There are no hacks for hard work.

One thing I’ve noticed, and been deeply guilty of myself, is that there are no hacks for hard things when it comes to marketing. 

What do I mean?

I mean that you can get every industry report there is, and marketing is still work. You can have the most comprehensive, seamless, and automated reporting system there is, and marketing is still work. You can have cutting edge AI tools that will optimize your bids, audiences, placements, and creatives, and marketing is still work. You can outsource large parts of your job to agencies or the greatest experts in every kind of marketing imaginable, and marketing is still work. You can be absolutely dominating on a specific platform with a fantastic ROI that requires very little upkeep, and marketing is still work. 

There is no way around hard work when it comes to marketing. This shit is hard. 

No tool is perfect, platforms are always changing, what works today, may not work tomorrow, agencies need direction and collaboration, etc. etc. etc. 

There are, of course tools, processes, and systems to make your job easier. There’s no doubt.

There are however no hacks, or tricks, or tools to make the job easy. 

You see, marketing is an inherently self destructive field. What do I mean? Anytime something gets popular, a marketer comes in and ruins it. 

Media companies inherently trade on people’s attention. It’s the business model they’ve been in ever since the first billboard went up in the Colosseum (I have no idea if this is true, I just made it up. Sounds cool though right?) They create something people want to watch, and the price is they’re forced to watch something they never would otherwise. Us marketers? We’re that otherwise bit. 

So, then a new medium, or channel, or site, or whatever becomes popular it’s a race against time before it becomes so saturated with marketers that people, frustrated and disillusioned, move on to some other form of entertainment. Any time you find something that works, there are 10s of thousands of other marketers chomping at the bit to take what you’ve found and use it for themselves. In the process the fierce competition for consumer eyeballs is every so slowly wearing down the credibility and the usefulness of whatever trend or authenticity the mediums we market on have managed to build. Repeat ad infinitum. 

I say all this not to be cynical about my profession, but to point out that the work never stops. You can never have it all figured out. At best you can have it all figured out for today. A platform changes a feature and you’re dead. A competitor rolls in swinging their weight around with 1000x the ad budget, you’re dead. People realize your product is accidentally killing all the sea turtles one day.

No matter what, you have to do the work.