Finding the “It” Factor

One of the more interesting things about running an online marketing agency is trying to find common factors among those employees and associates that are able to excel and understand the online marketing world. Trying to find that intangible “it” so that when the time comes to hire and expand, we can get the right people.

You see, it’s more than being able to perform a task – it is constant evaluation, investigation and testing hypothesis. It’s an analytical mind with a bit of artistic flair. Finding people that can not only “get it”, but then operate as a consultant and have face-to-face charisma with a client is the brass ring of hiring.

Marketing is Performing based on Data

When I surveyed my associates in order to find common experiences, factors or talents, I was astonished at what I found. The overwhelming majority of employees and associates had experience in performance music. Not just learning and instrument, but being part of a larger band or orchestra and performing in front of people. Even more, many are in bands where there they have to take keys from a leader or each other. Essentially, what I realized is that being a performance musician is an extreme multi-tasking exercise.

As I analyzed the behavior even more I found that it is not just multi-tasking, but an ability to digest multiple streams of information, react accordingly, and constantly measure your own performance, pitch, rhythm and mood so that it matches the rest of the performers in order to produce a singular sound.

This matched up with another marketing friend of mine, Brian Mathers from Scotland, who spent over 20 years serving on submarines in the Royal Navy. I am fascinated with Brian’s stories about submarine life, as he had to be able to know where he was, where the ocean terrain was, where other ships were and how fast they were going – all without a window. He relied on gauges, dials, readouts and sounds – all at the same time, and had to be ready to react the right way, with the right data, at the right time.

What, Where, When and Why

In the same way, businesses are now subject to massive amounts of data. IN addition to the data are the increasing challenges of online marketing which require attention to be split among various tasks: content development, content schedules, blogging, Tweeting, FaceBook, Google+, keyword research, SEO, PPC, email, analytics, A/B testing, press releases, code and development, link building, conversion optimization

-all while attempting to run a profitable business…

Multi-Tasking distracts, Analysts perform

This is where all of that earlier thought dawns on me. The successful businesses that I have seen all have something in common. They have people in places that are able to process all of the data from these dozens of tasks and the information produced by each one of them, and they are able to know what to do, why and when, and know what to expect in results. Not multi-tasking, but performing.