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:
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.