This blog entry appeared in the September issue of the Dutch marketing magazine Marketing Tribune when I was Head of Marketing for PICNIC, the biggest international media event held every year in Amsterdam:
Excellence in marketing requires the same approach as excellence in sport.
- Goal setting, planning, and discipline: Excellence in sport starts with setting ambitious, yet achievable goals, planning how to achieve these and having the discipline to keep to the plan; plus possessing the flexibility to revise the plan if needed. A marketer without such a goal and plan, is like a feather in the wind.
- Partnerships and trust: A sporter without a coach and sponsor is going to have a hard time making the top even with the required ability and discipline. Trusting them is also a pre-requisite. Marketing is not a stand-alone department, it is a way of thinking. Being an excellent marketer requires partnering internally with sales and with organizations with the same ambition; joint ownership of a goal makes reaching that goal more attainable.
- Measuring and testing: A top sporter lives by measurement, whether it is seconds, weight, calories, heart rate or distance. For every change in technique or equipment the output is measured and revised if appropriate. A marketer can’t excel without measuring and testing every Euro spent to determine possible improvements in output compared to the baseline.