Startup Marketeer and Tech Veteran

Thomas Krafft

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Marketing, but without all the bullshit

Marketing has a bad reputation, and for good reason. Someone once said “I know I’m wasting half my money on marketing… The problem is, I don’t know which half.”

Marketing can spend money, whereas Sales is directly responsible for making it. That’s why traditional marketers so often resort to impressive looking activity metrics and other measurements that don’t really mean anything – and are often just an attempt to justify their existence.

This strange dance between Marketing and Sales and management has gone on for some time. And management often contributes to this problem by asking Marketing to generate activity instead of results – thinking that one will produce the other. And so, Marketing generates activity. The problem is, activity alone doesn’t work – even though it does look impressive on Board slides.

For example, Marketing teams are usually asked to bring home some number of leads from industry tradeshows – with typically no mention of expectations around the quality of those leads. And so, Marketing teams go to these expensive tradeshows with an almost maniacal focus on gimmicks and flare meant to attract peoples’ attention just long enough to get their tradeshow ID badge scanned into the CRM system. *ZAP!* Now, you’re a lead. Marketing will send you weekly emails asking you to buy that thing in which you had zero interest, or worse, they’ll send you off to the Sales team to qualify – even though everyone already knows the leads are total crap.

For me, this is all ridiculous. I don’t have time for office politics – I’m there to help generate revenues. If you put up the sign on the tradeshow booth, or had a speaker on stage, people will come find you if they need what you offer. If they don’t need your offer, they won’t buy from you. No amount of razzmatazz, iPad or TV giveaways will ever change that.

My marketing approach is simple: I do marketing just like everyone else – except without the bullshit. This eliminates 90% of time marketing people normally spend on redesigning your logos, or guaranteeing you five – exactly 5 – Tweets per day, or buying you 100% share of voice on a channel no one reads any more.

If you want to learn how to do Marketing Without BullshitTM, here’s a top-10 list of tips. Enjoy!

This is an evolving list, and I’ll be sure to Tweet updates as they come to me. In the meantime, share these with your friends and, hopefully, you too can help save Marketing from itself.

  1. iPad-giveaways won’t generate good tradeshow leads, unless you actually sell iPads.
  2. Don’t buy email lists. No one willingly opts-in to a marketing email list. NO ONE.
  3. Banner ads only interrupt people trying to read or learn something. Be the something.
  4. Trust = Likes and referrals. Distrust = Tweets calling you a douchbag. Choose one.
  5. Products aren’t like babies. If someone says yours is ugly, it’s true – but you can fix it.
  6. You have < 20 seconds to confirm you offer what they wanted or expected.
  7. Your brand is what everyone in the world is saying about you right now.
  8. You cannot buy good press, traffic, or social influence – you must earn them.
  9. Enterprise sales are influenced by 20 decision makers. You need to influence ALL of them.
  10. Activity isn’t the same as Results. Devote your resources to Quality, not Quantity.

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More Stories By Thomas Krafft

Over 15 years of experience in marketing and demand creation, with strategies driving over $500 million in revenue for a variety of companies in several high-growth and competitive markets, including consumer software and web services, ecommerce, demand creation through web and search, big data, and now healthcare.