There is a dominate culture of faux-marketing coaches who will throw you in the game without proper training and leave you bewildered as to why you couldn’t come out as champ after your first fight. A responsible coach will help you learn and develop the skills needed to endure both the wins and losses that create a successful champion. The allure of having an on-call coach who can give you the short-cuts to success is illusory at best. This has become overtly apparent in the field of marketing and communications.
Marketing has been defined as the study and management of exchange relationships. It is the business process of identifying, anticipating and satisfying customers' needs and wants (Hunt, 28). This has got to be one of the most accurate and yet ultimately misunderstood definitions to date. People tend to see marketing as the outward facing product of communication (Management), and totally skip the foundational principles of hypothesizing, testing and data collection (Study) that impact how we most effectively and efficiently communicate to a specific audience.
It has become a glamorized sport where people play only to look like champions instead of practicing to compete and actually become champions. Games are not won by the players who sit on the bench and get a ring after the competition has ended. Games are won and marketing is done best by those who are wiling to do the work needed to win. Coaches can only work with players. Therefore, the first principle to being an effective marketer or having a solid playbook is to be a player worthy of having a coach. So what does that actually mean?
As stated, marketing happens in order. You don’t get fruit before planting and feeding the seed. In the Zoe Communications Agency, we follow the position of strategy then execution. You cannot change anything you don’t first identify. So we create strategy sessions designed to dig deep into the core of a problem, question or challenge. Asking deeper questions that start with “why” and end with “how”. “Why” is something a coach cannot give their players and yet it gives an objective resonance to the principle and purpose of ones goal. Through my time with the agency, I’ve learned that if executed in the beginning, this small detail will help fuel the creativity and reach of any campaign you create.
Secondly, you need to train. In many environments, a coach will take you through a number of activities designed to enhance your knowledge base, condition your mind and pertinacity. This is where the true science of marketing begins to reveal itself through hypothesizing which leads into the execution of multiple test, data-collection, replication and synthesizing the data with other methodologies. To again be frank, this is way more than simply posting a selfie on Instagram and including a few trendy hashtags.
If you truly want to be coached through this thing called marketing, start your communication and promotion with sound advice and coaching. No one remembers the winners who didn’t play, as no one will ever pay attention to marketing that’s not done right.
Co-Principal + CFO
Hunt, Shelby D. 1976. "The Nature and Scope of Marketing". Journal of Marketing. 40 (3): 17–28.