It’s been a while now since I’ve been in love with marketing.

Don’t get me wrong, I love ‘my’ job, but being associated with an industry that comes with so much baggage is not my favourite.

Marketing must be the only industry that it’s normal to be a bit shit in; you don’t get engineers who don’t know what they are doing, calling themselves experts in engineering. You wouldn’t get much work for long if you kept engineering rubbish widgets that wouldn’t fit, didn’t work or were not to the brief. But you do in marketing.

It was highlighted to me during my time at the recent Festival of Marketing that it’s not just me who thinks our wonderful industry is in a weird place (I wrote an article on my LinkedIn about that very thing.) So I wanted to write about the basics, something to live by that marketers need to adhere too.

These are 10 words to live by if you call yourself a marketer:


Everything you do should start with some kind of diagnosis. You need to understand the current situation, including problem definition and opportunity definition. This includes just a little good old qual and quant research.


You need to understand your market – the whole market of which you are trying to reach to do impact-driven creative brand work and then chose three-ish target segments for action based targetted marketing campaigns.



Be ambitious with your goals, be ambitious with your brands positioning, be ambitious with your creative.


All the money is in the long term. We need to spend 60% or more of our time and budget in long term brand work. To many of us are fixated on the short term quick win.


Don’t worry, I haven’t gone all tactical on you and suggesting we all use outdoor media. We should, however, not be lazy. Every message, every piece of creative we put out should be given the billboard test which is: “If I only have one billboard to market this product/service, ask yourself: is this  good enough to be on my one billboard?” – If it’s not a definite yes, it’s a no!


Remember, I said 60% of your budget should go on long term brand building? The other 40% should be on short term sales activation, targetted campaigns.


In support of the short, we should be specific. Have a clear position, a clear proposition, a specific goal, specific markets and target segments. If your mum wouldn’t understand, it’s not clear enough. I know I mentioned it earlier but ‘definition’ is a skill we don’t use often enough.


This is probably my favourite of the ten words I’m sharing today. In the article, I linked to earlier (here it is again) I set the scene that marketers are not brave enough. It’s easy to be good enough, but when it comes to marketing good, ironically, is not good enough. We are the people for which creativity is our lifeblood- we need to be brave, stop focussing on processes, and plans and get back to making stuff that makes people go WOW.

Good is the enemy of great


I’m pretty sure it was Seth Godin who said ‘we are all teachers’. It’s sooooooooo true. It’s our job as the voice of the customer, as the creative leads to teach the other people, our clients, our colleagues, our teams what we believe – we need to teach, proove and preach why we do what we do and why it’s important.


Marketing is the thing that ties the people inside the business to those we chose to serve. Marketing ties us as colleagues together in a common mission and vision to deliver the customer experience we promise in our brand and marketing. That means everyone is a marketer, product people, HR people, finance people, front of house, sales you name it – if we are involved in the business of providing products or services to other humans – you’re in marketing – the relationship-building business.

That’s it from me, I hope you enjoyed it – I’m [@timelliottuk]( on the socials if you want to continue the conversation 🙂