Practice, Practice, Practice

January 31, 2020

This is part of a weekly journal I'm keeping about my day job running marketing at Inntopia.

Don’t call it a breakthrough, but I think I’ve finally figured out how to tell a story that’s been frustrating me off and on for about three years.

As you might have guessed, it’s a really complicated story. It’s got a lot of moving pieces, lots of characters, a bunch of prerequisite industry knowledge to help it make sense. I had figured out a way to tell it in a sorta ‘meh’ way, but I wasn’t satisfied.

So I did three things.

First, a survey.

I surveyed our customers and asked them to describe us in their own words. No jargon. I asked them to describe the problems we solve and what words they wouldn’t use to describe us. I wanted to get out of my own head and see us how others on the front lines see us. I took all that feedback and started to look for patterns.

Second, one-on-one conversations.

Next, I jumped on the phone and talked through some of these nuances with a handful of customers. I opened up, I admitted where I didn’t know enough, and I asked for help. I went even deeper with some of our sales and product people. Then, with my brain full of fresh insights, I unplugged and tried to make sense of it all. Sometime during a way-too-long shower, it clicked.

Third, I practiced.

The new way I had discovered to tell this story was good, but I wanted to:

  1. Make sure I was understanding the nuance correctly
  2. Make sure the story portrayed that nuance correctly
  3. Get better and better at telling the story.

So I wrote it down, called up a co-worker and gave it a try. He gave me some great feedback, I cleaned up a few parts, called up someone else and tried again. Then again. And again.

So far I’ve told the story more than 20 times to a dozen different people.

Sure enough, it become better and better and better. And today, as I close out the week, I feel pretty dang good about where it is. Not 100% – maybe 90% – but given that I was at a 60-70% earlier this week?

I’ll take it.

More updates from my day job journal:
A Different Style
June 12, 2020
Tough Times
June 8, 2020
Complexity vs Disorganization
May 29, 2020
Fewer Things: Part II
May 24, 2020
Foot on the Gas
May 15, 2020
Smart, Simple Retargeting
May 8, 2020
Go Bigger
May 1, 2020
Zizzer-Zoof Seeds
April 24, 2020
A Simple Goal
April 17, 2020
Coming Together (Again)
April 11, 2020
Goggles for Docs
April 3, 2020
Pausing Work
March 27, 2020
Pausing Marketing
March 20, 2020
Come Together
March 13, 2020
Moving the Needle
March 6, 2020
Fewer Things, Done Better
February 28, 2020
Marketing / Product
February 21, 2020
February 15, 2020
Things I Don’t
February 7, 2020
Practice, Practice, Practice
January 31, 2020
January 24, 2020
Validating the Message
January 17, 2020
A Different Kind of Story
January 10, 2020
Autonomy & Strategy
January 3, 2020
A Big Year
December 31, 2019

Hi, I'm Gregg.

I'm a marketer, maker, and long walk taker.


By day I run marketing for resort CRM / ecommerce provider, Inntopia. After the kids go to bed my laptop is my workshop where I'm building an email marketing tracking platform called SendView.