Do this one thing to win your marketing strategy

By DB Hurley · PUBLISHED November 17, 2015 · UPDATED November 17, 2015

Nothing like a good blog title to get you drawn into reading an article. But this isn’t just click bait, no, this blog title is actually a perfect representation of what we should be focusing more on with our marketing strategy. Maybe you’re still confused. Or maybe you still think this is a gimmick just to get you to click a link. Let’s dig in a bit deeper into this particular blog title and see why it holds the key to a powerful marketing strategy.

5. Encourage action from your audience

One of the first things you want to do in your marketing strategy is to encourage your audience to take action, to do something. You want your marketing efforts either directly or indirectly to cause your target market to react (positively) and perform some action as a result of your marketing plan. Don’t think that everything needs to be a sale either. Some of the best marketing campaigns don’t encourage a purchase or a subscription but simply encourage action. Maybe your action is self-improvement for the audience, or maybe your action is for the common good. Action can take many forms and you shouldn’t be afraid to take the long approach.

Also, don’t get suckered into thinking every conversation, every marketing campaign needs to end with a revenue increase. The intangible aspects of building a brand and a following are very important keys to a successful marketing team.

Encouraging action and involvement from your audience causes motion and motion presents opportunities for change and change leads to growth. And just as you want to encourage this action, don’t be afraid to start small. This leads to the second observation.

4. Be focused on small wins

Notice that this title doesn’t say, complete this 100 item checklist, read this 1,000 page essay, and then create a 10 year daily marketing plan. Instead the focus is to start small. Do this one thing. By lowering the expectations and the “ask” from your audience you set the stage for an easy win. This is a similar approach you’ll find in the most popular video games. In fact, this philosophy is well-studied and has been the topic of many research papers.

Take any mobile app game these days and you’ll be sure to find this concept at work. Hundreds of tiny levels. Each one slightly more challenging than the last but each one providing a single, simple task or challenge. This is a perfect example of the small win objective. As you complete more levels you become more engaged, you continue to play the game driven by the motivation to win just one more level, after all it’s such a small investment of time and effort.

This ‘small win’ mentality will serve you well as you build your marketing strategy. Don’t ask your target audience to do too much at once. Be ok with starting small and setting them up for success. Remember that this wins don’t all have to end in a sale either. You’re working towards a long-term relationship.

3. Be positive in your engagement

The blog title says “to win” this instills a sense of positivity. You will be successful, you will win. This positive reinforcement encourages your target market to undertake the task at hand because you’ve planted the suggestion they will have a positive outcome. When you’re interacting with your audience don’t be overly negative or pessimistic. No one likes to be around someone that’s always complaining. Saturday Night Live portrays this perfectly with their “Debbie Downer” skit. Watch below and have a good laugh.


Wait, did you see what just happened? You were given a simple focused task, it doesn’t lead to any measurable outcome, but it builds the relationship, and this particular task ends (hopefully) in a few smiles. This type of positive engagement encourages and motivates your audience. They want to continue reading, continue interacting, continue building the relationship.

Don’t get carried away thinking everything needs to be upbeat all the time, but keep a good perspective. Keep your overall marketing message clear, encouraging and supportive.

2. Have a plan for your marketing

The final piece of the article title says winning at “your marketing strategy”. This implies that you have a plan. Your marketing must be focused on accomplishing a purpose. Don’t get so caught up in the immediate short-term wins that you fail to establish long-term goals. You don’t want to lose momentum or lose potential direction because you’re not focused in your goals. Have strong and yet achievable marketing goals. Create a marketing roadmap and set a course of action for how you will accomplish that strategy.

A marketing strategy can be quite detailed and involved. You should focus on defining key milestones, again focus on the easy-to-accomplish wins. Just as your audience needs to build their confidence through small successes, so do you as a marketer. You should devote your time and attention to accomplishing small and measurable wins.

1. ______

Now, you’ve skimmed this article, partly because you are looking for a golden key that will make your marketing strategy successful. You’re looking for the one thing you need to do to win marketing strategy. Here’s your answer, here is the one thing you simply must do and if you do you will win.

As a marketer you absolutely must continue to learn. You can’t sit still and stagnate. You have to read articles like this, you have to identify where you are weak in your marketing strategy, and you have to grow. Don’t think of this as a single key, but rather think of it as a reminder to focus on what’s truly important and to refocus on what you should be doing as a marketer. Learn, practice, improve, grow.