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Did you hear about the old shoemaker that was so busy serving his adoring public that his own poor children went barefoot?

How about the marketer that was so busy solving her clients’ marketing challenges that she totally neglected her own brand? Yep, the poor brand with no shoes.

Have you been there? Maybe you’re a tech company with outdated software, a printer with a brochure printed on a copier (yep—seen it), a builder in need of office upgrades, a hairdresser with roots, or a parent with zero hobbies of their own. And if I have to say, “Really, don’t look at me—I’m a really bad example” or “Do as I say, not as I do” one more time, I’m going to scream.

There is no pretty way to put it—I’m a hypocrite. A well-intentioned hypocrite, but a hypocrite nonetheless.

But that stops today, because today is the day I’m making a resolution. I’m making a commitment to all of my past, present, and future clients. I will actually do what I tell all of you to do with your businesses—market them wisely.

Gulp. Moment of hesitation. Courage. Here we go.

4 C’s of Marketing

You’ve probably heard about the 4 P’s of marketing—price, promotion, product and place. But I talk (okay, maybe preach) about the 4 C’s of marketing—consistency, constant progress, commitment, and conversation. Do these, and your brand will succeed. That, I promise.

Consistency— Back in my college days, I had a psychology professor that literally put a * next to anything that was going to be a test question. If you memorized all of the class notes with a *, you were guaranteed at least a “C” on the test. But despite her very generous help, there were people to fail each test. How? They didn’t show up. Showing up is half the battle.

Choose the places that you will show-up wisely, but be someone who can be counted on to be there every time, in a predictable, yet meaningful way.

Constant (sometimes imperfect) Progress—I’m a perfectionist and visionary, so this is the one I struggle with the most. (And this one is probably the hardest for my clients as well.)

Do you remember that show on MTV, My Super Sweet 16? In every episode, loving (and very wealthy) parents would throw an elaborate party more akin to a Super Bowl Halftime Show than an actual party. After months and months of planning, each episode never failed to feature some young lady being carried out on some sort of throne getting presented to her adoring fans. Her family, friends, acquaintances, parents’ friends, etc. —all screamed and carried on like she was Beyonce.

Now, that’s how I envision all of my projects launching. You, too?

A very smart mentor once told me that imperfect progress brings you closer to your goal than perfect planning. Even if you know it’s not going to be perfect, give yourself grace to do it badly—then improve.

Commitment—Hands down, the number one question that I get asked by brands is the money question. How much should we be spending on our marketing? All brands are different—but the hard truth is they take a financial commitment and resources (i.e. bills, bills, bills)! From my experience, a brand that spends 3-5% of sales revenue on outbound marketing is usually set up for success.

Some of you are reading this, doing the quick math, and realizing that your budget is closer to .05-1%. You now have a goal to work toward. Imperfect progress, remember.

Conversation— As I child, I loved to go to circus. Every year, my grandfather would get tickets for us to go to the Shrine Circus when it came to Cincinnati. I loved the lions, elephants, trapeze artists, but my favorite was the announcer. He would run in and out of the three big circles announcing who would be performing next, yelling remarks at the clowns. He was the real show. His words brought drama, fun, and action to what you were seeing. His energy would infect the crowd. Should we wave our lighted swords? Yes. Should we laugh and clap at the monkeys riding the horses? Yes. Should we ask our parents to buy us our favorite circus snack? Of course.

Most brands want to be the announcer—telling their audience what to think, do, and buy. Let me ask you this. When was the last time you went to the circus? Even Cirque du Soleil entered bankruptcy this year. Our world has changed and our marketing must change with it. We are no longer in the age of broadcast; we are in the age of interaction. Brands aren’t there to perform for their audience, they converse with their audience.

Voice of your customer, voice of your consumer, needs of your customer, and needs of your consumer should all be daily internal conversations. Talking with your customers daily is essential. The brand that knows their customer the best—and acts upon that knowledge—will win.

By now you are probably thinking that my 4 C’s of marketing are easier said than done.

You. Are. Right. And that’s why brands that actually do them succeed.

And I want to be a winner. How about you?

My Commitment

I’ve honestly thought long and hard about this. There is the vision part of me that wants to say that you will see daily posts from me on every platform, big advertising campaigns, new products, PR and media attention, and waaaaaay more.

There is also the part of me that wants to make this super easy, so that I can overdeliver. But that isn’t what I do for my clients and it’s not what I should do for myself, either.

My brand is worth my time, energy, and money.

So this is my commitment today on November 17, 2020.

I pledge…

1. To being my own best marketing example, starting today

2. To spending at least 3% of my monthly revenue on &Beyond outbound marketing.

3. To keep up with annual, monthly and weekly action content and marketing plans for &Beyond

4. Consistent daily interaction with my &Beyond community and customers

5. To give away meaningful tools, tips, and content weekly via &Beyond blog, email, and social properties

6. To give myself grace when I fall short of perfect. Imperfect progress is still progress.

Wish me luck, dear friends! I will keep you posted on my setbacks and successes. Make sure you follow and watch my journey on your favorite platform. And don’t forget to sign up for my email list. We will be sharing our juiciest marketing secrets, inspiring stories, and tips to make this thing called communication a bit easier.

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