick up.

No, I don’t plan to sell you the secret miracle product that creates successful marketing.  This won’t be some long-winded diatribe about how this one life-changing trick will hack your social growth or something like that. The truth is actually much simpler than that.

The Characteristic All Successful Marketing Teams Have

Resourcefulness. That’s it. That’s the secret. Call it grit. Call it enterprise. Call it anything you like. Your ability to make something out of any situation will go a long way toward producing successful marketing. More than creativity. More than writing skill. More than technical know-how. Be resourceful and you’ll be successful.

At least, that’s how every single successful marketing person I know found their way to the top. It’s also how every successful marketing campaign to which I’ve contributed has gotten that way. So I find it to be a common trait that can be applied to just about any team to breed a culture of success.

But what does it mean, exactly? Let’s break it down.

The Elements of Marketing Resourcefulness

Resourcefulness can be many different things to many different people. I attribute it to the problem-solving approach we take to marketing in general. You have questions and concerns about your business or brand. We try our best to come up with answers. We can be right. We can be wrong. And we never stop trying to find the solution that makes sense, which takes a heavy dose of resourcefulness.

In our experience, there are three elements that combine to produce this key trait. Every time we come up with a creative campaign, try to solve complex challenges or adjust course, this is the process we use.

Awareness of the Situation

Knowing and measuring what happens in your marketing campaign is the first step to successful marketing. After all, how can you ever hope to improve anything if you don’t know what’s going on? That’s what makes impeccable planning and measurement so vital to resourcefulness.

What happens when things go sideways, though? Or what about opportunity that presents itself out of nowhere? Resourcefulness is also understanding what’s at your disposal at any given time. Literally, what resources do you have to use and how can you use them. I guess that’s where the name comes from.

Asymmetrical Thinking

Once you have a firm grasp of variables, things like sequencing, shape, timing, creative, messaging, audience and such, you begin to ask questions that can yield some interesting, undiscovered insights. This next step gets you thinking about different combinations and ways to make things work that you may not have considered at the beginning. True breakthroughs can come from simply analyzing your information in a new and exciting way.

Think of it like this. Your data and information are like LEGOs. Everything fits together in some way. It’s the way you put the puzzle together that forms a great masterpiece or a nondescript blob of bricks.

Action with Purpose

Finally, all this strategy and planning is useless without the ability to spring into action and make something out of the information at hand. Successful marketing goes the extra mile and puts insight into practice.

True resourcefulness does the legwork. It finds a way to accomplish what others don’t dare. It rolls up its sleeves and gets the job done, regardless of what it takes. Even when the path is impossible and the ask is unreasonable, the resourceful marketer will figure it all out. All the tools are there. It takes strength of will and fast action to create successful marketing.

Why More Marketers Aren’t Resourceful

You’d think if the secret to successful marketing was right there that everyone would jump on it. So how come more people in the field don’t rely on their resourcefulness when planning or executing a campaign?

It’s easier to be lazy than it is to be proactively shifting on the fly. When you believe your strategy is bulletproof, you make excuses and rest on your laurels. Furthermore, when there are a ton of layers of approval involved in a campaign, it makes it hard to be nimble without serious repercussions. If you’re going to be resourceful, you better be right or risk losing the job.

When you approach marketing challenges with a problem-solving mentality, you’re forced to understand the variables. Then, you figure out relationships and influences and act accordingly. You make it work, using all the resources available to you. By making full use of your experience, knowledge and tools, you enhance your ability to produce successful marketing.

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