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Azleen Abdul Rahim

Most Companies Don’t Have Balls When It Comes To Marketing, Yours Included

By keeping yourself surrounded by theories all the time, using secondary data or scenarios from other people’s experience, won’t make your plan any better.

Definitely, strategy is very important when you’re embarking your marketing journey. From branding to marketing et al, without proper strategy or planning you will face challenges to bring out the value of your brand. Without it, you’re doomed. No doubt about it.

However overdoing it can be a disaster too. By keeping yourself surrounded by theories all the time, using secondary data or scenarios from other people’s experience, won’t make your plan any better. It requires action. The real situation out there will help shorten your learning curve. Out there, it’s just nasty and it’ll teach you a very good lesson.  

So my advice to you is this. Stop fine tuning those plans till perfection bro, have some balls to execute them. While you’re checking yourself down there to see whether your balls are still there jiggling between your legs, have a look at these areas where you need to be braved at.

Have balls to make your brand’s first impression credible. I can tell you this right now. A professional con man is very good at this. He will ensure that the first impression will last. He will dress well, converse professionally well, have a convincing ride on that day and ensure all details that meets the eye are well positioned. When he tries to convince people to give him money for whatever reasons those might be, he knows that the person he talks to will try to justify quietly that the decision he or she is about to make will be the right one. While considering it, that person’s eyeballs will be wandering around to find reasons for him or her to say yes (or no). And those eyeballs will catch all the ‘convincing’ details about this trickster, looking at his expensive pen to the expensive car, his watch, laptop and all other minute details. As the eyes are wandering around, the logic will come into the picture too. The way he tell stories and the details of the stories are all within this observation. Will this crook score the money after that? Obviously he will.

So, you need to have balls like this guy too. Build your brand’s persona convincingly. The first impression must last. Anticipate what the customers experience will be when they come over and visit your official website, blog and social media channels. If these can’t do the work convincingly, make that decision to take a step back and iron things out quickly. Don’t chicken out now even though you’re still at the initial stage. Be a man. This is a stage where the foundation of trust is built.

Have balls to learn. Robert Kiyosaki keeps reminding us to surround ourselves with great advisors. Even professional tennis players such as Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have coaches too. That is why they are successful. They have balls to admit that they still have many things to learn. And they are willing to do it. They know that this is the only option for them to evolve and be better in their game. Unlike you, who seems to know everything. Stop this nonsense, have some balls to learn new things as marketing is no chicken feet. Do you actually know what is the best marketing method for your business? If you do not know the answer, find someone to teach you.

Have balls to embrace the reality. Nike has a great slogan for this – Just Do It. Plan your marketing strategy accordingly and let it out to the real world. Embrace the reality. Should you think you may hit a big wall right in front of you, pivot the plan. Then strive forward again. Do these until you find your own momentum.

Have balls to invest where necessary. Everyone knows Coca-Cola. The brand is among the most recognised brands in the world, but they nevertheless spend billions of dollars annually to market themselves out. On the other side of the spectrum, startups and SMEs view marketing as a matter of survival. If they do not invest in it, their business will be as good as disappear in no time. Between those two extremes, however, an interesting thing often happens – companies forget about marketing altogether. Once they hit past a few thousands ringgit in revenue, it’s tempting to let things slide. Some, they simply stop marketing altogether by focusing on sales activities.

They simply forgot that Marketing is a lot similar like food. It’s the regular, sustained nourishment that gets your business where you want it to be, and keeps it there. You need it throughout the day, every day. Global organisations are consistent about this, having a well-funded marketing regularly even when they’re already successful by any measure. While inexperienced organisations like yours would wait until you’re starving to start looking for nourishment, rather than eat regular, healthy meals throughout the day, to keep you stronger day after day.

Have balls to write articles. Whether you’re an expert on SEO or not, being aware of search engine power is crucial if you’re working in an online space. In a nutshell, increasing your search ranking is pretty self-explanatory: it means making your blog or website easier searchable when someone is using a search engine such as Google to find information. By writing articles, you’re creating a better keyword focus for your blog. You can target certain terms – ones which you know your intended audience are likely to search for, in order to bring more traffic to your site. Adding a blog to your website also allows Google to index more pages, which in turn also increases your search engine ranking. Don’t wait, have balls to write your own articles before your competitor does.

Have balls to outsource your weaknesses. You might be wondering what this has to do with running a marketing department, but it’s really quite simple. The thing you’re good at, do them and do them well. The things that fall well outside of your expertise, don’t agonise over them or spend hours doing what will inevitably be a bad job, outsource them out. Instead of spending time experimenting things, have some balls to trust other people who are really good in what they do to fulfil the work on your behalf. From content writing to graphic design, from blogging to video editing – there is definitely someone out there waiting for you to find them.

Have balls to make mistakes. Steve Jobs made lots of mistakes especially during those Apple II flops before he found success with iPod. Michael Jordan too, he failed many times when the game was on the line and his team was on the verge of losing. You must have heard of the story of J. K. Rowling’s strings of failure too when she first wrote Harry Potter books. It was a very long and hard journey for her, experiencing a failed marriage, unemployment with no money left in the pocket and rejections from multiple publication houses. Yet, she kept going forward. Yet, Michael Jordan and Steve Jobs prevailed and each of them become legends in their own respective field. Why is that? These people have balls and dare to fail. Failure inspires them to defy all odds and go after their dreams. Are you willing to do that with your marketing initiatives?

Have balls to be patience. Nothing happens overnight. To market your complicated products will take time. People need to go through the process of getting to know your brand and the products better. To reach them is one story, and to make them convince with what you’ve got is another. Once that part is done, then only they will buy from you. There is a great quote from a guide book called Successful Advertising by Thomas Smith, written back in the year 1885. He mentioned this;

The first time a man looks at an advertisement, he does not see it. The second time, he does not notice it. The third time, he is conscious of its existence. The fourth time, he faintly remembers having seen it before. The fifth time, he reads it. The sixth time, he turns up his nose at it. The seventh time, he reads it through and says “Oh brother!” The eight time, he says “Here’s that confounded thing again!” The ninth time, he wonders if it amounts to anything. The tenth time, he asks his neighbour if he has tried it. The eleventh time, he wonders how the advertiser makes it pay. The twelfth time, he thinks it must be a good thing. The thirteenth time, he thinks perhaps it might be worth something. The fourteenth time, he remembers wanting such thing a long time. The fifteenth time, he is tantalised because he cannot afford to buy it. The sixteenth time, he thinks he will buy it someday. The seventeenth time, he makes a memorandum to buy it. The eighteenth time, he swears at his poverty. The nineteenth time, he counts his money carefully. The twentieth time he sees the ad, he buys what it is offering.

You just have to repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat and continue to repeat your message to the world and be patience while doing that. With perseverance, you will see results coming your way. And you just need to have balls for this.

You know, girls do play this marketing game too. And some of them do have balls, unlike some men.

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Written By

Azleen Abdul Rahim is the Co-Founder of Marketing In Asia. He also runs NSE, a social media management company. Follow him on LinkedIn.

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