If You Aint First, You're Last


It’s tough to be first in marketing, and in the quest to be first, we often find ourselves asking, “what should I do first?”

The answer is YES! We should do FIRST™ — A three step planning process that promotes marketing effectiveness.

FIRST is an acrostic, and F is for Focus.

Take a blank sheet of paper and write these three questions across the top. What do we do?  Who do we serve?  What do they want? 

Write as many answers as you can come up with. Broad scope answers, detailed answers, new answers and existing answers from mission statements or other documents.

These answers will be referenced later in the process, but they can also uncover some immediate insights. How crisp are your answers? Is your team in agreement?

I is for Internalize.

Brainstorming, take two — Take another blank sheet of paper and write these two questions across the top. What are we trying to achieve? How will we know when we achieve it? 

From this page, develop SMART goals. Make sure they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timed.

RST is for Reach, Share & Transform.

Now for the meat of it — Take another blank sheet of paper and create three columns; Reach, Share & Transform. For each of your marketing initiatives, answer these questions in each column; How are you going to reach people? What are you going to share with them once you reach them? And what transformation do you want to see? RST is the plan that connects your efforts to your customers’ wants and your goals.  Reference the Focus brainstorming page to determine what to share, and reference the internalize brainstorming page and your SMART goals to determine what transformation you want to see.

It's a simple enough approach, but sometimes the easiest solutions are the ones most commonly overlooked.


I hope this article proves useful in your own FIRST approach to marketing.

Thanks for letting me share.

Aaron Sorrels - The Unemployed Alcoholic

Keep in touch with NoteWorthy, the occasional note from me with entertaining and encouraging stuff.