Marketing tips

What are the key marketing tips that can help you raise your marketing skill beyond the technical knowledge of how marketing works. Bring some B-R-A-I-N-S to the way you do marketing and you’ll be able to outthink, outplay and outgrow the competition. Read our guide to find out more. 

Marketing tips

How this guide raises your game.

1. Learn our six key marketing tips based on our marketing B-R-A-I-N-S model.

2. Read examples of how these behaviours and attitudes can grow your business.

3. Find out how to get the best out of people to make your marketing even better.

From our experience of working in marketing, we’ve been lucky to work with and learn from people who were true masters at the art and science of marketing.

But we’ve also work with some people who really should have chosen a career other than in marketing.

So what makes great marketers stand out from the crowd? And what do you need to avoid as we know marketing also seems to bring out the worst in some people. 

That’s why we’ve put together this short informal set of marketing tips to point you in the right direction.

Some areas to focus on, some behaviours to practice and overall, just a way of going about your business in marketing that will help you be an asset to your business. Rather than just be an ass. 

We also have a seperate guide with more specific tips on digital marketing.

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The BRAINS guide to Marketing 

And like every good marketer, we want to make the message tie back to our brand identity, and be a piece of communications that’s unique, distinctive and memorable.

That’s why we call it the BRAINS guide to be a better marketer. Read on to raise your game in marketing.

  • B for brand focussed
  • R for resilient
  • A for analytical
  • I for innovative
  • N for not an asshole
  • S for sales-oriented

B is for brand focussed

While the process of marketing starts with the consumer, the value of marketing to your business comes from the ability to build great brands. 

Just look at the BrandZ study we reference in our Why Brands Matter section in our Brand Development Process guide.

Companies who have strong brands outperform the average of all companies by over 40%.

2007 - 2017 Performance of Brand Z defined strong brands (+124.9%) vs S&P 500 average (+82.1%) and MSCI global average (34.9%)

Just think about that.

Imagine what your sales and profit level would look like if it were 40% higher. That’s a pretty good ambition to have in terms of adding value to your business. 

But it’s not even just the sales performance of your business where brands play a role. That’s the end point.

No, when you have a strong brand, you also help your target audience out.

You make life easier for them because they recognise who your brand is, what it does and what it can do for them. You can read more about the impact of branding on consumers in our brand development guide. 

Now, you don’t want to be one of those marketers who thinks their consumers spend all day thinking about their brand. Nobody other than brand managers spends all day thinking about brands.

But when you have built a strong brand identity over a period of time and that brand identity turns into a strong mental connection in the mind of your target audience, that’s really the sweet spot of marketing.

Great branding

When that consumer gets a promotion at work and wants to splash out on a luxury new car and the BMW, Audi or Mercedes logos pop into their head.

That’s great branding.

When that consumer is in a dingy late night bar and can barely see the barman never mind what’s behind the bar, but they know they can always order a Jack Daniels, a Bacardi or a Smirnoff because what bar doesn’t stock those brands?

That’s great branding, too.

Mercedes logo

And when that entrepreneur, small business owner or aspiring marketer is looking for amazing marketing coaching and consulting that will raise their game, well, they know to come to Three-Brains, obviously 😉 Hey, if we don’t promote ourself, no-one else will.

But we promise, that’s the only bit of self-promotion in this guide.

R is for resilience

There’s no doubt that you have to have a hard skin to work in marketing. Here’s three reasons why

Driving change is hard

The role of the marketer in most businesses is to listen to the needs of consumers, and organise, persuade and influence the rest of the business to do things to meet those needs. But typically, the needs of consumers change more quickly than the way businesses like to operate. So, as a marketer, you feel yourself constantly trying to drive change, and then spending a huge amount of time overcoming barriers to change.

Great marketers are usually creators.

They create new products, they create new experiences and they create a marketing mix that connects with consumers. But in most business, as you can read in our article here, there are many critics and many coasters.

People who tend to like things the way they are. Who want to protect the status quo.

When you work in marketing you will get a lot of push-back for your plans from the rest of the business, so the ability to keep going is critical.

Archery target with arrows to symbolise target audience

There’s a great expression we heard recently, that dates from the days of Westerns.

You always know who the pioneers are, they’re the ones with arrows in their back.

