Busy

"Successful digital marketers are the least busy": Here's why

3 minute read

3 minute read

At Bespoke we speak with in-house teams about digital lead-generation every week.

When you meet such a cross-section you notice patterns in what they say.

And strangely, some of the most revealing things have little to do with marketing.

They’re about feelings, mindset, patterns of activity in the business, and so on...

"We're a bit overwhelmed"

We hear marketers use the word “overwhelmed” often.

They feel like they have so many options, tactics, tasks, projects that no matter what they do they always worry they should be focusing on something else.

They often say they’d like somebody else hired to ease workload, or want support.

But not everyone says these things.

A minority just want to talk about their plans for 3/6/9 months time.

The present is already taken care of.

They feel calm and in control, everything is in hand, and working.

Today I’m sharing more on the differences between these two styles.

Feeling "busy" with marketing

Those who say they "feel busy" are often spending lots of time creating content.

For example they are:

  1. Writing lots of blogs
  2. Writing lots of social posts
  3. Creating lots of graphics for social posts
  4. Manually engaging lots on social media
  5. Regularly updating content on their website
  6. To emphasise what’s happening here I’m going to be exaggerate a little.

I’m going to say that this group see marketing as coming in every day and creating bits of content to throw on the pile.

The pile never ends, so they’re always busy, and results are never quite what they want, because more content on an already huge pile isn't what's needed.

It happens because there's no real strategy. And in the absence of a proper strategy the most satisfying thing to do is to feel busy - whether it's effective or not.

Feeling "impactful" with marketing

The other group feels what they're doing is "impactful".

They talk about campaigns that have been "game changers".

They see big leaps in results - "suddenly conversion rate almost doubled!".

They want to talk about taking things further, about what they will be doing over the next year, next year's budget, next year's big projects, next year's campaigns.

And day-to-day their activity is different, they're doing things like:

  1. Running laser targeted campaigns, ie with tightly defined paid ad audiences, that only their ideal customers see
  2. Creating high-value premium content (white papers, genuinely useful video, scorecards, online tools, email sequences)
  3. Investing time in creating evergreen content with real depth that can be repurposed in many different ways
  4. Running tests on their campaigns and website to continually improve conversion rates
  5. Developing new skills, debating future campaign approaches, reporting and celebrating recent breakthroughs

What's the secret?

There's obviously lots involved in setting up a lead-gen machine that delivers predictable results on its own - it involves building the right strategy, some great marketing assets, laser targeted campaigns, a performance website, and so on.

A good way to simplify this concept is to consider that the most successful businesses in the world spend way more time promoting content than creating it.

The thought process is "what would be an amazing marketing asset our audience would love?" and then "once built, what are all the ways to promote and re-use it?".

So for example, we've seen instances where cutting back manual social media activity by 80% and investing instead in one brilliantly executed asset, campaign or tactic has grown leads hugely with much less work needed.

The John Lewis example

A perfect example is the John Lewis Christmas ad.

It's produced in the summer, with huge energy investment - often around £1m.

Then later in the year they spend 5-times as much promoting it extensively.

It's a single 2-minute piece of content that's viewed almost 5m times!


Some useful food for thought hopefully for your own approach to digital lead-gen.

If you haven't yet be sure to get your free Digital Strategy Audit where you can score your business on this and similar topics.

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Steve Brennan Author
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Steve Brennan
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Steve Brennan is Co-founder and CEO of Bespoke, and author of the Amazon #1 bestseller, Build Your Digital Marketing Strategy

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