Here’s the truth about marketing in 5 words:
Marketing will never be done.
If you think that’s overwhelming (and a little depressing) I understand.
And if you think, therefore, I must be lying that all your marketing can get done in 10 minutes, I understand that too.
But you are wrong on both counts.
Will my marketing really never be done?
A few years ago, I was sitting with the CEO of the company I was working for at the time, having just wrapped up the first marketing operations meeting of the year. I was staring at my notes with the lists of things he wanted to be done that year, all of which seemed roughly as large as the Nullarbor and at least as daunting.
I was so overwhelmed, tears were starting to fill my eyes.
And do you know what the CEO said to me?
Marketing is a mountain and you will never reach the top of it.
That’s what I thought at the time, at any rate. If what he said was true, if I’d always be fighting an uphill battle that would NEVER END, why bother?
But as time wore on, I learned what he had meant by the metaphor.
Marketing will never be done, but it always needs doing.
You cannot finish ‘all the marketing’ and trying to do so will set you up for failure. But you can finish all of your marketing with the right approach.
Marketing is a verb for a reason
To actually get marketing ‘done’ the first thing to understand is that marketing itself is not a single task or something you can do as a once-off. It is an ongoing process.
In other words, marketing is a never-ending list of tasks.
If you, like me, enjoy a good ol’ fashioned to-do list, where you can mark one thing after the next off, this may make marketing feel terrifying. But there’s another way to think about it.
Marketing is a cascade of many little steps.
You can (and should) finish each step, but you must also have the next step identified. Once one step is finished, you will be ready for the next.
Assuming that your marketing follows a strategic plan, the next step for you will always be fairly obvious. Finish that step, identify the next, repeat. And so on it goes.
The trick is how to keep doing step after step.
Do it all in just 10 minutes
Yes, you really can do all your marketing in just 10 minutes. The thing is, you just cannot do all your marketing in the same 10 minutes.
Here’s what I mean:
When it comes to marketing, many people work in fits and bursts. They do a bunch, taper out of energy or funds or both, then more or less abandon everything for an undetermined amount of time.
This doesn’t work. Or, at best, it doesn’t work very well.
Many things in marketing, especially things that create long-term success, such as content marketing, take time to grow. If you do all your ‘marketing’ for one month a year, and then fall silent the rest of the time, you aren’t giving the nurture your long-term marketing projects need (and you are putting way too much stress on your short-term projects).
Instead, commit to marketing 10 minutes at a go, at least once per day.
The 10-minute marketing plan
In Australia, there is an average of 250 working days per year.
If you spend 10 minutes per working day on marketing, you’ll end up spending just 40 hours the entire year on marketing. That’s only 1 working week’s worth of time for the whole year. (Not a lot, if you think about it.)
But even if that’s all you do, you will also have touched your marketing every single working day. Which means you will have progressed the steps most critical to your marketing success, in the right order, each and every day.
This alone will keep your marketing from stagnating. It will also keep the ‘marketing mountain’ from growing on you until it becomes truly insurmountable.
In truth, you will need to spend a bit longer than 10 minutes on some tasks to make any real headway. Committing to only 10 minutes will only get you so far.
But it will get you a lot further than just standing there, staring up at the marketing mountain with tears of despair in your eyes.
So try it!
It will only take 10 minutes.