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What solving a Rubik’s Cube can teach you about a successful marketing strategy

Last year, I learned to solve a Rubik’s Cube. It’s one of those things that’s incredibly satisfying to figure out and do a few times before the novelty wears off and it becomes a simple formality.

I was (and still am) not particularly proficient at sliding those brightly coloured squares into order, and it probably takes me the best part of 10 minutes to do, but it’s still a fun skill to have, nonetheless.

Of course, as with any and all personal challenges that we set ourselves at Yardstick, the Rubik’s Cube contains many crucial marketing lessons within its frustrating walls. Read on to discover what they are, and how far I can stretch this tangential metaphor.

Solving each layer to succeed

There are multiple ways to solve a Rubik’s Cube, such as this insanely fast effort which is frankly more than likely faked.

The method I learned to solve the Cube essentially involves a set of algorithms that you use to complete it one layer at a time from bottom to top. Figuring out the remainder then means ensuring that the work you’ve done at the base of your cube stays done, while tinkering with the ones above.

This is almost identical to how you should manage your marketing strategy, built of multiple inter-dependent layers, including your website, branding, content, and social media. These elements all coalesce to help prospective clients find your business. Each interconnected element must then be logically solved to complete your marketing cube.

Of course, when you make a change to one element, the rest must follow suit. Updated your branding? Make sure that’s reflected on your website. Added a new function or section to your website? Why not let your clients and prospects know by updating them in your newsletter?

You need to solve all these layers to succeed, making sure they move together to create a coherent, clear brand.

Be patient and don’t skip steps – unless you know you can

I know my limits with the Cube. If I don’t stick to the approved method that I know will work each time, I am destined to fail. Trying to skip a step to cut down time is a fool’s errand for me, because I know that it will only hurt my prospects in the long run.

When you’re implementing a marketing strategy, you need to be equally patient. No matter what methods you put in place to attract new leads or remind old clients to get in touch, give them time to work their magic so you can properly see their impact. Don’t try to cut corners just because you’re so eager to see results.

This doesn’t mean you can’t try and fire off a few other arrows in your quiver. Just try to make sure that you give each one sufficient time to fly before you decide that they aren’t going to hit the target.

For me, that means doing what I know each time to figure out the cubic puzzle. It might not be as exciting as doing it in three seconds, but I always get the result I want.

Making mistakes doesn’t mean starting again

I often go wrong when solving the Cube. Whether it’s misremembering an algorithm or even missing a step entirely, sometimes the outcome isn’t what I’m expecting.

At this point, it can be tempting to start again entirely. Even a small error can easily derail my process entirely and make me think that the entire effort is scuffed.

Yet often, it’s better to take a breath and a longer look at the position I’m in, work out where I am in the order of steps, and then correct the mistake.

Every now and then, you might have pursued an avenue in your marketing strategy that hasn’t worked. Perhaps the type of content you’ve been sending in your newsletters hasn’t had the open rate you expected.

Or maybe you made a change to your website and suddenly find that you’re attracting less traffic than you were before.

Whatever the mistake is, nothing is irrecoverable. Pause, think about the changes you’ve made, and then try to reverse the error to see whether you can find your way back to the method that worked.

With marketing, mistakes can even be useful. They can provide concrete data and evidence about what you’re doing, showing you what doesn’t work – and more importantly, what does.

Don’t be afraid to pass it to someone more experienced than you

Every now and then, I reach a stage of no return in completing the puzzle. I’m right on the cusp of symmetrical kaleidoscopic glory…and suddenly I have no idea how to proceed.

In this moment, I have no choice but to bring in an expert, someone who can solve a Rubik’s Cube in her mind simply by closing her eyes.

My partner, Chloe, is this individual. She taught me the method of defeating Ernő Rubik’s handheld labyrinth, and can figure out where I am and how to proceed in a matter of seconds.

I find no shame in these moments. I simply accept her position of knowledge and am grateful for the help. I also watch closely and try to learn so that I can improve for next time.

It’s not a sign of weakness to pass your marketing strategy to an experienced individual who knows exactly what they’re doing.

At Yardstick, that’s exactly what we do. We’re experts in everything from websites, to branding, to content, to social media, and beyond.

If you’d like help solving the puzzle of integrating all the layers of your marketing into a seamless, cohesive strategy, then we can help.

Email or call 0115 8965 300 to find out how.

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