I’ve held multiple marketing roles over the years including CMO at $100m+ brand, agency owner, self-employed product owner, performance marketer, media buyer and social media manager.
I’ve managed and taught at least 100 people how to become great marketers and go on to work at some of the best brands.
Here’s my list:
1. Learn copywriting.
This is self explanatory – the words you write on your website, in your ads, in your emails, and on your landing pages can have a big effect on conversion. Learn everything you can about effective copywriting by studying the greats. You can start with reading David Ogilvy, Gary Halbert and a book called “Cashvertising”. These three will put you ahead of most marketers.
2. Find successful campaigns and reverse engineer them.
You can start by using the Facebook Ads Library to find successful brands and look up their ads. Reverse engineer them into components then figure out how to apply each section to your project. Try doing this with the best VSL’s (video sales letters) too.
3. Read marketing books.
Preferably performance and direct response marketing books. The only branding books I recommend are Contagious and anything by David Ogilvy.
4. Go to conferences.
Traffic & Conversion Summit in person event is a good one. There are others.
5. Get mentors.
If you can’t find in-person mentors then watch the best Youtubers. You can also pay for calls with niche experts on Clarity.fm (worth it).
6. Create a small group mastermind with like minded people in your city.
Get together or talk frequently trading notes and comparing what’s working and what’s not. Mr. Beast did this and described it well in his interview with Joe Rogan.
7. Test everything.
Gather as much data as you can. Review the data frequently like your own money is on the line.
8. Learn data and which KPI’s matter the most.
9. Gathering data is important BUT finding the actionable data is key.
Then creating an action plan based on the data is most important. If you’re not doing this, then data collection is for nothing.
10. Learn how KPI’s affect each other, and which KPI’s matter.
What actions can you take to affect each KPI? For example, Facebook Ads charges on a CPM basis but what matters is your CAC, CPA or effective CPC. How can you improve CAC/CPA? Get a higher CTR on your ads while maintaining same conversion rate. By knowing that improving CTR will improve your overall performance you immediately have an actionable goal you’re working toward.
11. Learn prioritization.
My favorite method is using an agile methodology with a backlog and ICE scoring (importance, confidence, effort).
12. Understand landing pages.
Learn the most important things to include in your landing pages, how to track them, how to make quick updates and how to improve them. You can read articles about this, or reverse engineer great landing pages in the wild.
13. Learn psychology.
Marketing at it’s core is understanding human psychology. Why people do what they do. How do you get someone to change their mind? The important parts to learn in psychology are primary reasons people buy vs secondary reasons (aka nice-to-haves). What’s a must-have vs nice-to-haves. There’s more science to this than you may think.
“Brand marketing” is a subjective term typically with little measurement and accountability. Although when you’re running a scrappy marketing department, you should focus 99% of your effort on performance campaigns, but there are a few basic things in the brand marketing bucket you should create. Things like your vision statement, mission, position, tone, and brand pyramid.
Know this: if you’re doing under $30m per year, simplicity in marketing will win. One big channel can get you to $30m per year so don’t spread yourself thin trying to do everything. After you break $30m, you can incorporate more brand marketing but before then, focus on scaling performance channels, earned media, CRM and distribution.
If you can master the above steps, you’ll quickly escalate to CMO level or will be ready to take your own business to big heights. Good luck.