THE BIG FOURTEEN THINGS I LEARNED FROM MY 18 YEARS OF DIGITAL MARKETING EXPERIENCE



Publication Date: 8 August 2018







By: Joe Ghantous


You need to experience life in order to learn the lessons. And the more life you experience, the more lessons you accumulate.


After creating and managing hundreds of digital marketing campaigns and reading hundreds of books every single year, I had accumulated many lessons and I would like to share with you here the big fourteen lessons I learned:


1. Be a farmer not a hunter.


The hunter goes out into the woods looks for something he can kill. Once he kills his prey, he takes it home, cooks it and feeds his family. The hunter’s way of feeding his family lacks longevity. He may get luck two days in a row or not. If the hunter is unlucky, he will be hungry so will his family. The farmer takes a different approach. He cultivates the earth, plants seeds, fertilizes those seeds & nurtures them with water. He grows his crops & takes care of the land and every year he & his family are able to eat. The approach we should take with social media marketing is very similar to the farmer’s. You need to cultivate great relationships with your prospects to create a sustainable practice that produces consistent results year in & year out.


2. Live life with a purpose.


To live in this world with purpose we must tell ourselves some stories that gives our life a meaning. A man came upon a construction site where three people were working. He asked the first, “what are you doing?” and the man answered, “I am laying bricks”. He asked the second, “What are you doing“and the man answered, “I am building a wall”. He walked up to the third man, who was humming a tune as worked and asked, “What are you doing” and the man stopped and said, “I am building a cathedral”. The same happens online especially on social media! We should have a meaningful purpose behind our presence and stories to tell there.


3. Don’t improve customers’ lives, change them.


A doctor who cures a headache will be remembered for a moment, but a doctor who cures cancer will be remembered for a lifetime. Change your customers’ lives by solving their biggest problems.


4. Keep it simple.


When you go to good restaurant, the dish you ordered will look good but simple when it’s served. Go to bad restaurant, and the dish you ordered will arrive drowning in garnish & salad. They don’t have confidence to keep it simple.


5. Personal branding becomes the company brand.


We don’t trust brands or companies any more. We trust people and their stories. In the past, our brands were built through an accumulation of advertising impressions. In the future our brands will be created by an accumulation of human impressions.


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6. Growth is pure oxygen.


Growth creates a vital enthusiastic corporation where people see genuine opportunity. They take bigger chances, they work harder & smarter. Growth is more than company most important financial driver; it’s an essential part of each successful corporate culture


7. Storytelling is a key of success in business.


Facts need the content of when and who and where to become truth. And truth needs emotion to become a story. Story is the best way to create impact since it reaches the parts facts and analyses don’t: our hearts. You don’t have to cut off part of your heart to influence your clients. In fact, your heart tells the most moving story of all. Go tell your story the world needs it.


8. The magic of tracking and adjustment.


I think of “Digital Marketing Operations” like flying a plane. Have you ever heard that a pilot would turn off the radar when taking off and silence the radio during the flight? Of course not! Without the radar & especially the radio the pilot wouldn’t be able to detect any threat and know how the plane is functioning, but he can look out of the window (similar to what most of digital marketers do today) but he would not have enough scope of vision to keep the plane safe. Eventually, the pilot would be flying blind and missing the chance to straighten his way before it’s too late.


9. Focus more on what you own online.


Every day we get introduced to new digital marketing tools that we don’t own (mainly social media platforms). So we get confused whether the tools we own (website, email addresses,…) are still useful or not. The tools we own online are not dead and are in fact alive and growing. We can have full control over them, they’re ours – we own them. We decide what they look like, and what goes on them.


10. Social media marketing is a marathon.


There are a lot of people who create a business social media presence and wait for the fireworks, then…crickets! No one is engaging and it seems like their posts are being lost in an echo chamber. Just like fancy shoes won’t make you run faster, just “putting something out” on social media doesn’t mean it will have any more affect than if you shouted the same thing out on the street. Social media is a relationship building tool, but like any relationship, mutual interest takes both time and persistence.


11. Think bigger.


You need to think bigger about your next opportunities. As google says:"Why seek to improve by 10 % when you can do things 10X better".


12. Creative thinkers are made not born.


You need a lot of ideas to be creative. Creativity is inspired by ideas & information. The more you have, the better you can give. It is capacity to put ideas & information together in unusual ways.


13. Our personal & business lives are highly related.


After a health crises passed with one of the most important people in my life, I realized that our personal & business lives are inextricably linked. Find balance between them!


14. Observe First, Decide Fast.


It is what military calls the OODA loop: "Observe, Orient, Decide and Act". The same in our professional life, we should act quickly, decisively and on the spot, which force the competitors to respond to our last maneuver as we are entering the next one.


I hope that my shared 14 lessons had added to your experience some spices.