Tuesday 2¢ – What about you?

This week, I try to focus my thoughts on a BIG project, but I am wondering, in all this marketing strategy advice, what about you?

To steal the joke that is often made about marathon runners, or more recently, I heard about wild water swimmers*:

How do you know if someone is writing a book?

Don’t worry, they will tell you.

And I am.

In order to do this, I need to be very disciplined in not just writing any old random idea that takes my fancy on a Tuesday but writing something that will add to my word count.

And, if you are wondering, it’s a word count currently sitting at 6000 words.

I wanted to make the analogy of climbing Everest, that I am just at base camp.

Sadly, checking the facts, I discovered that the ‘base camp’ is around 5,000m/17,000 ft up the mountain, which is 9,000m/29,00ft high, so the base camp is actually over halfway up the mountain from sea level. And sea level is definitely where my book climbing journey started, so at 6000 words, I’m early in my journey.

This will not shock you, I am writing a book on B2B marketing, that is intended as a practical guide from the perspective of experience, that may or not have a swear word in the title. But as I have only just done the equivalent of picking up my bags from Kathmandu airport on this trek, much is still to be determined.

Like any decent B2B marketing book (and some rubbish ones, too), I am sketching out the first steps in a new marketing gig: planning, setting goals, objectives (OKRs) and all the good stuff that we can often be found talking about over on the Rockstar CMO podcast and blog.

We call it the Masterplan, the first of our 5 f’in’ marketing fundamentals (The Masterplan, The Knowledge, The Story, The Campaign and The Machine).

As I explore this topic, I am sharing advice on aligning with the business needs, the product roadmap and maturity, understanding the organisation’s appetite for change, considering the customer’s needs, and a popular pain point for marketing leaders: justifying marketing existence as an investment, not a cost or a tax.

You probably know the drill: a plethora of stakeholders (good lord, I just narrowly avoided a rabbit hole of researching why we call them ‘stakeholders’), technology, people, processes, business goals, etc. etc., that need to be considered and wrapped up into a plan.

And as I wax lyrically about all of this in this opening chapter, I’ve realised that when we read books that give all this marketing advice, they rarely consider us or you, the reader.

What do you need?

How do you feel after doing all this research into the business?

Do the objectives align with your goals?

Is it a mission that gets you excited, or is not exactly as described in the interview?

How do you need to change or adapt?

How is this different to what you know?

What will I learn and how?

My point is that the normal marketing discovery process and development of the plan will reveal something about how you feel about the opportunity ahead of you.

I like the book “The First 90 Days” by Michael D. Watkins, but even in that advice, is there a point of reflection that says, “Is this really for me?” – I don’t think so.

I had a jolly nice lunch the other day with a London agency chum that I hadn’t seen for a good long while. Of course, I mentioned the book (see above; he just needed to wait a moment), and we had an entertaining conversation, not really much about the book, but about careers, life and such, and there is, obviously, so much of us defined by our work.

Plus, for most of us, the time we commit to an employer is the only currency we have to invest, and it’s a finite commodity. Yes, of course, you are employed; it’s a quid pro quo, and you get paid, but we should be really considerate of our time and invest it wisely.

I am really not sure if this point is for the book, but that’s my thought for this week.

What about you?

And I need a taxi from Kathmandu, as after this, I still sit at 6000 words.

*To maintain the book writing obsession, that joke comes courtesy of the rather lovely Extraordinary Business Book Clubpodcast, by Alison Jones, whose courses I am attending.

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