Mindset of an Optimizer
I was at a wedding last week and the “What do you do for a living?” conversation with strangers inevitably came up. Most people I spoke to seemed to think of digital marketing as a glamorous job. I felt like they envisioned me as some sort of tech-age James Bond, making tons of money with a few clicks on my laptop, all while drinking cocktails on an island in Thailand.
It’s hard to break it to them that digital marketing mostly involves spending hours on hours in some dark room, trying to fix a leaking funnel… more like a plumber than 007.
However there some 007 qualities that truly help in optimizing – ingenuity and always having the right tools on hand, for example.
There are some other mindsets it helps to adopt while working on a campaign. These are a few hats I recommend trying on.
Be like a scientist
Optimization today employs many cutting-edge tools that would be considered science fiction just a generation ago. Whether it’s email optimization, landing page creators or PPC , there are tons of highly scientific analytic tools out there.
Marketers today can’t rely any more on intuition and common sense. As we target so many different audiences, sometimes half a world away from us in their mentality and background (not to mention actual location), our life experience often proves useless or even hinders our optimization effort.
A good scientist’s mind can put aside emotional bias and analyze the data impartially. This is a huge asset for a marketer.
Be like a detective
Every campaign is a sort of a detective story. It involves putting different pieces of information together, coming up with hypotheses, following small clues to find our ideal client profile and finally, after tracking them, trap the “suspects” and lead them through our funnel until they’re our “captivated audience.”
Sherlock Holmes could have been a great marketer. Tuning into the little clues our analytic data shows and creating the right pictures from small pieces of information is the bread and butter of a good optimizer.
Be like a stage artist
Marketing research proves clearly that most buying decisions are based on feelings, not reason.
The reason usually comes later to justify the emotional decision. That’s why most big brand work very hard to associate their product with some desired feeling. It’s enough to take one look at commercials for beer, Coca Cola, cars, hair care products, perfume or you name it. You’ll see how heavily the big-budget guys relay on activating viewer emotions.
To be a good marketer, you need to master the art of emotional persuasion. Check what emotion will be most effective for making clients want to buy your product, and learn how to activate it in your prospect’s mind.
Be like a bodhisattva
One of the main concepts in Buddhism is the bodhisattva, a person who has both great power and a pure intention to help all beings.
Every action he or she does is saturated with compassion. All their skills are employed to benefit the people around them.
There’s mounting evidence that good karma is good business. Abusive marketing strategies are usually less effective in the long run. Ethical business practices – trying to bring benefits to everyone involved, from your prospective customers to your competitors – give companies the best, most stable results.
Just look at Parnassus Investments, an investment management company that consistently outperforms the market by investing only in ethical companies. Or Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, who became great successes because they created things the people genuinely found helpful and useful.
Tune in to your client’s needs and be there for them. It will pay off big time.
Being really good at optimization means being flexible in your mind and looking at your project from different angles.
Try the perspectives I’ve given in this article, and keep experimenting. It will help you bring out your full marketing potential and put you at the top of your game.