The best marketing tip I was ever given is “always start from scratch”.
When you are invited to do some else’s marketing or work on their project, it can be tempting to take a look at what has gone before and go from there.
The trouble with this approach is you don’t take full advantage of the benefits a new approach can give to a project.
Here are why you should always start from scratch.
1) Fresh Eyes Are Invaluable
When a group has been working on the same project for a while, they lose the ability to see the entire picture, especially from a new customer perspective.
What happens during the discovery stage, what its like when you first encounter the product and its branding or its marketing message has often become part of the background.
Discovering the concept as a newbie marketer is a really powerful position to be in. So use it to your advantage. Understand what it’s like for a new customer by approaching the product from their perspective.
2) Clean Slate, Less Repeated Mistakes
Quite often a team has gone as far as they can go with a particular issue or situation before they ask for additional help.
If you are brought onto a marketing project, there can be a temptation to listen to the “Oh we’ve already done that and know the answer is X” and take it as gospel… DON’T!
You’d be surprised how many companies and products fail because they work on assumptions, or out of date knowledge, or have chosen to zig when perhaps it was time to zag.
You won’t know if the same situation applies unless you discover the answer for yourself. Don’t ignore what has been done before you arrived, but don’t accept it as the final answer, either.
3) Each Marketer has a Different Approach
Different marketers find different things important. It’s those small focuses we each have when used to their best advantage can really make a difference.
For example, I worked with an event coordinator who was fanatical about keeping the bathroom clean at events. She noticed I am absolutely nut crazed about making sure people have access to pens, paper and water. We both learnt from each other that these things are important to a certain kind of person, and that the different focusses taught us to look out for things we may have overlooked previously.
When you allow people to focus on their personal itch point, you learn the tiny nuances that go into making a great event, marketing campaign or bit of copy by seeing it through another person’s experience.
It could be your itch combined with the others of the rest of the team that truly makes the difference.
4) Input vs. Validation
As discussed previously, some people might not actually want you to help them per se. They may just have their fishing pole out and want you to validate what they think is a good idea.
Starting from scratch gives you the ability to test if you have someone seeking validation as opposed to help- and it gives you the opportunity to check to see if it works.
If it works, that’s great. If it doesn’t, you have a better chance of persuading them to change the course because you’ll have uncovered why it won’t.
Or at the very least you’ll know that it’s their ego they want stroked as opposed to actual help and be able to adapt (or get the hell out).
Scratching that new marketing itch.
Starting from scratch not only gives you a unique insight, it also gives you the opportunity to add your skills well to others.
And you get to know the product and customers well as you discover it from the inside out.
Plus it gives you the opportunity to learn from other people and learn about them.
So in order to do things the best way right from the get go remember the best marketing tip: always start from scratch!