Productivity & Motivation

What Phase of Marketing Are You In?
What Phase of Marketing Are You In?

Note: This post was part of the “Marketing That Works” Ideas Contest, showcasing 20 of the most innovative marketing ideas from the blogosphere’s up and coming marketers. We’ve since picked a winner – check out this post for the details! :)

I hate to be the one to break it to you but you’re probably clueless about where you’re at — marketing wise. (Who am I kidding, I love it :D).

Oh I know, you’ve studied it, you’ve made progress, you ‘get’ marketing, but I’m talking about something deeper. I’m talking about the 3 phases of marketing + creation.

The amount of people in the world who are clueless about the phases of marketing + creation is gigantic. The 1% get it, the 99% don’t.

There are phases of creativity and marketing that everyone is moving through, and most people have no idea where they’re at, or where they’d prefer to be.

I want you to be one of the one’s who ‘get it’.

I’m gonna give you a taste of the good stuff right away, but only to whet your appetite, because it’s the in-depth explanations that really blow the doors open on your potential, and we’ll address those later in the article.

So here they are, the 3 phases of marketing:

  • 1. ‘Newborn’ Idealists – Newborns are full of energy and idealism, and love creating things that are of value, that are personally meaningful. Many artists and fresh entrepreneurs are in this phase.
  • 2. ‘Teenage’ Marketers – Teenagers are tired of being supported by Mom and Dad, they want to flex their wings and have their own freedom, so they come close to abandoning their idealism so they can ‘make money’ and ‘commercial success’. They study business, sales, marketing etc., whatever they can do to actually sell something.
  • 3. ‘Adult’ Creators – Mature, well-developed creative people who’ve found a satistfying balance and overlap between creating something that they love, and naturally applying marketing principles effortlessly, so that the market can’t help but like it.

Ah, is this ringing any bells? Can you see yourself in any of these phases? Well, a key to true success is knowing which phase you’re in. You need to be aware of where you are, and have a clear view of what steps to take to keep progressing.

I’m confident in assuming that you’d like to be at phase 3, and if you’re in phase 3, you’d like more mastery over it, so I’m going to give you a deeper understanding about the phases.

You’ll notice phase 3 goes far beyond “giving people what they want.”

“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.” – Steve Jobs

Keep in mind, what I’m about to reveal to you is extremely rare knowledge. Steve Jobs got it. Successful people are those who spend most of their time in phase 3, but often without even realizing what’s going on, and they aren’t able to teach others with clarity.

That’s where I come in. I’m explaining these phases as clearly as I’ve ever seen them explained, and I want to see your awareness and understanding sky-rocket, and from that, you can grow easily towards where you want to be.

1. ‘Newborn’ Idealists

How can I tell if I’m in this phase? Well, you and the people you hang around use phrases and ideas that go something like this:

  • “I don’t do it for the money.”
  • “I want to change the world.”
  • “I create for ME.”

What can I do to master this phase? Hone your craft. This is all about practicing things you love, until you get a feel for what you do well and passionately. I’ve tried tons of artforms: drawing, writing, musical, digital, video, and more. And I’m good at all of them. Really good. But in honing them these skills over the years, I eventually came to realize that since I was little, everything I did was all about clear, creative success (with style). That was my real craft, find yours.

What exercises will help me? Any exercise that helps you Find Your Life Purpose.

Most people trying out ideas, creating for ‘love not money’, and half-finishing projects just don’t really know what their life purpose is. They’re still figuring it out, and so they keep experimenting. That’s fantastic, the world loves bold experimenters, eager to find their place in life.

There’s no rule that says you have to figure it out early, and Colonel Sanders – the founder of KFC – didn’t start his business till almost 60 years old. Still, you might WANT to find this out faster, and move to stage two.

If you want a really quick way to find your life purpose, try this:

  1. Grab a sheet of paper or a word document
  2. Divide it into 2 columns and on the left write SKILLS as a heading
  3. On the right write INTERESTS.
  4. Now write down a list of any skills you have. Really brainstorm.
  5. Next write a list of any interests.
  6. Finally, go over them all and rate them between 1 & 5.

Then ask yourself this question:

“What do I love to do on a daily basis that focuses on my skills and interests and adds significant value to people’s lives?”

How can I progress to the next phase? Learn the concrete language of marketing and business – not just art, dreaming and creativity. Involve yourself in the economy, and understand the connection between your value and message, and delivering to the market.

(And I have heard of some people reversing the order of stages 1 + 2, but I’ve never seen stage 3 happen until afterwards.)

2. ‘Teenage’ Marketers

How can I tell if I’m in this phase? Well, you and the people you hang around use phrases and ideas that go something like this:

  • “You have to focus 100% on the customer”
  • “You better fill a niche”
  • “I don’t care as long as the market likes it.”

What can I do to master this phase? You’ve already honed your craft, you’re good at what you do, but it’s dreamy and not solid in the economy. You want it to be solid in the economy. You want it to be something that has traction and that people can get behind. This means you need to do whatever you can, whatever it takes, to learn about selling you strengths (read Napoleon Hill’s “Selling You”), marketing (FirePoleMarketing is VERY recommended), and connecting with customers (read Dan Kennedy)

This was a really tricky one for me. I came from an arts background, and I always dreamed of being successful, creating a business empire, making money, fame, etc., but I was resistant. I didn’t want to read business books, I didn’t have a mentor, I didn’t have a business model, and I failed over and over until I was homeless and basically forced to learn how to really engage the market, or starve.

