Good Marketer – Bad Marketer


Good marketers understand their audiences motivations, their buying journey, the various stories that can be told to demonstrate their companies value proposition and their brands key differentiators. Good marketers tell stories. Good marketers engage. Bad marketers spew off a list of features and hope that something sticks.

Good marketers obsess over metrics and get just as passionate about qualitative data as they do from quantitative data. They’re eager to use that data to create better materials, stories and engage with their audience in a new way.

Good marketers know the tactics that push these metrics forward and aren’t afraid to walk away from techniques that don’t drive results. And they also know that data in the short term doesn’t always reflect the dividend that can be found in the future.

Bad marketers make all of their decisions based on gut and ignore signals from the market. Bad marketers decide not to use a certain channel to grow their business because “they don’t use it” in their own personal life. They’ll say things like: I don’t use Facebook Watch so it’s not important.. I haven’t opened Snapchat for months – it’s dead. I don’t have time for online communities so no one else does either. They’re lazy thinkers & good marketers are anything but.

Good marketers recognize the importance of collaboration with their immediate team, the sales organization, technical team and c-suite. Good marketers realize the value of collaboration with others in the industry. They value distribution and they know collaboration is a way to unlock it. They also know that while as humans their creativity is unmatched, they can unlock greater efficiency with the effective use of human-AI collaboration.

Good marketers don’t view conversations with sales as an afterthought. Good marketers don’t view sales as their internal enemy. Good marketers recognize that they’re responsible for doing things that help make the lives of sales easier through brand development, better content, lead gen and assets that can nurture a lead from inspiration to close.

Bad marketers want to be silo’d off in their cubicle and never talk to their team. They don’t want to hear what the customer really thinks and they ignore the ideas that are being shared on Slack by their sales & customer success team. Good marketers see these ideas; respond positively to foster a culture that encourages ideas and then uses research (keyword, social, etc) to gauge whether these ideas are worth pursuing. Bad marketers publish ideas they don’t like and explain why they don’t like them afterwards. Bad marketers blame. Good marketers take responsibility.

Good marketers talk about their goals openly. Bad marketers always move the target and pray you don’t notice. Good marketers admit when they’ve come up short on a goal and bring a plan to increase their likelihood of achieving it (and more) during the next sprint.

Good marketers over communicate. Bad marketers assume everyone knows what’s going on. Good marketers prepare for meetings. Bad marketers are too busy to prep. Good marketers ask their team questions. Bad marketers are too afraid to look like they don’t know something.

Good marketers focus on experimentation and learning. Bad marketers don’t care about improving their craft. They’re more interested in sounding smart amongst their peers than actually achieving results for their companies and clients. Good marketers aspire to give back to the industry but get more excited by ROI than they do getting retweets from others in the industry. Good marketers put in the work after hours. Good marketers aspire to improve every single day.

Good marketers aren’t afraid to let the brand shine and do things that others in the industry avoid. Bad marketers don’t want to take a risk. They’d rather blend in than stand out. Good marketers view being different as an asset. Bad marketers view it as a threat. Good marketers want diverse growth channels, diverse revenue streams, diverse teams and diverse thinking. Bad marketers want templates and a cookie cutter approach to everything and anything.

Good marketers embrace process & are comfortable in chaos. Bad marketers want multiple levels of approvals and want to push launches as far as possible. Good marketers realize the value of shipping and are okay with iteration in the future. Bad marketers fear iteration and value perfection over progress. Good marketers know that perfection can never be attained and it’s more important to deliver than to over optimize and design.


Inspired by Good Product Manager / Bad Product Manager 2012 – Ben Horowitz


Want more content like this delivered directly to your inbox? Sign up for my newsletter and I’ll send you practical advice like this along with insightful research breaking down trends surrounding B2B marketing & tech. Sign up here!