Marketing Is Magic - Literally!
Increasing your marketing performance results can feel like a daunting task - there are so many different moving parts to keep track of! However, growing your performance shouldn't be scary; it should be a fun, collaborative process with your whole team.
Tim Parkin is here to help make this process as easy as possible. As the president of Parkin Consulting, a consulting firm that helps fine-tune high-performance marketing teams to achieve massive growth for organizations. In this blog, Hollywood Branded shares the best ways to grow your marketing performance results by combining marketing with technology.
A Little More About Tim
Tim Parkin is the president and Global Marketing Advisor of Parkin Consulting, a consulting firm that helps fine-tune high-performance marketing teams to achieve massive growth for organizations. With over 20 years of experience leveraging the power of combined psychology and technology, Tim has helped brands and agencies around the world gain rapid and dramatic growth. He is a trusted advisor to high-level marketing executives, as well as the host of the Marketing Leaders Podcast, and a regular contributor to AdWeek, Forbes, TechCrunch, and more. In his free time, Tim is a professional-level magician, and I am sure he can personally attest that performance result is all in the delivery of the message.
Interview Transcript Highlights
Question: We were talking a bit earlier, and I learned that this was not the path you had originally planned on taking. How did you get to where you are today?
Answer: I never thought I'd be here, that's for sure! As a young child, I thought I wanted to be a professional magician, and so I pursued magic and became quite good at it. In college, it's how I survived as an introvert, I would have huge crowds surrounding me as I did magic. I thought this would be wonderful as a career. The problem is, if you're a professional magician, you work nights and weekends and that's when everyone has parties and dinners. So I said that's not for me, and from there, I got into programming - another one of my passions. I pursued video game development, in which you work 80 hours a week, building these you know expensive high stakes games. I said that's not for me either, so I was fortunate to stumble into realizing that the companies I was helping develop software for had a product problem. They were building cool stuff, but no one wanted it and no one cared. That's when I realized they had a marketing problem. So that got me interested in marketing and from there, I combine technology with marketing and magic. Marketing has so many parallels with magic; it's about telling a story and about involving the customer. It's about understanding how people think and act and what they'll respond to. Combining technology and magic, here I am now in marketing. It's wonderful.
Question: When you get started working with an individual organization, what is the first step that you do? How do you go about uncovering the mayhem that you're about to see that either exists or doesn't within their planning, technology, marketing, and software systems?
Answer: It always exists! The mayhem is always there, waiting to be found. When I come into an organization, I get to talk to everybody. I ask people tough questions, which is easier as an outsider. People want to share their stories and experiences. They think they know everything already, and I can help them express the things that perhaps they haven't said before. I learn all sorts of things in my initial conversations with people about where they think the problems are. It's not necessarily true that perception is not reality. I get to hear from all sides, from the executive leadership team down to the frontline employees who are running the show to learn what's happening and what's not happening. Essentially, that's where I found three criteria that define a high-performance team: people, process, and alignment. It's in those conversations that I can discover which of the three and are the biggest issues.
Question: What are the basics of the processes that every organization needs to have?
Answer: It depends on the organization, but there are really two main aspects to process that we need to think about. Most importantly, you have to have a process and you have to define what it is you're doing. W. Edwards Denning has a quote that explains that if you can't describe what you're doing as a process, then you don't know what you're doing. That could not be more true, especially in terms of marketing teams. If you're talking about how you produce content or how you create a landing page or how you do customer research, if you can't describe it as a process, and if it's not defined and documented somewhere, you're going to have issues. Maybe you have someone on the team who has been there for 10 years who knows all about these processes. This isn't good enough, because nowadays with the great resignation, people are constantly leaving and changing jobs, and that information will leave with them so it's really imperative that the first step of the process is figuring out what we do and how we do it and writing it down so it can live on.
Question: Once everyone is downloaded on what the processes are, what do you do then?
Answer: Once you have everybody on the same page and once you've documented it all, you want to ask a few questions: What's happening? What shouldn't be happening? What can we eliminate from this process? There are some things that you know you're probably doing just because you've always done it or you thought it would be helpful and it's just not adding value, so get rid of that stuff. We have to simplify as much as possible. The second thing is to think through the dependencies: who needs to be involved with this? What assumptions are we making about who is involved or who's not? If you don't have the right people in the room, and they don't agree on the process, you're going to run into some issues there. The third thing to keep in mind is, how can we change or improve this? What steps can we move around? How can we parallelize things? There's a lot of process optimization jargon we can talk through, but essentially, everyone needs to ask themselves, "how can I make this better? What would make this easier and simpler and faster for everyone?"
Question: Where do you find organizations making the most glaring mistakes?
Answer: There are really so many places where things can go wrong. A big area where things go wrong is when you hire the wrong people. You might just find someone who's fast, but isn't passionate enough. You need to develop your people. There's an infamous conversation between a CEO and a CMO. The CEO says, "what if we invest in our people and they leave?" and the CMO says, "what if we don't and they stay?" That's how we need to think about investing in people. Your whole team has been built around people. Marketing is about people. It's so important that we understand the people that we are working with and empower them and equip them with tools so they can do the same for their clients. I always say that the formula is people times process equals performance. If you have great people, but no process, you're still not going to have great performance. You need both really skilled people and a rock-solid process to be successful. In terms of alignment, it can really go wrong really fast in terms of egos, frankly. There are a lot of big egos, especially at the top. People think they have ownership over certain things or that their way is the only way to do things. Ego is the biggest barrier to aligning teams and you have to break that down; you have to realize we're all on the same team, we all have the same mission, we all want to go in the same direction, so let's do that together.
Check Out The Podcast!
Tim has so much great information from his experience in increasing marketing performance. Check out the podcast below to learn more about growing performance results!
Every week we have a marketing professional on our show to share their tips, tricks and lessons learned from their professional experience. Check out some of our other podcast blogs from earlier this year:
- How To Properly Reduce Your Ad Spend
- The Best Way For Companies to Scale Your Business to 6 Figures and More
- How To Best Measure and Track Behaviors to Drive Sales
- How To Gain the Highest ROI
- Build Your Brand Around Your Best Customers
Every week we release a new podcast featuring guest's with so much knowledge about marketing, you don't want to miss one! How can you make sure you don't miss an episode? Click below to subscribe!