The only place to look

…if you truly want to improve. 

Let’s say you’re a marketing leader at a company that isn’t a so-called rocketship. 

There’s a pretty good chance you feel like one of our customers who recently texted us: 

“It just feels like a rat race of never enough time, never enough resources to do anything well.”

That’s a tough spot. We’ve been in it too! 

Here’s the even tougher reality though: 

If you don’t have enough time and resources now, you definitely won’t have it in 2023. 

From our experience – when we’re facing this kind of reality over an extended period of time – there are two main routes to consider: 

1. Do as much as you can with what you got.

2. Do as little as you can with what you got.

#1 is about maximizing output. 

#2 is about maximizing focus. 

#1 prioritizes effort. 

#2 prioritizes discipline.

#1 is ultimately about tactics

#2 is ultimately about process

#1 feels more mercenary

#2 feels more missionary

Yet, most of us lean towards #1 by default. Internal pressures tend to push us in that direction too. “Hey Marketing, c’mon, we need growth!”

But this is how the “never enough time, never enough resources” issue gets perpetuated. 

When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Right? 


When growth is needed but time and resources are limited, we buckle down to make it happen. We grind. We throw some more stuff in there. We find a way to squeeze more out of the proverbial lemon. 

But that’s simply not sustainable – not for our health and not for the business. 

So what can we do? 

If our predicament isn’t changing, there’s only one place to look. And it’s where we typically don’t want to look. Inward. 

What’s preventing us from going the #2 route? 

Why do we default into trying to grind it out with more tactics? Only to get stuck in the false struggle of marketing. 

What changes are we willing to make? What conversations are we willing to have? 

What will it actually take for us to approach the same situation in a fundamentally different way? 

The stakes are only getting higher, and next year will be tough. If you’re planning to stick around, we urge you to take a very honest look at 2023 – and how you’ll approach it. 

You’re likely in a better place with this than we’ve been in the past. But we believe everyone’s biggest opportunity is to look more inward to figure out why we operate the way we do. 

Then we can shift back to focusing on a key change we can make in our marketing orgs: 

Simplifying the work by defining the best growth hypothesis possible for the season we’re in. And using that as the unlock to “do less” without compromising impact.

If you wanna dig in further, our CEO Jay wrote about this on LinkedIn the other day in the context of the challenge that comes with limited time and resources.

Best of luck! 

- Your partners in growth at Elevate Demand

PS: Doing as little as you can with what you got does not mean trying to do some kind of bare minimum. Rather, it’s about the insights and discipline needed to operate with a focus and a process that allows us to be significantly more precise and efficient than we are when we do as much as we can.