Does fear of software stop you from trying digital marketing ideas?

Are you comfortable around software? Do you find it easy to learn? Would your business attract more customers if you could master the art of using marketing software?

Digital marketing has brought us new ways to communicate with customers. Every day, new apps, platforms and functionality are launched by software developers.

On the one hand, you want to promote your services / products. On the other hand, there is the continual requirement to learn new software, isn’t there? Having spent hours or days learning WordPress, SEO, Google AdWords, MailChimp etc you may not get the results that you are after. Some initiatives work, some don’t. The important thing is to keep learning.

For some people, fear of failure can stop progress, when it comes to software. It can all feel overwhelming at times, can’t it?

You can watch YouTube videos, read blogs, buy books or go on courses. Alternatively, you can outsource some or all of your requirements.

Personally, I invest two days of my time every month learning new software. This is challenging, as I am always busy.

How about you: what was the last piece of software that you spent time with? How was the experience for you?

It’s not what happens to you that counts, it’s how you handle what happens to you. Thomas J Watson Senior, the founder of IBM said that the formula to success is easy: simply double your rate of failure. Don’t fear failure: learn from it.

I wish you great success with your software journey.

By the way, if you would like some marketing software training, I may be able to help.

Marketing learning and training

During 30 years as a marketing consultant, trainer and speaker I have found that much has changed. The world wide web, search technology, the ubiquitous smartphone, Apps, and software as a service come to mind.

To a large extent, the underlying psychology of marketing has not changed as this is based on the human psyche.  As marketing is all about customers – a good place to start is psychology which teaches you about the way that people think. NLP is an interesting topic if you want to learn more about people / customers.

With regards to marketing, what should you learn? It is all too easy to get lost in the details, so you should study strategy. For example, is your enterprise going for market share or rapid profitability? Are you preparing new services / products? Is brand awareness increasing? What is the optimal promotional mix? Are you receiving your fair share of sales enquiries and sales? Your marketing strategy should be encapsulated within a written marketing plan (see Marketing plan training).

If you are writing your own content, you can increase the speed at which you write and the quality of your content via copywriting training.

Learning to use software properly can save a considerable amount of time. In addition, you will discover how to get the best out of the features that are available. See WordPress training and MailChimp training for example.

I read marketing books; magazines (the monthly magazine from the Chartered Institute of Marketing is very good); websites; e-newsletters; and blogs. I also attend marketing workshops and listen to webinars. I now also listen to marketing podcasts (when I am ironing!)

If you would like to learn more about marketing you are welcome to join us at The Marketing Compass.

Marketing skills 7 point checklist

Here is a checklist of 7 marketing skills:The Marketing Compass logo

1. Lifetime learner.  See: Is it important to keep learning? and Do you like learning?

2. Good with software and computers in general, for that matter. Do you enjoy learning new software programs?

3. The ability to think long term. Otherwise, you are continually in the battle, aren’t you?

4. Strategic thinking. See: Strategic marketing thinking.

5. The ability to write quickly and well. See: Is copywriting part of your job?

6. Command of the English language (or the language of your marketplace) including spelling, grammar, syntax and idiom.

7. Presentation skills. The ability to present your ideas to colleagues and management in a compelling way.

What else would you add to this list?

Is it important to keep learning?

Most people would answer “yes” to the question: “Is it important to keep learning?” However, now that we all have 2nd brains (smartphones), why bother? After all, you can look up facts and figures and get instant answers on your phone, can’t you? If you need to get a complex task done, you can hire an expert.

Increasingly, the expert will come with 5 star recommendations from a website / App. For example, there are currently TV adverts for websites where you can hire household jobs experts (plumbers, electricians etc). If you need a freelancer, you can try or a similar platform.

You can now talk in real time to another person in a foreign language (that you don’t speak) using an App. It is not perfect, but software has a habit of getting better, doesn’t it?

So why bother learning anything?

Here are some reasons to keep learning:

  • The more you learn, the more connections your brain makes
  • Greater knowledge = greater confidence
  • Having a conceptual understanding of a subject makes all the difference when it comes to decision making
  • Your job / business is probably threatened by AI (so this is a good time to learn something new)
  • If you don’t keep learning, what do you think happens to your brain?
  • Successful peoples are learners

What do you think? How will learning change over the next five years?

By the way, what are you learning at the moment?

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Mozart: genius or grafter?

As we approach Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart‘s birthday on January 27th, you will be hearing a lot about him in the media.