What exercises will help me? Any exercise that helps you find Your Sweet-Spot Audience, and exercises that help you deliver your value to the market (usually someone with a ‘problem’ who’s more of a beginner than you.) If you’d like to get a little more concrete and statistics-based, Google A/B Split-Testing or Talk To Your Customers Through A Survey, it’s magical.

Part of connecting to your market is knowing your market options and then focusing on one’s that suit you. You want to connect with a market that suits you, right? The market that suits you is your sweet spot, it’s fairly easy for you to reach, and very attractive financially and otherwise. If you’d like a quick and easy way to know your market better, try this Sweet Spot exercise.

  1. Brainstorm some reasonable groups you can connect with. If you’ve lived your life, you’ve probably noticed hobbies, groups and communities that suit you more or less.
  2. Rank your groups on how Attractive they are to you, and how Reachable they are to you. (For example: Rich, powerful, influential celebrities might be ‘attractive’ but might not be very ‘reachable’ for you, right now.)
  3. Get a piece of paper and divide it into 4 with a ‘cross’ (horizontal line, and vertical). The vertical axis is Attractiveness, and the horizontal axis is Reachability.
  4. Now draw a circle representing the size of one group, and their attractiveness and reachability and label it.
  5. Repeat step 4 for all your other groups, and you`re done. Now you can see your sweet spot group, it`s the one in the top left corner, with high-reachability and high-attractiveness.

“Find your Sweet Spot market, invest time and energy in knowing them.”

How can I progress to the next phase? Make this market knowledge and mastery habitual. Practice it. Write about it. Teach it to others, use it to make some money or spread the word about what you do. Relate to your customers and the market. Develop your brand. Once you make this habitual, you’ll be able to move to phase 3…

3. ‘Adult’ Creators

How can I tell if I’m in this phase? Well, you and the people you hang around use phrases and ideas that go something like this:

  • “Sure, I could do it for the money, but I know that’s taken care of anyway.”
  • “Yes, this is a successful launch, but I’m focused on helping people through my passion, period.”
  • “Come on man, I’ve been at this awhile, I do what I want because I can Create The Demand *and* the project.”

What can I do to master this phase? By this phase, you’re reasonably skilled at your craft (whatever it is), you have a habitual and intimate connection with the market, and your customers/fans, and you’re able to reach deep into your roots and create something you dearly love, and because of your powerful connection and intimate knowledge of the market, it will soar.

This was one of the easiest for me to understand, because the reason I spent so much time in the first phase trying every art form, and in the second phase, resisting market-knowledge and creating for a niche, was because I knew, deep in my heart, there were many people in the world who created from the third phase, singing or painting what they enjoy and reaping tons of commercial success effortlessly.

That was what I wanted, and I focused on it so much, that I didn’t realize the other 2 phases were vital to move through.

Also in this phase you’ll be learning very powerful techniques like:

  • Creating Demand (Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula)
  • Influence + Persuasion (Kevin Hogan’s The Science of Influence: How to Get Anyone to Say “Yes” in 8 Minutes or Less!)
  • Universal Laws (Abraham-Hicks – Law Of Attraction).

The design exercises will allow you to create something powerful and magical through a shared vision and community. They allow brilliant insight, and are a big part of how Apple created the Mac, iPod, etc.

The power intention and focus-exercises are incredible, and they’ll work any time, but when you have a habitual mastery over your creativity, and over the solid language of business and the market, you are in a position to meditate, focus, and practice qualities that you’d like to show up in your value, and in your audience.

Following Napoleon Hill’s Hidden Secret Of Success is one of the most effective things you can do here, but as this is an advanced stage, this exercise is more in-depth than it appears.

  1. Develop a burning desire for…
  2. A single, major, definite purpose and…
  3. Decide to commit and focus, then…
  4. Grow your desire.
  5. Secret ingredient: Repeat daily w/ consistency + discipline.

High-level creators are able to use their desire well, craft and polish absolutely incredible Definite Purpose with Pure Language, and they commit with passion, and repeat.

How can I progress to the next phase? Well, there may be a next phase, but I’m gonna leave you here for now, it should be more than enough to digest 😉

To Wrap Up

You now know the 3 phases of marketing + creation:

  • 1. ‘Newborn’ Idealists (starving artist/entrepreneur types, convinced they’ll live the dream without the market)
  • 2. ‘Teenager’ Marketers (money + market obsessed, hoping to one day live their dream)
  • 3. ‘Adult’ Creators (basically effortlessly creating value for themselves + the market)

You have indicators to tell you where you at, you have exercises to help you progress through the phases or jump-start you. I want you to succeed, and you can be a stage 3 superstar like the Richard Branson’s or the Lady Gaga’s. Get started!

Remember, everyone progresses through these phases, it doesn’t matter where you are, admit it, embrace it, and move forward. The world and the economy needs more stage 3 success-stories, and you’ll absolutely adore the blessings and rewards that come from being there.