The 14 Commandments of Modern Marketing

At the risk of sounding preachy, really try to follow these modern marketing principles in every program and campaign you execute.  

Resource Center > The 14 Commandments of Modern Marketing

Resource Center > The 14 Commandments of Modern Marketing

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About the Author

John Common

John is Intelligent Demand’s founder, chief strategist and CEO. His energy and enthusiasm for transforming companies with modern approaches to marketing, sales, and customer success is palpable.

Look, I’m no Moses. And I rarely use biblical turns of phrase. Because that’s weird.

But after being a part of hundreds of complex programs, some universal truths begin to emerge (yes, I just elevated this list to “universal truth” status). How many truths? Fourteen. (I’m an overachiever).

At the risk of sounding preachy, really try to follow these principles in every program and campaign you execute.  

Imagine these on stone tablets:

  1. Thou shalt know thine target audience. That means knowing them at the segment, account, buying center, persona and customer journey stage levels. Skip this commandment at your peril. Your programs will perform badly without these most essential raw materials. Lucky for you, there are many ways to analyze and understand your target customers.
    (Comment below if you’d like to see a follow up blog about this.)
  2. Thou shalt be precise about WHO, HOW, WHERE and WHEN you engage your target audience. Thou shalt not spray and pray, nor shall thou batch and blast. There is so much — so much — wasted effort because of poor targeting. Avoid it by getting super clear about your go-to-market strategy, and then having the integrated program, messaging, campaigns, content technology, data, role clarity and processes to execute that strategy.
  3. Thou shalt engage your target audience across media channels. Use your target buyers’ preferred channels as thy guide.
  4. Thou shalt avoid episodic, siloed campaigns. Instead, create perpetual demand programs that synchronize and align your investments, processes and people. View revenue growth as a result of this integrated system. This will help you move from activity-focused to results-focused.
  5. Thou shalt not babble on about thy product or thine awesome brand. Nobody cares — until they actually do. And then, go ahead and talk about your product and your company (also, you’ll have to know when and with whom to do this. See #1).
  6. Thou shalt tell a unified, overarching story. Can we please stop the random acts of messaging and content? Step back and think about how your content and touch points can fit together into a larger narrative. Your prospects do not engage with strategy; they engage with story. You know… with a beginning, middle, and end. What stories are you telling?
  7. Thou shalt align and collaborate with sales — early and often. “Sales” = inside sales, SDR team, direct sales, indirect/partner sales, customer success, or account management. If you don’t close the gap between Marketing and Sales, all those leads you worked so hard to engage will sink before ever becoming opportunities.
  8. Thou shalt harness thy team’s spend and activity to business goals and business strategy. Doing this will make your CEO and CFO rather happy. This, of course, presumes that your team understands the key business goals, the business strategy, and their role in bringing that strategy to life. Don’t skip this step!
  9. Thou shalt use an agile, pragmatic approach. Stop letting perfect be the enemy of good, on-budget, or on-time. Onboard the right stakeholders and enable them to move projects from strategy, to development, to launch and to optimization quickly. Too many cooks means too few results.
  10. Thou shalt optimize after launch. How? By assessing results with brutal honesty, creating insights supported by real data, and pulling in all relevant members of your revenue team (don’t do it in a silo). Impressive ROI doesn’t come from one triumphant blast. It comes from solving hundreds of small problems as a team.
  11. Thou shalt demonstrate, extend and deepen your brand in every touch point. Tailor messages for your audiences, where they are in their journey, but don’t sacrifice your unique point of view along the way.
  12. Thou shalt have the courage to actually innovate. Take careful risks, test, share outcomes, and learn. This is a cultural thing, often. Be the one to do this at your company! Pull others into courageous acts of innovation!
  13. Thou shalt deliver ROI. Pro tip: Set your campaigns and programs up for success by documenting reasonable goals, and then agree upon the systems, methods and cadence for how you will calculate and communicate results and ROI — before you launch!
  14. Thou shalt have fun while working together as One Revenue Team™. Growing revenue at any company is a lot of work. It’s a complex, challenging, borderline overwhelming series of projects and problems to solve. I get it. Truly. But you’re reading this blog because you love learning and being great at your job. And because you believe you and your team can transform your company. That is heady and exciting stuff. And just in case no one else has said this to you recently: YOU ARE ALLOWED TO HAVE FUN WHILE YOU DO THIS STUFF. Life is too short to do otherwise!

What commandments would you chisel next to these? I dare thee to comment below!

Good luck and Godspeed!