At four years old, Mozart absorbed music like a sponge. He had already begun to play the piano and violin. His father, Leopold Mozart, watched as his young child learnt to write music in the correct way (note perfect).  Leopold taught the young Mozart to compose.

Wolfgang composed his first song at the age of five. At the age of six, he was touring Europe, performing for royalty. He wrote his first opera at the age of 12.

Mozart had perfect pitch and a deep love of music. He also had a patient, disciplined and hard working father who developed his talents.

Mozart’s self perception was that he was a worker. He drafted and rewrote his work continuously.  He regularly attended concerts and met and talked to musicians wherever he went. He also listened to a huge range of music.

Regardless of your age, background or education – you can achieve great things. The magic ingredients are a love of learning and persistence.

Yes, Mozart was a genius. But he has also a grafter.

Written by marketing consultant, trainer, speaker and author Nigel Temple.
Join the marketing conversation within The Marketing Compass community. (A great place for startups).
Talk to Nigel 1-2-1 about your marketing for £97 +VAT:


Do you like learning?

Do you love to learn? I have been an independent marketing consultant for 29 years and I can tell you that my greatest successes have been with clients who answer “Yes” to this question.

If you have answered “Yes”, then what are you learning at the moment? Does this include professional knowledge, soft skills, a new language and a new hobby? How do you like to learn? Via Apps, reading or formal study? How do you remember things? Are you a visual learner? What is your learning style? How many hours a week do you spend learning?

One of my favourite books is Future Shock by Alvin Toffler – which was written in 1973. Toffler wrote that the future is already here – but its arrival is inconsistent, geographically speaking. I have visited New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo and I live close to London. Big cities like these have, to a large extent, embraced the future.

Charles Darwin realised that the future would be populated with species that could adapt to changing circumstances. The problem with change is that it is inconvenient, isn’t it? You have to learn a whole lot of new stuff. There we are: back to learning.

“In the struggle for survival, the fittest win out at the expense of their rivals because they succeed in adapting themselves best to their environment.” ~ Charles Darwin

“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”  ~ Charles Darwin

I wish you all the best with your learning!

Too old to learn to play music

I started playing guitar when I was 16 years old. The previous year, I had asked for piano lessons. The teacher said that I was “much too old for music lessons and that it was too late to learn an instrument.”

So my friend Laurence taught me some guitar chords. I discovered that ‘Get It On’ by T Rex required an E Minor (an easy chord for a beginner) and a hypnotic, pulsating rhythm which my friend taught me.

I subsequently found out that most blues songs only had a handful of chords (quite often, only three, i.e. E, A and B7). This revelation and the fact that Robert Johnson’s songs made the hair stand up on the back of my neck and sent shivers (and shimmers) down my spine, turned me onto the blues.

I went onto play semi professionally for many years. There was a time when the gigs were paying more than the day job. I still play guitar most days. Acoustic and electric. Playing music has given me friendship, a life time of learning and endless joy.

Now, I wonder whatever happened to that music teacher, from all those years ago?

It is never too late to learn. I know, because I am in my fifties and I have been learning German for the last three months.

Pass me that guitar, will you? I feeling like playing again.

Breaking old habits and learning something new

To a large extent, human beings are creatures of habit. Think about your routine first thing in the morning. You probably do everything in the same order, don’t you? Without really thinking about it, we find ourselves watching the same TV programmes, visiting the sames shops, maintaining old skills, telling the same jokes and keeping the same opinions. After all, life is difficult enough without doing everything differently all the time, isn’t it? This is fine if you are content to drift along and don’t have aspirations to improve yourself and grow your business. Habits are powerful things. It can be difficult to see the life you are living and how much of it is routine based.

Learning a new skill can help with your other skills (you have 100 billion active brain cells and they are highly interconnected). This will make you a more interesting person, in your personal and professional life. An example for me, this year, is learning German – which I have not studied before. I have been surprised at how many people speak either a little German or are fluent in the language. Learning something new increases your confidence. Learning helps you to stay young. If you make learning a habit, you will be more open to trying out new marketing and sales skills.

Here are some ideas for you:

Personal development
*  Learn a new language (there are free apps which can help you)
*  Learn a musical instrument
*  Take up a new sport
*  Try a new hobby
*  Read a different genre of book

*  Experiment with a new promotional technique
*  Learn a new software program
*  Do something new with your website
*  Visit a new networking group
*  Learn how to write and publish a book
*  Become a public speaker

it takes 21 days to form a new habit – so don’t give up too soon!

If you are interested in learning about marketing, by all means join us here:

Nigel Temple offers creative thinking training.

“I am still learning.” ~ Michelangelo, aged 87.