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What Makes Marketing Successful?

In a word, ‘Planning’.

Marketing is about following clear processes and using tested tools.

This might sound overly simplistic in a world where marketing ‘gurus’ are loudly selling their latest line of ‘Emperor’s new clothes’, but the reality is marketing is about doing the right things well.

So before heading off to Facebook, Puddle Duck, or Dinkle Hump; or taking out an ad in the local Gazette you need to stop, step back, and read on.

Below you’ll find an overview of this process.

Rules Are Your Friends

One of the best ways to make almost anything easier to grasp in a hurry it to follow existing conventions.

People often ask me:

“What’s the one thing I should do to make my marketing better?”

The answer is simple.

It’s ……

“Ask your customers.”

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been telling people that this is my first marketing rule.

It’s the ultimate principle when deciding whether your marketing is right or not. If you only follow one marketing rule make it this one.


A pencil sketch of the Cheshire Cat

If you don’t care where you’re going, it doesn’t make a difference which path you take.

Successful marketing begins with setting clear business goals.

Without goals it’s impossible to know how well you are doing or even if you’re heading in the right direction.


A sepia image of a cart before the horse.

This is all about figuring out how you are going to achieve the goals you have set.  Your strategy is made up of two parts:

Identifying your target market

Developing what you will sell

Doing anything without these two things in place is like putting the cart before the horse.

Sure there may be some movement, but is it moving in the right direction?

It will probably attract some attention too, but is it the attention you want?


A pile of different coloured and sized Lego blocks.

Tactics is all about what specific things you will do to bring your strategy to life.

This is the bit that people often think of when they hear the word ‘marketing’.

There are three main parts to this:

Design Your Offer

What is it that you’re offering?
How is it priced?
How does it stand out?