Easy is a fairy tale

Easy is a fairy tale

Sorry to break the news to you, but it's true. There's no silver bullet that will drive your success. But the good news is there are lots of bronze ones. Any successful strategy will have a complicated mix of many elements. There's nothing in the human experience that is solved simply. It's all hard work - at least the meaningful stuff is.

One of my favourite sayings is "The further you get from a problem, the easier it seems to fix". This is also true if you don't know what you're talking about. So many presenters want to 'sell you' an easier life, easier business, easier marriage, but it's all snake oil. The good stuff is hard, that's why it's good. It's also why not everybody attains it. If it was easy, everyone would achieve it.

So #1: If someone promises to solve a complex problem quickly and easily for you - run away. These people will take your money and provide lip service. And #2: encourage your consultants, friends and confidants to tell you hard truths. Living in fairy land is expensive. Spending all your money on an app that someone else has already done better (or nobody wants) is painful. Signing up for 12 month programs that will do nothing other than thin out your bank account hurts. So don't live your life in an echo chamber. Ask knowledgeable people for their opinions and encourage them to tell you what you don't want to hear. I'm sure there are a lot of us out there that would have done things differently if the advice we got was honest, instead of kind.

When it comes to marketing, the same rules apply. One thing will not fix all that ails you. Especially nowadays when the number of bright and shiny distractions has exploded. 

Don't abdicate your responsibility to one person and pray that they're your saviour. But likewise don't chase after every new thing and waste your life running in circles. Surround yourself with good advisors, listen to what they say (especially on the subject of which marketing initiatives will provide biggest bang for your buck) then develop an achievable plan that includes enough actions to make a dent, but not so many that you end up doing everything poorly. Then put things in motion, measure results, and get better at what you're doing.

At Kingfisher we call it our Profit Driver. Diagnose, Recommend, Implement, Validate, Evolve, Return. Every job we work on we follow it, as it's what drives ROI. We Diagnose first, as there's absolutely no point suggesting a course of action unless you understand where the pain and/or opportunities are. Then once we know this, we Recommend the strategies that will give the optimum results and, once the client has given their go-ahead, Implement said strategies. Validate is the hard part, as not all businesses are setup for measurement, but we work with whatever is available to determine the outcomes of the actions we've taken. Once we know this, it's time to Evolve. This doesn't happen all the time. If something is working well, we'll leave it alone. But it's unlikely that every initiative will be a ripping success, so it's usually necessary to hone some aspects of the campaign. And then finally we get to the fun part - Return. If we've done our job well through the rest of the process, the client should be enjoying improved response, leads and profit. 

That said, improvement isn't Nirvana. There's always new pains to cure and opportunities to grasp, so the Profit Driver wheel keeps turning, and that's ok. Rome wasn't built in a day. The sooner you learn to appreciate the trusted advisor who will tell you that over the seller trying to 'win' your business, you'll be a lot better off.

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