A lot of people have covered this ground, I'm quite sure. In fact, I just googled and there are a number of folks who have already borrowed from Steven Covey's Seven Habits brand with respect to marketers. So I'm not being very original here at all. But I also haven't cheated and looked at what the "experts" have to say.
Here are my Seven Habits of Effective Marketers (in no particular order):
- They make it their business to understand how and why customers use their products. That means going on sales calls, talking and listening regularly to customers, and - if it's at all feasible - watching how their customers actually use their products.
- They make it their business to understand why they lose deals. That means win-loss analysis that's not shy about asking the ones that got away the hard questions. (And taking their answers very seriously.)
- They anticipate their customers' needs. They do this by putting themselves in their customers shoes and trying to figure out what might make the product do an even better job for those customers.
- They keep on top of their market. They watch the competition like a hawk. They watch those in adjacent market spaces like a hawk, too. They look at what's going on in their industry, in the economy, in the world at large: anything that can impact their customers, their products, their company.
- They know enough about their product to be able to communicate about it with ease and conviction. They know the features, they know the benefits, and they know how they connect up. They know who the product's for, and what users get out of it.They don't have to refer to a product cheat-sheet to answer first-level questions; they've internalized the information.
- They're always up for learning about that new techniques, new trends, new technology that are changing the way we market. (And they're not afraid of letting go of "what always used to work". )
- They look at the results. Very carefully.No, they don't spend all their waking hours coming up with new metrics and measuring sticks, but if something's not working, they make it their business to find out - and find out why. If something is working, they want to know why that's so, too.
This may be a really dumb thing to admit, but I can't exactly look in the mirror and say that I'm in perfect synch with the seven habit habit all the time. Even when I know I should be doing something, I occasionally let it slide - or backslide.
But I can look around me and see some very effective marketers. In fact, I work regularly with two of them.
John Whiteside. Sean Branagan.
Gentlemen, take a bow!
Apologies to Steven Covey. I'll let our readers know if I get a cease and desist order and have to change the title to "Seven Hobbits" or something.