That would be pretty typical for the best marketers too.

Consumers are fickle

And while we are on the topic of favourite expressions, one of our favourite about marketing was that

it would be a lot of fun if it only bloody consumers would do what they’re supposed to”.

Because, despite how much you know it’s important to understand consumers, to listen to and anticipate their needs and create experiences tailored to those needs, some time things that should work, don’t. 

Woman peeking out behind a bush

Because consumers are human at the end of the day. And as humans, though we all like to consider ourselves thoughtful and rational, we all do things that make no sense.

In the words of a famous book, the only thing you can say with certainty about consumers is that they are predictably irrational.

So, you need resilience for all those times that the market research says “yes”. And then your target audience don’t buy. For all those times, that your expensive campaign flops and that throw-away social media post on a Friday afternoon goes viral.

Welcome to working with consumers.

Everyone has an opinion on marketing

And finally on resilience, you have to put up with the fact that everyone will have an opinion on how you do marketing.

Whether they have qualifications and experience or not, everyone will be quite happy to tell you where you are going wrong. 

Unlike traditional professions like medicine or accountancy, the ‘rules’ of marketing are not black and white.

Boy shouting into microphone

Very few people would challenge an expert medical diagnosis or financial statement.

But everyone feels very happy to challenge marketing expertise.

Because they see marketing as about consumers, and everyone is a consumer at the end of the day.

This point of view means everyone has an an opinion on marketing. What your packaging looks like. Is your advertising any good. What could you do to improve your customer experience.

So marketing does take a lot of patience, energy and resilience to succeed. While skills like market research can bring increased certainty to marketing, decisions about marketing can still end up being subjective. 

Get a thick skin, you’ll need it.

A is for analytical

When you work in marketing, you have to be insanely curious about everything. Especially consumers.

But you also need the sort of mind that can pull together lots of different pieces of information and make a new insights from them. 

As a marketer, you should love getting in to the nitty gritty of market research.

Whether that’s sitting behind a two way mirror watching strangers talk about your product in qualitative research. 

Quantatitive calculator

Or reading through vast amounts of Powerpoint charts and spreadsheets from your quantitative research agency to find that nugget of information, that new emerging trend that will change how you do marketing.

Take every opportunity you can to work on market research projects. Attend interviews or focus groups where they are available. 

Read blogs, books and industry websites to see what people are talking about in your industry. 

Join mailing lists of relevant publications and follow key opinion leaders on their social media feeds.

Your aim should be to get under the skin of your consumers by experiencing life from their point of view. So that you better understand their needs. 

Be observant

And make a point to be observant. What’s going on right now with consumers around you. How do they talk? What do they say about brands and businesses? What’s of interest that could motivate, inspire and engage them?

Keep asking questions about your consumers and you are off to a great start at being a better marketer.

But for us, the true skill in analysis is what you do with all this information. The generation and scraping of the data is only the start of the process. 

It’s making that mental connection between consumers, what you know about consumer behaviour, and how you create your brand identity and your brand activation to make those connections grow your business. 

I is for innovative

We already mentioned, that you have to be resilient to be a great marketer. But this need for resilience comes from the drive for change. And this drive for change brings us to the next of our next marketing tips. And that’s that you really need to get innovation. 

The area of creativity and especially creative thinking is a fundamental skill where we see the best marketers really stand out.


Post it on wall with light bulb illustration to highlight creative problem solving

That open-mindedness to explore, test and learn new ideas.

That passive radar on the world that sees and recognises great ideas from outside the business.

And sees opportunities to translate and transform them into growth opportunities.

Change the game

The best marketers know how to change the game. They are not content with the status quo.

The best marketers constantly look for the leading edge, the new, the outside the box and the just different way to do things.

If you look at most industries, growth comes from companies who are innovative.

As we outline in our marketing innovation guide, all products have a natural life cycle that will eventually lead to decline.

So. it’s the job of the marketer to recognise the need for innovation and help bring new products and services to market that will meet the needs of consumers and grow the business. 

Of all our marketing tips, this is the one that you really want to push the hardest, because it helps with almost all the other marketing tips. 

N is for Not an asshole

We have to confess, we struggled a little with “N” for our B-R-A-I-N-S acronym of marketing tips.

