Being a marketer is pretty sweet, but that doesn’t mean it comes easy. We've got a lot on our plates, like campaigns, goals, budgets, and priorities. Not to mention our need to be constantly creative, hard-working, agile, and persistent.
Even with this wide range of responsibilities, we still have the gusto to prevail by doing a handful of great things habitually.
Anyone can become a great marketer. If you put your mind to it and take certain steps towards a more inventive and consistent routine, then great habits can be formed. It takes discipline and a game plan to start seeing improvements in your marketing strategy.
So what does that entail? Here are 10 habits that great marketers do every day.
10 Things Great Marketers Do Every Day
1. Set marketing campaign goals.
The wisest and greatest of marketers set goals. If you run a campaign without goals, who's to say it was successful? Having goals in place for your marketing efforts will help you define success.
Success can be different for everyone. Maybe success is lead generation, customer acquisition, or a specific amount of revenue you want to generate. Whatever you’re striving for, assign an appropriate benchmark for it that you can aim to reach.
And once a great marketer reaches their goals, they don’t just stop there, they set new ones and keep going.
2. Study the competition.
Don’t market in the dark. Find out who your competition is and look at what they’re doing. There’s no shame in it, marketers should want to know what their competition is up to and where their own efforts stack up in comparison.
This provides you with an idea of what you’re up against and it can help you get ahead in your industry. "My competitor falls in the top 3 search results in Google," you say? Well, that means you need to focus on how you can get your business up there as well. Identify their strategies and see if there are any gaps your company can fill to gain a higher spot on the SERPs (search engine results page).
3. Address a target audience.
This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many companies don’t address their target audience properly. As a marketer, you need to identify who your target audience is, then find ways to market to them specifically.
Great marketers build their marketing strategy around customer needs, and one way you can identify these needs is by creating a buyer persona. This persona tells you how, when, and where to communicate with your target audience.
The methods of communication that define your persona should be evident in all of your marketing efforts. From the copy and design of your website to the tweet you just scheduled.
4. Create interesting content.
I know you have heard it before. You need to create blog posts, ebooks, PDFs, memes, infographics, webinars, slide decks... the list goes on. There are tons of content types to dabble in and a great marketer doesn’t limit themselves to just one.
It’s important to create shareable content that your audience will have an interest in. With content, you can educate prospects on what’s important in your industry and gain their trust as a credible resource.
Great marketers also have the tenacity to create inventive content when there’s an opportunity for something new. If your posts are all the same and losing engagement, try to make them more creative, interactive, and visual. Your content should stand out against the competition and create a buzz within your market.
5. Nurture relationships.
Building a relationship with prospects and leads is the purpose of marketing. It starts from the moment they come across your brand on the Internet and continues throughout the customer journey.
A lot of marketers nurture relationships with automated emails. They send a series of emails that build on a lead’s interests by providing them with additional content you think they may enjoy. You can also nurture on a more personal level by manually sending emails if it’s within your company’s scale. Use these opportunities to follow up on recent conversions and engagements that have been made across your website.
Social media also provides a great space for nurturing. Marketers can find their audience on various platforms and engage with them directly. You can get more technical and provide polls, surveys, or personalized incentives to keep people engaged and interested in your website and social media accounts.
6. Engage in social listening.
Listening to what is being said about your brand and industry on social media is important. Lots of opportunities can be missed if you're not actively listening.
Perhaps someone has a problem with your brand and is ranting about it on Twitter. If you're listening, you have the opportunity to jump in and address their concerns.
A lot of people go to social media to ask questions, hoping for someone to give them an answer. If you're actively listening, you have the opportunity to respond and become a reputable source of information for them. Great marketers pander directly to their audience, and have conversations with them regularly, and directly.
Social listening is important to any brand, no matter how large or small the scale. Nurturing one follower on social media may not seem important or worth the time to most, but a great marketer knows its significance. It’s a reflection of your brand, and people will notice when you're responsive— which is better than not being noticed at all.
7. Segment the market.
Targeted communications are much more effective than the generic approach of one massive email blast. Everyone in your contact database is different. A great marketer will find out what makes them different by asking the right questions.
Depending on your business, you will want to segment a certain way. Perhaps you segment by what ails your contacts. To find out, ask them to identify their pain points using a checklist or survey that’s sent out via email or embedded on your website.
From this point, you can segment contacts by pain point and market to each group differently. Each group will have their own unique pain points, and you’ll need to communicate a solution for each one. Marketing efforts will have a larger impact when a contact feels like their pain is being addressed specifically.
8. Conduct tests on websites.
This is a really exciting part of being a marketer. Testing different items across campaigns will help you understand what works and what doesn’t.
Great marketers have to demonstrate technical and analytical skills, and there are ways to do this that go beyond creating content — like designing or formatting a website.
A/B testing is an effective way to draw conclusions on how to optimize your website. You can do simple testing by changing the color of a CTA, and tracking how that affects click-through rates or engagement. You can turn it up a notch and test two versions of a landing page and collect user experience data to see which is more desirable or easy to navigate.
With smart website technology, you can control what a visitor sees on your website versus a lead or a customer. It’s this type of experimenting that can surprise even the most seasoned marketers.
9. Measure & analyze data.
Always look at data and keep a record of campaign performance. A great marketer measures these numbers and contextualizes them into reasons why they’re succeeding or require improvement.
Studying your audience’s behavior and how they interact with your content can optimize how and what you provide them.
Here are some examples of what great marketers measure from their campaigns:
- Looking into how different page titles perform
- Analyzing the percentages of opened emails
- Seeing the click-through rates of different CTAs on a blog post
- Counting the number of content downloads
- Identifying trends in social media engagement
When you're done measuring, analyze. “Why did we meet or not meet certain goals?” “Why did that one page perform so damn well?” Ask a lot of “Why” to get to the root of it so you can repeat it, reform it, or trash it.
10. Always look to innovate.
Great marketers should always be looking to separate themselves from their competition. Being innovative in your marketing by trying new things and putting new ideas into motion can be what helps you rise to the top.
As we all know, business — and the world as we know it — is always changing. Just this past year we saw how a global pandemic completely changed the way we conduct business. Some companies became more innovative and adjusted their strategies, while others remained stagnant and felt stronger effects from the pandemic.
Keeping up with the latest news, discussions, and technology will keep your company in the loop. There are all sorts of trends and fads that pass through the marketing world, so don't be afraid to start one yourself.
Key Takeaways for Marketers
As marketers, we all have habits that we do every day. Brainstorming ideas for campaigns, keeping up with the latest news, and creating meaningful content takes a lot of dedication. It's not an easy job, but by following some of the above habits, you'll be a rockstar in no time.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in May 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.