Inward Versus Outward

One of my strengths as a marketer is my outward focus. I love to evangelize and sell the dream. I love to get out in front of crowds and cultivate inbound advocacy and love. I love driving thought leadership and building a stellar external reputation that greases the skids for products and services to achieve utmost market traction.

But that’s only half the game. The other half is focusing inward. It’s critical to pay equal attention to the gears that make the machine run, and ensure they’re properly oiled. Are your team and products in tune with an intimate understanding of your customers and the market? Are your products and product marketing emitting signals and experiences that uphold your core values and purpose? Are you continuously recalibrating that internal machine to drive customer satisfaction and revenues? Are you focusing enough on your people to cultivate a strong marketing culture that does?

It’s tough to juggle the outward with the inward. Both are critical yet often at odds. Indeed, most managers tend to focus on one or the other. However, the seasoned executive must learn how to do both and keep them in check. I’ve not perfected this balance, and I don’t know many who have. However, looking back over the past decade, I’ve gotten much better at it. I’ve been fortunate to work with peers and mentors who’ve made me more sensitive to this important dichotomy. The more conscious you are, the more selectively and effectively you can invest your attention and resources.

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Published by Max Kalehoff

Father, sailor and marketing executive.

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