This week the GOP officially nominated their presidential nominee, Donald J. Trump. On Tuesday, before introducing his wife to the podium, he gave a few brief remarks. They sounded like this: “We’re gonna win. We’re gonna win so big. Thank you. We’re gonna win so big ladies and gentlemen… we’re gonna win so big.”
Now this is not going to be a political post. This is a marketing blog after all… But putting all the “eloquence,” hubris and WWE showmanship aside, his remarks really got me thinking about marketing and sales… and just how often each of us can be driven by the win.
If you operate an agency, run a business or lead a business unit it’s important to win. You want to win. To stay employed you need to win. Nothing against winning or being driven to win, but what about after you win?
Here are some questions you should ask as you pursue victory:
Can You Execute?
Sometimes companies just want to win to win. And that means everyone ultimately loses. They might make concessions they shouldn’t, giving the client a deal that seems great but has been stripped of the right things that they’ll wind up paying double for later down the line. No one wins.
The fact is that after you win, you have to deliver on the promises you make. Even if you don’t personally, someone at the company will have to, and now you’re talking about brand reputation being on the line. What is the team great at? Who’s got the experience the client needs? Who can deliver on what’s being promised? Anyone can generate great ideas and make a promise… but very few differentiate themselves by being able to fulfill and execute on those grand ideas. Winning is fun, but execution is all that really matters.
What’s Your Goal?
You’ll know you’re winning the right stuff when your proposed plan is aligned with specific outcomes. What’s your goal? Are you sure you have one? How specific is it? Here are some examples:
Get 80% of elementary kids working at grade level in 5 years…
Sell 20% of our revenue through online channels within 24 months…
Increase attendance by 50% using digital technology in 60 days…
It really doesn’t matter about the goal per se. What matters is that you’re clear on the goal and that the goal is specific. Sounds simple. But as the Rogue team is fond of saying: “simple is hard.”
When you’re clear on the goal specifics you can be sure that the plan, talent and tools you have are conducive to generating great outcomes. You’ll also be better positioned to align around the right ideas and discard great ideas that can eat up time and not get you where you need to be.
Is this the Right Type of Work?
Rogue is a marketing agency. Clients utilize the team for all the things you might think a marketing team could be utilized for: build a digital site, SEO, paid media, creative, branding, writing. You get the drill. BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT ROGUE ACTUALLY DOES. Or said another way, that’s not really what Rogue is in the business to do.
If a company comes to Rogue and says “we just want you to build a site,” or “here’s $100K, please go run some ads,” that’s not the type of work this team will excel at. But if they come and say, “we have this business problem and we want to know how to solve it,” or “we want to grow into this space and we need to do XYZ by a certain date,” well, then we know we can drive and build an integrated strategy to achieve that outcome and then align the right people to execute on that vision. And it probably does include the building of a site and media placements… But understanding the business outcome helps us to really pursue and work to win the right engagements that will bring purpose to the people that work here.
Now by all means let’s win. But let’s win the right work. Let’s win work that can be well-executed. And let’s win work that matters to the team. Because after you win… that’s when the real work begins.