Building our Systems – Marketers are Creative Builders

Building our Systems

And, to be creative, we have to be “into” systems thinking & working hard, and regularly “out of” our comfort zone.

“If solid goals are established, and the majority of time spent manipulating systems toward those goals, great results will materialize naturally.” and “Your task is to optimize one system after another, not careen through the day randomly taking care of whatever problems erupt. Your job is not to be a fire killer. Your job is to prevent fires.”

Sam Carpenter, Work the System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less

Our job as a marketer is to figure out the success systems that get results. Then, it’s to make them scale.

Marketing isn’t throwing random stuff on your social media and expecting to get results. Marketing is about building a system that helps the business achieve its main goal.

We can’t stay within our comfort zone. If we like TikTok, as a marketer, you can’t just do TikTok. We will never get anything done. And, as we do it, our comfort zone will change.

It’s the good marketer’s job to figure out the steps to success. And, to figure out the smallest cost to perform those steps.

Marketers build machines

Machines that make magic happen. A machine that creates, builds, distributes, and amplifies our ideas and efforts.

Every machine consists of repeatable patterns–the same steps taken over and over again.

A machine is a sequence of repeatable steps.

We need to figure out the necessary steps and remove the unnecessary ones. We need to build a way to see data about our work. Data helps us identify the right steps, and make improvements in each step.

Small processes can be built up into big ones.

Think of our steps as atomic. We can’t break them down into smaller steps. Then, we combine these smaller steps into larger processes. Each smaller step can be focused on. It can be improved by a split test. And, because a process can be mixed into many processes, one action can improve more than one system at a time.

A process can be automated. Or not.

Even though automation feels like the answer, it’s not. We should only automate investments when we already know what our system is, and if it works. Automation scales what already works. If you don’t know if it works, you will scale something that doesn’t work.

Working systems are the thing that makes great things happen.

The best tools, the greatest ads, will not work at the wrong place and time.

Understand the system, build our system, and make sure it works.

I do not believe in 1 campaign. I believe in the marketing system.

P.s. Don’t let “but I’m not a..” keep you from achieving greatness.

I know a lot of marketers that are like “I’m not a graphics designer” or “I don’t write well.” Well, if you have to get a graphics designer involved, get them involved in building templates. So, you can take the quick action you need to take. If you have to write the copy, start by building out detailed research. Build templates. Use them. Modify them based on experience. Create a system.


Work the System A book on Amazon that explains the methodology of building processes and then managing those processes to get results

Built to Sell – A book on Amazon about the things you have to do in a small business (even if you’re a marketer in a big department) to make the business run without you

Do things that don’t scale – An article from Paul Graham

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