Last week, Elon Musk and SpaceX launched the Falcon Heavy rocket – currently the largest rocket in the world.
If you’ve been living under a rock, I should tell you that Elon also runs several other companies: the largest one being Tesla.
Popular culture portrays Elon as a hero. And rightly so, he’s built multiple billion-dollar companies in industries where risk is extremely high.
But Elon isn’t a genius just because he designs rockets and electric cars. I mean, he’s wicked smart and certainly takes a hands-on approach.
But there is something else that makes him even more powerful. And this is something that we all have access to.
He’s built systems.
When I meet with clients and listen to their marketing challenges, here are some of them:
“I can’t get good graphic design help.”
“I have all this data, and I don’t know what to do with it.”
“We aren’t getting a good ROI on our investments.”
These all sound like disparate problems. After all, what do good graphic design help and knowing what to do with analytics have in common?
It’s simple: these are all system problems.
If you don’t know what to do with your data, you don’t have a system in place to help you analyze the data.
If you don’t know how to hire good people (for graphic design or otherwise), you don’t have a system to attract and retain new talent.
If you watch marketers portrayed in popular culture, you’ll see creative geniuses that have a single large stroke of inspiration.
We’re obsessed with people like Elon Musk and Steve Jobs. And they have incredible talents. I never want to diminish them in any way.
But the thing that they do well is build companies. And companies are made of people and systems.
It’s these systems that allow Apple to keep junk out of the App Store. It’s these systems that allow SpaceX rockets to be reused. It’s these systems that are bringing battery costs low enough so that you can buy a Tesla for less than $40,000.
And systems, when built properly, will improve the ROI of your marketing, reduce waste, and help you grow your business.
There’s always room for creativity. And systems should only be used when they help.
But if you’re not getting the results out of your marketing, there’s a good chance you’re fighting a system problem.
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