Tuesday 2¢ – Marketing Swans and Icebergs 

Do you need to market the marketing? A lot is being said about that, and yes, maybe..

There is a lot of commentary about “marketing the marketing”, that we, as marketers, need to sell our business discipline and purpose to the business, aligned with the goals of the C suite, in their language and not just make an impact, but internally market that work.

There is an argument this would be true for any business leader. If you’ve read “First 90 Days” by Michael Watkins, setting and communicating goals are key. But “marketing the marketing” sounds better, is a lovely alteration, and tugs on the insecurity marketers have for their craft, and the much-reported shrinking tenure of your average CMO.

The difference from other business disciplines is that there are two sides to marketing.

The bit happening in view, the advertising, branding, the leads generated (in B2B) and all the things that everyone has an opinion on and considers to be “marketing”. Basically, branding, advertising, campaigns and comms.

If your marketing was an iceberg, these are the things that are above the waterline, or maybe a swan, the lovely bit on top of the water.

But, this stuff only happens when you’ve operationalized marketing, sorted the team, done the research and discovery, understood your audience, strategised the strategy, all of the things that either make up the bit of the marketing iceberg that is under the water or the paddling feet of the swan, as it majestically glides across a lake.

And as my chum Robert Rose observed on my podcast once, if you wander about the office with the creative for a new website or some new brand creative you’ll attract a crowd of people ready to be engaged and lend their opinion.

Do the same with a budget spreadsheet, a content plan, an analysis of your customer database looking for an ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) or a task board of a thousand tasks to make that all happen; then, as marketers, you do that alone, it’s not a crowd pleaser.

The other challenge, as you go through this process, and if you allow me to sweat the swan analogy, is that swans don’t pop out of their eggs as majestic beasts, revered and protected by royalty. Sure, they are cute chicks, but then they go through the ugly ducking stage and so does your operationalisation of the team, it’ll be messy for a bit.

This bit of the iceberg under the water, the paddling feet of the swan or the ugly ducking, is the bit of marketing that needs internal marketing.

Because if your executive team don’t value that bit of the work, you are building a foundation for your successor.

Aside from my ongoing argument with Grammarly, robots did not write any copy, but they did create the image, which was created using A.I. through NightCafe Creator

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