Jan 242013

How To Win at Online Marketing: A Manifesto

Michael Jordan knew how to win

Sometimes it's valuable to pull back and reflect on what's needed to WIN. What does it mean "to win" in online marketing? To win means to rise above the masses and excel in performance, return on investment, sustainability, and efficiency. To win means to take glee in the monthly reports you send to clients, because performance is so consistently stellar. To win means to make your clients, and your team, empowered and successful. To win means not settling for marginal returns.

To that end, I wrote the following manifesto. True, some of these are easier said than done. But all of them, if held as guiding principles, will help the striving marketer to stay pointed towards success. No one said it was going to be easy.

How to Win at Online Marketing

  • Do things better than anyone else
  • Be more disciplined than anyone else
  • Work smarter (not always harder) than anyone else
  • Lean on data to drive actionable decisions
  • Live further along the Data > Information > Knowledge > Wisdom continuum
  • Be not blinded by 'tail wagging the dog' hypotheses and correlation studies
  • Do not get clouded by emotion
  • Be logical and driven by scientific process
  • Be informed by superior technology
  • Be cognizant of the value of your relationships with the search engines, social sites, and partners
  • Do not be satisfied, ever. Always be looking for gains
  • Be continually learning and applying those learnings to the game
  • Be focused on the success of your team, your client, and your company
  • Be focused on the well being of your team, your clients, and your company
  • Be not afraid of what you do not know
  • Do not be blind to what you do not know
  • Do not be averse to new ideas, even if they seem hard to fathom
  • Be continually searching for signal in a crowded web and industry of noise
  • Be focused on sustainable strategies and tactics
  • Do not be concerned with chasing the algorithms
  • Place the professional in front of the personal
  • Take responsibility for your mistakes
  • Believe in accountability
  • Be willing to fail, and learn from it
  • Do not be afraid of risk
  • Know when to trust a gut instinct


9 Responses to "How To Win at Online Marketing: A Manifesto"
Ted Ives says:
Super list Adam! I would add: - When a client asks you a question and you have no idea what the answer is, admit it. - Give clients the info they need for success, even if it leads to using less of your own services
Ted, nice additions! Those are both extremely important, you're right. Nothing worse than trying to fake it with a client and ending up looking like a fool. Sometimes saying "I don't know" can be an impressive answer. We totally agree with your second principle, too. Ultimately, agencies and consultants should be in the business of helping clients achieve success, rather than achieving their own success regardless of what's best for the client. Thanks for your input. Great to have you here!
Jonah stein says:
Pay it forward! I am always happy to give my best advice and share everything I can with prospects during our first conversation, with colleagues and with competitors. Don't phone it in when you speak in public. Bring something new, original and significant any time you take the stage.
Jonah, damn straight. I truly believe in giving before expecting anything in return. People are hesitant to give away their knowledge unless they're being paid, but in my experience by giving I end up benefiting much, much more in the long run. It may take months, or even years, but that goodwill and honest help does end up paying dividends. My dad always used to say, "Give, then take." It was one of his principles in business, and to this day I still practice it. And your comment about speaking is also right on. Too many people at conferences bring lackluster content and uninspired performances. I've seen your stuff at shows and have been impressed. You bring it.
Michael says:
Adam, great manifesto. There's so much to take in with online marketing that it can be tough to handle. I love this one: Do not be satisfied, ever. Always be looking for gains. It's so true. A lot of people settle and never stop growing. That's crazy!
Michael, yep! It's so easy to settle and think you're 'far enough along' or 'know enough'. But that's just asking for someone else to come along and eat your lunch.
Haseeb says:
Great list Adam - certainly all apply to a 'successful' compaign
Jane says:
Great thought provoking list Adam. If I can apply some of them to my efforts I may see more success. Sometime the trees get in the way of the wood and a list like this can help with focus- thanks


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