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Do you know what a good marketer is?  How about a great marketer? The major difference is measured in RESULTS.  Then the only difference between a bad marketer and a great one is RESULTS. So let me ask you this question, is your agency great at marketing?

“Success is going from failure to failure without the loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

Seriously, if you ask me what separates a good marketer from a really bad marketer, the answer would be and should only be one word, results.

But let’s not forget, results aren’t everything.  The marketing landscape is changing quickly, both in the internet world and in the traditional marketing world.  And while a good marketer might get you and your agency results today, that might change tomorrow.

Today’s good marketer might be tomorrow’s bad marketer.  A great marketer will always be a great marketer no matter what happens to the marketing landscape.  They will be able to get you great results tomorrow, next week and a month from now.  They will consistently deliver Results.

Why is that you may ask? Let’s learn what GREAT marketers do.

A great marketer never stops learning.   He or she is still learning and will never stop learning and that’s why they remain GREAT!

I’ve been part of a content marketing group since 2011. Back then the World Wide Web was a much different place. Content was an awful lot about search engine optimization, also called SEO. People were writing blog posts and carefully optimizing them for SEO so they could get their business or agency to the top of Google’s search. Entering keywords and optimizing for keyword density or keyword search, setting up back links and/or back linking strategies for your business, setting up link networks.  For a long while that worked and was very effective for many marketers.

If you push forward to today’s times, this is and may still be working for some marketers and some agencies.  But I can assure you, not for all. A marketer that has been a good marketer back in 2009/2010 will try to work out what has changed and what they can do to adapt their strategy from 2009 to the present situation. If they are lucky, they will be able to make this work again and again. If they are unlucky, they will run around complain about how the latest Google update unfairly killed their business and it is all Google’s fault.  Well it isn’t true.  Yes, Google continues to change and continues to push out updates; that’s a good thing for our agencies.  You may ask why; it is because it allows us “smaller” agencies to compete against the big boys such as Geico and Progressive. We will never have the marketing budgets these guys have so we can compete when Google continues to change the landscape.

A great marketer will continue to work on creating new marketing strategies.  He will review the situation and remove all the parts that are not working anymore. He will incorporate new ideas,  such as visual content marketing into his new strategy.

If their current SEO strategy is not working, they will not try to force it. They will update their strategy to include new tactics, like social media marketing (which plays a large role in SEO.)) They may even revert to traditional marketing (offline marketing) which I also would highly recommend because every great strategy is a blended strategy.  If the results they need cannot be achieved with their current toolset, they will quickly learn something new.  They are willing to accept change. And that is what makes them a Great Marketer.

Yes, a great marketer does not only walk the roads that others have paved.  They innovate and choose their own path. Read the story of Steve Jobs and Apple you will see that Steve Jobs had chosen his own path and look at Apple Today!

Marketing is changing and it is changing rapidly because of two things – the development of new technology and great marketers not accepting anything as an ideal solution. They constantly improve on existing solutions, they continue to monitor data and test ideas and assumptions and they are relentless in their data collection. They come up with improved solutions from their data and they test again and again.  They are not willing to sit in one place and allow themselves to become average marketers. They pave their own roads and their own paths to better their marketing results.

Why great marketers remain great is because they figure out simple as well as time and cost effective ways to test the viability of their ideas. Their first step is to turn their marketing ideas into assumptions, and then they design a test that allows them to collect some data.  Then they act on the data they have gathered. This is the recipe for coming up with new and innovative ways of marketing. The biggest issue in the agency marketing world is the collection of data and tracking. Yellow page ads have made the industry lazy and we have to come out of that funk.  We have to track everything and collect data then review it regularly because it all matters to our agency’s bottom line.

My final thought is that the best marketers design a marketing strategy based on their ideas, which leads to promising results.  Without that data/tracking you will never become a great marketer..

All this sounds very simple, right? Well, it’s not.  It’s actually quite hard.  Let me explain why.

 A great marketer NEVER stops when the client is happy.  He continues improving until he himself is happy and in most cases that’s never.

Let’s talk about getting RESULTS. Getting the results a client wants is sometimes easy but sometimes it is impossible. A great marketer will tell the client when it is impossible.  It’s about being transparent, transparency is the key for Millennials and without it you will never earn their trust. That same great marketer will also not be happy with their solution only because the client is happy.  This is what pushes that great marketer onward.

I know, as a marketing junkie myself, what happens.  We will continue working in our heads.  We will continue to toss ideas around, trying to figure out what we have missed because we are not willing to throw in the towel.  We will continue to fight forward until we get the answers we are looking for. With all that being said, that does not mean I tell the client that.  It means that I will, for myself, figure out what wasn’t perfect or at least get an idea of what I could have improved on.

I’ve met a handful of people in my life that I would categorize as great marketers. But I’ve met an awful lot of good marketers and thousands of bad marketers.  The only way someone ends up on the bad marketers list if they think marketing is about them and unfortunately many marketers do. Marketing isn’t about YOU.  It is about others and if we keep that in mind we have already moved off of the bad list onto the good list.  If we want to achieve a spot on the great list then never stop learning and collecting data and never settle for being average.