Swipe Files - 📂 Process mental models for marketing

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A process — AKA a procedure, operation, or system.

A process is a series of steps and decisions involved in the way work is completed. We may not realize it, but processes are everywhere.

James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, says, "You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems."

It's the way you do something.

And it can make or break your success in what you do.

Here are two mental models you can use to improve your marketing processes immediately:

GROWS

Let me run a scenario by you that might sound familiar in some ways.

One day, one of your colleagues says, "Hey, I have an idea: what if we changed the homepage headline to 'the #1 platform for email marketers'... I think that would really resonate with our customers"

You say, "thanks, that's a good idea — I think we'll try that for a while"

So you go and change the headline and then call it a day.

But what did that actually do? How do you manage all of the ideas that get thrown at you? How do you prioritize what to work on? What does your process look like to test ideas and find the solution that works the best?

Look, here's the process for the majority of marketers:

  • Ideas get written down somewhere but only the ones that are from the boss, the CEO, or another colleague are the ones that get implemented.
  • Then, you try them out and then call it a day.
  • No measurement, no learnings, no idea about how it actually works.

And frankly, it's not okay.

Marketers today have drifted to opposite extremes.

On one end, you have marketers who are extremely creative, intuitive, and prefer to not be bogged down by a lot of process.

On the other end, you have marketers who are extremely logical, data-driven, and take a super scientific approach to everything, maybe even to a fault.

Both are faulty to a point.

Without data and process, you lose out on opportunities to optimize and innovate. Without intuition and some creative liberty, you stagnate or move too slow.

Here's a framework I've found to be extremely useful for running experiments:

  • Gather: Ideate like crazy. Lock yourself in a room and think of every idea — good and bad. Take inspiration from other industries and even competitors.
  • Rank: Score them based on impact, confidence, and ease. Then, sort the list by the ideas with the highest scores and start at the top.
  • Outline: Write up a brief description of what needs to be done, who does what by when, and how much time and resources it'll require.
  • Work: Get to work! Pick 1-3 different experiments to run concurrently.
  • Study: Once you've given it enough time or reached statistical significance, go back and see what you've learned to decide what you'll start, stop, and continue next time.

ABCD

Asking for feedback can be one of the hardest parts of the job.

What if they don't like it? What if I'm doing something wrong? What if we have to scrap it altogether?

Even though it can be uncomfortable, it's critical to be able to get to the objectively best version of what you're working on.

But how do you actually ask for feedback? Do you just say "hey I'd like some feedback on this"?

I wouldn't recommend going that way.

Unfortunately, if you don't specify what feedback you're looking for, you'll either get nit-picky comments that don't help much or vague "it's good!" comments that aren't actionable.

Here's a framework I like that's as easy as "ABCD":

  • what's Awesome?
  • what's Boring?
  • what's Confusing?
  • what Didn't you believe?

Having the right frameworks and mental models in place for your processes can make all the difference.

—Corey

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