As a startup founder or CEO, you need to run a lean operation which can get the promised growth fast. You have secured your round of funding; you want to get out there and make the most of the plans that you have outlined and secured an approval. But, we have also seen how yesteryear unicorns are going through markdowns or downrounds.
You want to make sure that your marketing is geared for delivering the growth, develops and executes programs which run fast and have the most impact.
Find below the ways by which you can keep your marketing team and programs, lean and efficient.
My boss used to love asking questions. On every campaign, we used to design; he would ask ten questions. Once replied, they would lead to 10 more questions and so on. One day, I decided that I would start it as a pilot project, and we will keep answering his questions. After two months, he asked, “By the way, what happened to that X campaign?” I replied “well, we started as a pilot project and got some good learnings from it and now in a better position to answer your concerns” He paused for a while and then said “you did the right thing. Let’s go national”.
The market and the customer are the best ways to understand whether something works or not.
We can have endless boardroom discussions, but it has no comparison to the rich learnings in the market.
Gladwell makes a persuasive case through couple of high profile examples like Ted Turner and John Paulson (Big Short Fame) of how they intentionally keep the risks lower so that they increase the chances of their success. He goes on to overturn commonly held beliefs around risk and their downsides.
The article persuaded me. Here’s four reasons why?
Do you know the famous tortoise and the hare story? How did that turn out? We all know the Tortoise won. So why should you hire a hare?
Hare, tortoise! What is the relevance to your business?
Speed is the essence in the millennium. What we need are people who think agile, act agile.
Between a thinker and a person with bias for action, I will choose bias for action.
Why so? Disruption is everywhere. There is technological disruption. There is business model disruption: somewhere out there is a young guy writing an App which will substantially speed up the business, cut traditional layers and remove the cost of discovering solutions for the customers. Then there is the demographic disruption: Millennials move fast, act fast.
Whether you like it or not, you need to hire people who have agility. People who are willing to speed up your product or service delivery. Your customers will absolutely love it if you deliver faster than last month and last year. Your business will love it if profits come faster than last month and last year. Your employees will love it if business grows faster than last month and last year.
If you hire a tortoise, chances of his becoming a hare is rather low. There will be enough tortoises in the organization who will balance the need for speed with making sure that the hare is running in the right direction.
You are the leader of the business and the team and hence, you obviously own the results. And everything which happens between now and the results. But does your team own the business?
Why does this matter?
Are your employees coming to the office just to collect the paycheck? Then there is a serious problem. If the job, for them, means a vehicle to get a “bigger” or “better paying” job somewhere else, then, there is a problem. When someone says “I just follow instructions. If something goes wrong, it’s my boss’ problem” there is a serious problem.
When you own the business as if it is your own, you don’t wait for instructions. You are always on the lookout for opportunities. You will always want to be one step ahead of the competition.
We all know the story of Thomas Edison and how he made 1000 trials before he got it right and made the light bulb. Once a journalist asked him “what do you have to say about the 999 times you failed? Edison answered, “I learnt 999 ways Not to make a lightbulb.”
We know that Edison was a very shrewd businessman too.
What does this example mean to you?
For me, it shows the importance of a testing mindset. It shows the need to accept failures as a learning ground.
What happens if we don’t? A board room turns into a contest of blames rather than a hotbed of ideas.