Tips from an expert

Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Shellie’s career spans over 25 years as a marketing expert, having built and scaled lean, effective campaigns with multiple B2B technology organisations. With a passion not just for marketing itself, but how customers and people are treated within a company, we caught up with Shellie to ask about some of her top tips for those looking to kickstart their marketing journey.

Here are her top tips for those looking to kickstart their marketing journey

Strategy: If you’re building from scratch, or in the midst of rebuilding something, this is one of the top three most important fundamentals of any marketer, and throughout my career this is the first thing people are missing. You have people with a lot of energy, people who are ready to go – and there’s a million different avenues you can take in marketing – but if you don’t have that structure, and you don’t have strategy then you end up just blindly throwing darts at a dartboard, hoping for the best.

Structure: This is the second most important. If you’re in a team then it’s very important to assign clear goals, understand what the vision is, where you want to go, and how you’re going to get there. Throughout any campaign, people are going to be eager to try different things, but if you don’t have the structure of your campaign laid out, or if you don’t know how you’re going to establish your SEO strategy, then you’re going to have a very hard time putting it all together.

Try new things: You’re not going to execute anything perfectly. So, you have to give yourself room to see if certain things work or if they don’t. Marketing is like fashion – it’s never finished – there are so many different ways to go about something, and it’s very important to keep an open mind, especially when working within a team. Make sure it’s an open space where ideas can flow without judgement and if you do, your end results will always be much more innovative.

Measure everything: You have to know whether you’re winning or losing, and when to stop and invest more. You should put together a good set of KPIs (key performance indicators) and keep yourself honest with tracking and trending and making sure that you’re seeing what’s working, or where you can put in extra effort to get back on track if you’ve momentarily derailed. Marketing is so broad, so you can’t just focus solely on driving traffic or getting media mentions, you must have a full picture.

Teamwork makes the dream work: This sounds cheesy and obvious, but it couldn’t be more true, and it’s something so many people fail to realise. When you’re working on a campaign, there can be a lot of egos onboard, people determined to bring their vision to life, but if you’re not all working together, then you’re only making it harder for everyone, and the end result is always less than what it could have been.

Authenticity: This is arguably the most important of all, and people always underestimate the importance of having an authentic brand story. Whatever your brand is, it’s up to you, but if you can feel that your story is not quite connected to what you’re trying to do or who you are as a company, the customer will smell it a mile away. People need to feel connected with the brands they like, whether it’s sustainability, human rights, or women in tech, etc., it is so important to be honest and bridge that gap between brand and customer. Always. Be. Authentic.

This article originally appeared in the March/April issue of Startups Magazine. Click here to subscribe