One of the greatest tools ever created for anyone in business is the Pyramid Of Success, perfected by John Wooden, the legendary UCLA men’s basketball coach.
Coach Wooden, who won 10 national championships, including seven in a row, is widely regarded as one of the greatest coaches, teachers and mentors of our time.
His pyramid was the crux of his philosophy, and highly adaptable. And it got me to thinking. What if the pyramid was created strictly for marketing? After careful deliberation and thoughtful placement, the Pyramid Of Marketing Success was born.
We will begin at the foundation.
There were a wide array of words that could have fit here: hard work, industriousness, consistent, etc.
However, “diligence” implies more than simply working hard. Diligence extends beyond the office. Diligence applies to the tasks at hand during business hours, and the quality they should be executed with.
Additionally, one should be diligent regarding industry updates and new trends. A successful marketer cannot exist in a vacuum. One must be constantly learning, working hard to grow and refine skills.
One step above diligence is enthusiasm. Enthusiasm comes second because not everyone is eager to go to work, but still work hard. But their final product will always lack in some, potentially impossible to quantify manner.
Enthusiasm is a necessity for truly successful marketing. If the marketer does not believe in the product being promoted, why should the consumer? Consider your own occupational past. Certainly you have had jobs that you didn’t enjoy, but still showed up, punched the clock and worked at it.
While some believe work and personal life should be separate, there are benefits to sharing passions in both spaces. Working on what you love will only enhance the final product.
Humility lies squarely in the middle of the pyramid. This is because, as a marketer, failure is inevitable. There will be email campaigns with poor response rates. There will be product launches that fall flat. Tweets will go unnoticed.
Occupational hazards of the marketer.
However, there is no shame in going back to the drawing board, admitting defeat, and beginning the uphill climb of understanding the consumer just a little better. Customers are always changing as a result of emerging technologies and shifting priorities. The marketer can never be abreast of all of them.
Being humble will soften the sting of and lead to future creativity. Being diligent and enthusiastic can become tiresome if one is not willing to relinquish infallibility.
Managers and C-level executives have a responsibility to hire the most skilled employees they can. John Wooden once said, “I’d rather have a lot of talent and little experience than a lot of experience and little talent.”
Have faith in your organizational structure to achieve desired outcomes as a result of talented people doing what they do best. There is an insurmountable wall of marketing out there, hire the best and brightest to break through that clutter – championing your brand as a result.
There is no substitute for originality. There is no formula for successful marketing. But a page of static, black and white text has never gone viral.
Be bold enough to take calculated risks as a marketer. Make a decision, execute it with conviction, and follow through. Dare to differentiate.
Notice there is no point at the top of the pyramid. A point would signify an end, an apex, a finish. In marketing, there is no finish line.
Success is a never ending pursuit of progress, not perfection. As you continually refine your processes, be fastidious in your note taking.
Whatever your venture, work to the best of your ability. You cannot control the market, your competitors, or your clientele. You can control your product, your office, and your culture.
Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable. – John Wooden