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Do You Have What it Takes to Master Digital Marketing Skills

March 04, 2014  /  by  Michael Westafer

MYSTERY BOX CHALLENGE

One of my favorite reality shows is Master Chef. It’s dramatic, intense, entertaining – and I learn a lot about cooking.

In this challenge contestants are given 60 minutes to prepare an amazing meal using the ingredients in a “mystery box”. It’s quite a stressful situation, and there’s a lot on the line. The smallest mistake can cost the amateur chef $250,000 dollars and a publishing deal.

The key to winning the competition is wowing the judges with creativity, presentation and execution. The chef who wins earns a distinct advantage over their competition in the following round.

As marketers, we are often times put in difficult situations. We’re given scarce resources and unrealistic deadlines, yet are still expected to deliver amazing results. A simple mistake could cost us a number of things, including money, respect or perhaps even our job.

Just like the Mystery Box challenge, our success as marketers relies on a unique combination of master marketing skills: creativity, presentation and execution. Those of us who nail it will acquire a unique advantage over the competition and ultimately come out on top.

Creative Concept

As marketers, we don’t always have control over the resources we’re given. It’s like a mystery box, we don’t really know what’s in there until we open it up. And when we do, we might be overwhelmed by what we find. This applies to both our financial resources and the professional talent on our team. So what do we do?

On the show chefs immediately evaluate their ingredients and rely on their experience and talent to imagine a final dish. The goal is to leverage the strengths of each ingredient, while balancing their unique colors, texture and taste. All of the ingredients must work together to deliver a cohesive dish.

As a marketer, you have been given finite resources, and you have to do the best you can to integrate those resources into a cohesive marketing plan. If you want to be noticed, you must serve something that is much more appealing than what your competition is dishing out.

Presentation

Master chefs understand that we eat with our eyes first. That’s why they put so much emphasis on “plating”. It’s because the person eating will make an immediate judgment about the quality of the food based on appearance.

The same is true when it comes to being a master marketer. Once you finally get in front of your audience, you have only seconds to grab their attention. The quality of your presentation is critical. That means you need to pay attention to branding, colors, fonts, layout and other visual elements.

Execution

At the end of the competition, the last chef standing is the one who was able to execute the best dish. At this phase it’s about taste and texture. The chef might have a great concept with a beautiful presentation, but if they've burnt the bread they’re toast!

When it comes to marketing, you can have the most innovative concept and award-winning design, but it means nothing if you aren't able to deliver mouthwatering results. Are you giving your audience what they expect, and are they converting as a result? Are you successfully executing your strategy, or are you just throwing random ingredients together hoping that something sticks?

Don’t like the heat in the kitchen?
Then let’s go to lunch to talk about your marketing challenges - and we’ll leave the cooking to the experts at our digital agency.