strong roots of a tree represent marketing principles

This is not about the 4 P’s of marketing.

Product, Price, Place and Promotion are a valuable framework that has stood the test of time, despite many people claiming their demise or proposing alternatives. But we’re not here to debate those.

This is about my principles that guide marketing decisions, including how to:

  • Generate valuable customer insights
  • Create and build brands
  • Direct investment of money and people
  • Develop strategy
  • Drive growth
  • Elevate others
  • Activate within a channel
  • Choose when to buy or build tech
  • Think through many more situations that marketers need to make

My principles have laid the foundation for me to launch a new product for OurBus that turned profitable in 4 months, grow KitKat to its highest share in a highly competitive market, and donate 12,000,000+ glasses of milk to kids who need nutrition.

In writing down these principles, I hope to further systematize my marketing ‘machine’, provide insight for fellow marketers and spark a dialogue where we can all learn from each other.

Why have marketing principles?

Taking inspiration from Ray Dalio and his book Principles, ‘Principles are ways of successfully dealing with reality to get what you want out of life’. My marketing principles will be a collection of lessons that I’ve discovered over the course of my career. They’ll help people and organizations to get what they want out of their marketing.

‘Principles are ways of successfully dealing with reality to get what you want out of life’.

– Ray Dalio, Bridgewater Associates | Founder

Principles improve resource allocation

marketing principles are a compass

Choice is more abundant than ever. Marketing exemplifies this trend to the extreme with expanding responsibilities, technologies and channels.

Unfortunately, we still have limited time and money to evaluate potential solutions and implement.

How do we drive high-quality traffic to our website? Should we test a new channel?

Principles act as a compass to direct our efforts to the right places to solve these challenges.

Principles enhance collaboration

Marketing is a team sport. That’s true for the core marketing team bringing their individual specialties or people across departments and levels of an organization working together.

The most effective collaboration happens when people have diverse perspectives and challenge each other. And for those challenges to be meaningful, we have to understand the underlying assumptions that are fueling our own and others’ perspectives.

Principles provide transparency into our first-level thinking.

Principles enable compound learning

compound learning from building on principles of marketing

We live in a test and learn world. Out of 35,000 startups, the ones that used A/B testing in the early stages increased page views, product launches and VC funding.

The entire growth (marketing) practice is based on developing hypotheses, implementing tests, uncovering what works and scaling those practices.

Principles are the well-informed lessons from these tests, which can be further tested and built upon to elevate knowledge.

How are Marketing Principles formed?

top down bottom up and multidisciplinary marketing principles

Multi-disciplinary approach

When approaching the unstructured and uncertain situations that exist within Marketing everyday, the best way to uncover truth is to triangulate information from multiple, relevant sources. In that spirit, my Marketing Principles have been developed and refined through personal experiences, learning from others, analyzing marketing best practices and leveraging mental models from other disciplines including cognitive science, history and corporate strategy.

Top-Down + Bottom-Up

Sometimes there is a social science theory that brings clarity to brand building. Applying the framework of creating great myths from Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind is a perfect example of this top-down method.

In other occasions, one or more tests I’ve personally run will allow me to extrapolate a Principle using a bottom-up approach. How to uncovering insights for positioning of a new brand was developed through my experiences with OurBus Door<To>Door, Vegberry, ParkYou! and others.

How will the Principles come to life on this site?

To help you get the most out of the content, Marketing Principles will be integrated throughout perspectives and performance case studies. The main principle(s) that led to success will be highlighted at the top of the article.

This piece will include an ongoing list of Principles, which I’ll continue to update.

I welcome you to use them in your own work, share situations that supported my principles or challenge them with your own insights.

Together we can expand our perspectives to be even better marketers.

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