In reality, marketers don’t travel in flocks, they travel in packs — or they prowl around at night solo. After all, marketers are either wolves or tigers, not sheep — at least the highest level of marketers are. But, putting semantic and zoological considerations aside, let’s hit upon some key factors of what separates the tigers from the cubs.
A good understanding of social media is an identifying characteristic
I’m more familiar with social media marketing, but any type of marketing has the same goal. You have a product or service and want to get the most people using it at a profitable price for you. I have met many mediocre social media marketers in my life. They go through the motions. It is sort of like an uninspired eight year old practicing the violin. He keeps playing the same piece over and over with the same mistakes and it is always out of tune. The mediocre social media marketer posts the same type of posts on Facebook, Twitter, and whatever other platforms are involved. If you ask them what makes a post get traffic they will be evasive and say, “It depends, there are so many factors.” What they are saying is true, and the fact that they express the complexity with such simplicity proves their mediocrity. The good social media marketer can explain with some degree of detail how the different factors can influence a post’s success and what experiments they did to try to fine tune their understanding of what makes a good post good.
Limited knowledge seems to identify everyone in marketing
I talk to different people in Marketing from time to time. I have communicated with some of the leaders in the field. The surprising factor that seems to be a constant is that most social media marketers do not understand all the mediums and don’t have a very thorough knowledge of social media as a whole. I spoke to one expert who charges $250 per hour to help people get set up on social media. He told me that he was unable to help me with Google+ which is the #2 most commonly used network! I wrote to another team of experts who have one of the most sophisticated blogs on social media on the net. They also were unable to tell me anything about Google+ other than to read their several blogs on the subject (which were very helpful, but limited.)
What I learned is that some people have knowledge of Facebook and Twitter. There are others who specialize more in Linked In. It is tough to find someone who really understands Google+ or Stumbleupon, and I can’t say anything about the other networks of which there are many. It seems that there are no absolute experts in this field. However, there are some who have a general knowledge of social media which might be good enough for them to trudge through unknown territory.
A good marketer finds a way to reach high goals and keeps finding ways to achieve more and more. They constantly refine their techniques, and strive to see deeper into the analytics on a daily basis. If you find a marketer who has nothing to say about how he is trying to refine their techniques or broaden their horizon, they are more likely to be marketers on the “C” list than the “A” list.
Long term goals
A good marketer needs to not only be good at generating constant new leads and mastering the new mediums out there. They need to make their efforts lead to a long term attainment of higher business goals rather than just short term sales. What does that mean for your business? Only you can say!
The highest level marketers engage in more communication with their higher ups, clients, and co-workers. They realize that they can learn something from their interactions with others, even if it is just bits and pieces. They might need to interact with sales, finance, management, or people in a number of other departments to do a more fine tuned job. Lower level workers tend to avoid interacting with others, especially if they don’t like others.
The best marketers have written plans for how they plan to improve their performance over time more than the slackers do. If you have ever taken a course in success, you will probably remember where they told you about two guys from very similar backgrounds. One became a billionaire while the other one just made an average income twenty years after they graduated from high school. What is the difference between these two guys? The one who was successful wrote down their goals. The same applies to the highest level marketers. They have written goals too.
Top level marketers tend to spend more time analyzing performance and trying to figure out what they did right and what they did wrong, not to mention what they can experiment with to see if they can do better than before. Analysis is an interesting word, because a good analyst can look deeper into the numbers and derive more meaningful information while a novice might only see some top-line numbers of how many clicks or visitors a blog got.