Enjoy (from shortest to longest)

  1. Something to think about
  2. A “how-to” resource
  3. A marketing topic deep dive.

You choose how much you want to read. Along the way, I’ll do my best to translate any “marketing speak.”

Something to Think About

David Ogilvy founded the ad agency of “Ogilvy and Mather” and was considered by many “the Father of Advertising.” Also known as the “King of Madison Avenue,” the New York City street where many of the big ad agencies were and the pun behind the title of the hit show Mad Men.

One "How To" Resource

We recently updated our target customer workflow and template. If you need a solid ICP/Persona worksheet, this might be what you need.

ICP/Persona Worksheet

A Marketing Deep Dive

Time Wasters

“Squander your time.”

My dad used to say that.

Man, it used to tick me off.

But now I’m really grateful that he said it.

I cut my teeth in sales and marketing and learned most of my earliest lessons in business from my dad.

Working with him and for him.

At the time he was trying to reinforce the relative value of his time vs. mine and teach me an important lesson.

He was working on solving strategic problems.

I was working on low-level execution.

He was teaching me not to bring him a problem without a solution.

It would ALWAYS be easier to ask him what to do or how to do it than to figure it out myself.

Or even just take it as far as I could.

Bringing him a problem that I should be able to solve was cheating me out of the opportunity to stretch my ability to solve problems AND cheating the company out of his time.

As I’ve gotten older, with a few more miles in the odometer of my career, I’ve been able to work more like my dad.

I’ve gotten better at prioritizing my time on the highest value activities.

I’ve gotten more efficient and been able to leverage my output in ways he used to do.

And I’ve gained new appreciation for what he used to tell me.

“Squander your time.”

Because there are times when efficiency isn’t what you should be shooting for.

Times when the opulence of apparent time wasting is the only path to the goal.

Times when a messy, sub-optimal, bespoke approach… is actually the best.

My friend Steve Fulling taught me a version of this.

We worked at a company where I led marketing and Steve led the dev team.

We were debating a software solution when he turned to me and said, “Humans are way better at that than computers.”

This was in 2014, but he might as well have been talking about AI.

And do you know when humans consistently beat computers?

Things where squandering your time is appropriate.

Like building relationships.

Like growing a team.

And like creative work.

We have a lot of efficient ways to encroach on creative work.

Ways to get really good at the stuff around the edges.

But there’s a place at it’s heart where creativity cannot be forced, where stress is inversely correlated to output, where the only way forward is to surrender to the backward-flowing tide.

In times like this it’s actually faster to go slow.

Times when a breakthrough can only be found by doing the counterintuitive, such as:

  • Go for a walk.
  • Take a vacation.
  • Take a nap.
  • Listen to music.
  • Abandon (for a moment) deadlines.
  • Talk to someone.
  • Don’t talk to anyone.

Sometimes the only way is to squander your time, and let solutions arise from your unconscious.

Think of it like HIIT for your brain and your business.

Break things up.

Increase the surface area of your exposure to ideas.

Get comfortable doing things you shouldn’t be doing.

One of our favorite business books at CMO Zen is Range.

Because marketing in the early stages requires breadth.

And the interactions that create range in a person’s capabilities, that come from unexpected cross-pollination of ideas, that spring out of unpredictable serendipity…

Are those that happen when we aren’t grinding.

But when we come up for air.

Happy building.

 

Until next time… namaste.

 

 

Chad Jardine, Founder & CEO
CMO Zen

 

 

P.S. If you enjoyed this newsletter, please consider sharing it with a friend. If this WAS shared with you, you can subscribe yourself at cmozen.com/newsletter.

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