My epiphany word for today: restraint.
Marketers live in a world fraught with criticism and unsolicited advice (everyone knows how to market – just ask them.) Added to that, thanks to our digital world, is the opinions of and critique from everyone online as well. However, the longer I stay in the profession, the more I learn to appreciate the valuable nuggets in the sometimes volumes of feedback received from colleagues, co-workers, and complete strangers.
The truth is that others see what I might not. Some great ideas come from people that are not as inextricably attached to the project as I am. Sales and field colleagues, in particular, are very connected to the prospect and customer and can shed excellent insight into their motivations, challenges, and pain points.
It came to me today, however, that one of the most critical skills required of a marketer is very simply – restraint. I argue this is a skill learned over time and honed by experience.
One of the most essential skills required in marketing is restraint.
Restraint is required to resist the temptation to act on the whim of everything that is suggested. You see, the world cannot possibly consume all that we want to tell them. Despite all the prompting, a marketer must be skillful in exercising restraint. It is critical to trust your strategy, contrast input you receive against the desired outcome, and monitor progress to ensure your efforts to stay on track. In other words, carefully consider the input and chose when to allow it to change your course of action.
Embrace input. Better yet, invite it. You will quickly understand how valuable it is. Then, trust the skills you have honed and exercise restraint when you feel pressured to act. Be prepared as there are (many) times you will be wrong – when you should have taken the advice given but did not.
A Google search will reveal a long list of essential marketing skills. Today, however, I am reminded how necessary restraint can be.