In this book, the author reveals his 10x Marketing Formula – a marketing formula for creating rapid growth. The formula provides you with a framework, which then needs to be supported by ideas and strategies developed specifically for your company and market sector. However, before delving into the different phases of the formula (plan, execute, publish, and analyse), you must first adopt a winning mindset. Today, people involved in traditional content marketing find themselves in a “red ocean” situation, jam-packed with cutthroat competition, with very low levels of differentiation. It will be impossible to stand out of the crowd if you keep doing the same things, following the same rules, mimicking others, and using traditional and inflexible tools, like a marketing plan. This system, on the other hand, allows you to do just that and reach a “blue ocean” – clean, with no sign of the competition. It is true that to stand out from the crowd, you have to take risks and the chances of failing are high. This is where the successful marketer mindset comes in: you cannot control failure, but you can control the way you react to it, and instead turn it into a way to focus your attention on growth strategies that the competition isn’t using.
One point of inspiration can be found in the growth hacker: a professional focused solely on growth objectives. A winning content marketer needs to become a “content hacker”, namely someone that knows how to combine growth tactics with high-rate conversion content. The job of the “content hacker” is to create, publish, and share valuable content with a target audience so as to convert them into customers. However, the hackers always need to take risks to do so, by trying out new tactics and not simply leaning on what is stipulated in the marketing plan. The tactics that they use cannot be too expensive or complex – they need to be simple and easy to execute, easy to test and to tweak, if need be, because they will have to try out more than one at a time, to see which works better than the others. By using flexible tactics, you also minimise the impact of potential failures: you can change method, idea, or even have a high failure threshold.
We can learn from the founder of Sumo.com and AppSumo, Noah Kagan, how innovation and risk are crucial aspects of content hacking, since they go hand in hand with high-potential results. Clearly, risk comes with failures, but this can also be useful: every time you fail, you are made to realise that something isn’t working and consequently move one step closer to the approach that will work. This also helps you to better understand your audience, as you will get to know what they like and what they don’t like. You have to experiment a lot, accept your failures, learn from them, and keep trying so as to improve your techniques. SpaceX, Apple, and Pixar are all examples of creative, innovative, and out of the ordinary companies, however they didn’t start out already knowing everything: at the core of creativity and innovation lie the ability to learn, to fail, and keep getting back up to try again until the best possible version is realised.
You mustn’t hide from failure, but rather embrace it as an opportunity to learn what not to do and what you need to improve upon. To this end, it is useful to adopt a start-up mindset: they have no choice but to grow quickly (otherwise they won’t receive financing and will fail), and in order to do so, they are forced to make risky decisions and always think in terms of “results, or die”. Approaching risk as an opportunity promotes innovative development and, consequently, growth.