Tips and tricks are really experience

I recently sent an email message that included a list of items with a corresponding list of costs. I received a call from the recipient who asked, “How did you do that? How did you keep the pricing aligned on the right? It was the same on my computer as it was on my iPhone and my iPad!” The answer is that when I created the list, I put it in a table so that I could format the items. I was able to right-justify the column with the numbers and adjust the size of the table so that regardless of how the recipient viewed the message, the message would appear the same across all platforms. I then hid the lines of the table by turning them off.

Because the recipient of the message had not seen this before, it was almost like magic. I would like to say that it is a simple procedure. If I had not seen this accomplished somewhere else, I would not think it is so simple. I might not have even discovered it. I’ve been doing this so long though that I’ve forgotten where I picked it up.

I’m not going to say that marketing is second-nature to me. It is something that I study continually. Not unlike the email “trick” that I used, I watch how others solve issues and use the information to take to my clients for ideas.

When I work on a marketing issue, it isn’t always “textbook.” Textbooks are the start of learning, not the end.

Yes, I read trade articles. I am a member of the Agency Management Institute to take advantage of a network of other marketing agencies to share best practices. I find out what is happening in other areas of the country and share what is happening here. We are all more similar than we are different.

In addition to articles, I enjoy listening to industry podcasts. I listen to them on some of the trips I take. Some I can complete while driving across town. Others take a little longer to hear, so I use what the father of motion study Frank Gilbreth called “unavoidable delays” to listen to them. Even with the unavoidable delay of a train stop, my commute is short, so the podcast will go with me when I take a walk.

There are many considerations for solving a problem. Which is more important: reach or frequency? How wide does the net need to be cast to get the message to the audience? Budget can be a limiting factor when trying to reach a target audience. I’m not saying that money is the answer to all problems, it is a factor that has to be weighed. And, a marketing professional can point out the different routes to be taken to meet the considerations.

For a resolution of a marketing issue, consult a marketing professional. What may seem like shortcuts, tricks and tips are really experience. Yes, I can replace a toilet if I have to, but a plumbing professional can do it faster with the right tools and the knowledge and experience for a flawless job. A professional knows the common mistakes and pitfalls. That is why there are some cases where a professional should be consulted. Not all textbooks or how-to videos give complete answers.

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