A Holiday Gift: 5 Sources Of Great Marketing Motivation

Columnist Scott Rayden highlights the the people, books and videos that have inspired him in his marketing career in the hopes that they can encourage and motivate you, as well.


With the holidays quickly approaching, I thought I would get into the giving spirit and take a different approach to the content I typically share on Marketing Land.

The marketing world we live in today is fast paced and complex. It’s easy for us to get caught up in the details and day-to-day of our work and forget to come up for air to focus on our team’s growth and our own individual growth.

A great marketing organization doesn’t just execute well and hit goals and numbers; it comes together as a team to learn from each other, coach and mentor each other, and create an environment of learning and personal growth.

I’ve always felt strongly that people need great mentors in life. Mentors come in different shapes and sizes. From friends and family to people you admire and learn from at a distance to books and experiences and so on….

So, getting back to my original point of this article, I thought I would offer up some of the people, books and videos that have inspired me in my career and who I think can be great resources for those you work with, manage, coach and mentor. This isn’t going to be your typical “top five business books to read” that everyone knows already. Below are the four videos and one book that have inspired me the most over the past five years.

I’m definitely a student of the game and go through an audiobook a week with all the commuting and traveling I do. But these five stood out above the fray. My hope is that one of these will do the same for you.

1. Secrets To Success

Let’s start with a quick slap in the face. I first watched this video a few years ago and have it saved at the top of my bookmarks.

Everyone from time to time faces a day or even a week when they just can’t get things going. Maybe it’s young kids waking you up in the middle of the night; maybe it’s just the need for an energy boost. This video always helped me find that motivation needed to get the wheels moving.

2. Jack Dorsey At Startup School

Okay, that previous video was a fast start to the list. This next video is a slower-paced but equally enlightening video. The speaker is Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, and he waxes philosophical on a number of different topics.

The cool thing is that they all can be related to business. I have probably watched this video 20+ times, and some of the ideas and philosophies he mentions are things I’ve taken with me, from my approach to business to my everyday work life — even though his topics range from books to music to art to lessons learned on the job.

3. “The Hard Thing About Hard Things”

I feel strongly that no matter your position at a company, you should always strive to be as well-rounded as possible. I’m a marketer at heart, but I love to study business and read business books by people I admire.

The best book I’ve read, hands down, was released in 2014 and written by Ben Horowitz. It’s called “The Hard Thing About Hard Things.”

It’s one of the most honest and real-life books I’ve ever read. Horowitz tells it like it is and tells the truth about running a business. The lessons taken from this book should be read by anyone looking to be a leader in their organization.

hard thing

4. Golden Circle

I came across Simon Sinek about five years ago when looking to change the positioning and focus of the company I founded called iSearchMedia. I was researching what types of positioning can drive success in the market and how positioning can shape an entire organization and motivate the people who make a company great.

Sinek’s video (and book) on The Golden Circle profoundly changed how I view positioning and the impact it can have. I used this theory when developing the positioning for my agency back in 2010 and brought the entire company together to watch the video. I’ve shared it with my marketing organization and probably will continue to refer to it.

As a quick little bonus in this section, I’m also including the Steve Jobs internal presentation that presented Apple’s new positioning that Sinek references. It’s incredible to see Jobs talk about the market and how they will shift Apple to become a leader. Jobs talks specifically about marketing and the power of marketing for Apple.

5. More Steve Jobs

What’s a top five list without a(nother) mention of Steve Jobs? I promise that the video below is probably one that most have not seen. It’s one of Jobs’s very first Apple keynote speeches from 1983 when introducing the company’s “1984” ad campaign.

There is something about this video that really changed my view on marketing. Yes, I laugh every time I hear the intro song, but there is something about young Steve’s face while he stands in front of the crowd slowly moving his head to the music. It was the confidence and his look, like he knew what he was about to launch, that drew me in.

The thing I love and learned from this video years ago is the power of storytelling. The greatest marketing campaigns tell an even greater story.

The best marketers can tell a story that motivates people to buy. Great companies have a unique ability to tell stories that connect with their consumers at an emotional level.

I guess in a funny way, this video reminds me of the power of storytelling and how important it can be to one’s company and career.

Happy holidays! I hope at least one of these grabs you the way it did me.

Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

(Some images used under license from Shutterstock.com.)


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