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Blog Good v. Bad Marketing

As part of our 2020 planning, we identified 12 differences between good and bad marketers.

I’ve always had a rough list, but the inspiration for writing down came from the book “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz. There is a section of the book where Ben outlines to his team what makes a great product manager and the positive impact it had.

Thanks, Anna Walsh, for the idea to formalize the list and to articulate much better than I could have done.

Lastly, while we outlined for our team, it by no way implies that our team or I have mastered these twelve; rather, they are aspirations.

The Twelve Traits of a Good Marketer (in no particular order)

  1. Good marketers make it their job to know the market, the competition, and the company’s products better than anyone else – and they share their knowledge with other stakeholders at the company. Bad marketers don’t know the product thoroughly and don’t stay up-to-date with the market landscape.
  2. Good marketers measure themselves on revenue generated. Bad marketers measure themselves on leads generated or traffic generated.
  3. Good marketers feel ownership of the go-to-market process end-to-end. Bad marketers blame the product or the sales team for lack of success.
  4. Good marketers define and articulate a strong and unique position for their company, division, and products. Good marketers use easy-to-understand and straightforward language as if you were talking to a friend. Bad marketers don’t think about positioning or hide behind marketing jargon to define their products.
  5. Good marketers understand that their company’s brand encompasses all materials, people, and external-facing processes – and are fierce about ensuring that the brand stays consistent across all of the above. Bad marketers allow off-brand activities ‘just this once.’
  6. Good marketers are relationship builders who get out and meet customers, prospects, and peers. Bad marketers only talk to people that work at their company.
  7. Good marketers run integrated programs and seek to reuse and redistribute assets as much as possible. Bad marketers run one-off campaigns that aren’t well thought out.
  8. Good marketers experiment and frequently ship while maintaining an extremely high quality of work. Bad marketers create and ship long, drawn own programs that may or may not work.
  9. Good marketers use data to drive decision making up to a point where experience and intuition take over. Bad marketers rely on gut feel alone.
  10.  Good marketers hustle and are curious, gritty, fearless. They are the team that should push the company to be uncomfortable. Bad marketers play it safe.
  11.  Good marketers are proactive. They get in front of the market, your prospects, and customers. Bad marketers wait until someone raises their hand.
  12.  Good marketers question the status quo. They continually ask if they are doing the right tasks the right way, and then modify if needed. Bad marketers do things ‘because we always do it this way’ or to get it done.

Let us know your favorites as well as what we missed!

Want to see some resources from good marketers? Check out what our team has put together

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