We could have gone “numerical”. And numbers are important in marking. But hey, we already had analytical and sales oriented in the mix, and we felt we were well covered on that side of the business. 

So, we were a little creative and innovative ourself, and we’ve gone with the “not an asshole”.

To be honest, we stole this concept from the NZ All Blacks rugby team, probably the most successful sports team in the world.

They have a rule that in their team, they work as one unified team.

There’s no star players, no prima donnas, they work towards the collective goal. Anyone who is an asshole, does’t last in the team. They shape up or they ship out. 

Marketers who fail the test

We’ve met a ton of marketers who unfortunately would fail this test.

The ones who feel the need to call themselves strategists for a start. There’s also the ones who talk all the time and never take the time to listen to others.

And those super Type A personalities who steamroller over everyone else in the business, you don’t want to be one of those.

And yes, those ones who kill you slowly with hundred page long Powerpoint presentations and never take a decision, those ones you want to avoid.

In fact, read our article on the three monkeys of marketing to find out more about how not to be an asshole in marketing. 

Marketing to non-marketers

And then there’s the way that marketers engage others in the business.

People who work in marketing can often have a blindspot on how they market themselves. Marketing as a subject can have a lot of jargon and terminology that can be alienating to non-marketers.

So the penultimate of our marketings tip is to really focus on how not to sound like a marketer all the time. Because, often that makes you sound like an asshole. 

In many cases as a marketer, you need to work with other functions or agencies who do not think the way you do.

Work out how to convey your message in simple, clear terms. It is one of the most impactful marketing skills you can develop. You can read more of our thoughts on the subject of marketing to non-marketers in this article.

And even with all this, you still have to take into account the more general types of asshole behaviour you find in some businesses.

The managers who play politician rather than business leader. The ones who are so focussed on their career progression, they don’t care who gets in the way. 

Here’s the thing for a marketer though. We think the brands you develop are influenced by the way you work. By the way you think and the way you operate.

So, if there is the whiff of asshole behaviour about you, then the same’s going to be true for your brand. 

Nobody’s perfect, but we’ve usually found the most average and mediocre brands are run by assholes. And the truly great brands are run by the one who are genuine team players and who truly use their brains.

S is for Sales Oriented


There’s nothing worse than the marketer who looks down on sales as though sales is a dirty word. At the end of the day, marketers have to make commercial decisions about where and how to spend the company’s money. And if that money does not convert to sales, then the marketer has not done a good job. Not by a long shot. 

The ability to create strong brands that connect with consumers and deliver profitable growth is where your marketing skills really make a difference. You need to be consistently thinking about the commercial success of a brand or business.

Podium with first second third places, and wish you were here box in number one

Have your eye on the end goal

The last of our marketing tips is that marketers always have their eye on the end goal. You can talk about purpose and vision all you like, life’s much better when you’re looking at sales charts that show double digit growth. believe us.

What is the right price to set? When and how often (if at all) do you run price promotions? How do you make sure your product is well represented when it appears online and delivers the greatest likelihood of a sales conversion?

Become familiar with how the creative process works and the many basic principles which run across design,  colour, typography, writing, photography and video as these areas can drive more sales for your business. 

Consider how trade channels work and think about the exciting new opportunity that e-Commerce offers. 


It’s a lot to take it. Your B-R-A-I-N-S probably hurt just thinking about it. But you know, it you can follow those six marketing tips – brand focussed, resilient, analytical, innovative, not an asshole and sales-oriented, then you are well on your way to being a great marketer.  

Final word on marketing tips

Marketing is a constantly changing and ever interesting part of any business. It’s worth taking the time to build in regular reviews. What is working for you and what isn’t? What new things do you need to learn, and what things are starting to lose their relevance?

You might find some ideas for inspiration in this blog post from our own regular reviews of our business.  There’s also some additional marketing tips in our article on how it takes to be a better marketer and in the life cycle of a marketer

Three-brains and marketing coaching

We have worked on many marketing projects and have good experience across all aspects of marketing. If you want to connect marketing expertise back into driving your brand sales, we coach businesses and business leaders how to grow skills and confidence in marketing. 

If you want to know more about how we can support your marketing to grow your business  through our coaching and coaching and consulting services, click the button below to send us a message.

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