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Practice makes (marketing) progress
Marketing Strategy

Practice makes (marketing) progress

During a recent meeting at CI Design, our founder Jim Taugher said:

“You know, doctors refer to what they do as a practice. We like to think as marketers what we do is a practice, too”

That got me thinking. Why don’t we talk about marketing as a practice more often?

Marketers definitely practice. At our core, we solve problems, and there’s never a one-size-fits-all solution that can be applied to all clients. We are constantly learning, and staying up on new trends and skills. Providing options for different creative executions is not unlike what doctors do when providing different treatment plans.

Let’s continue with the medicine analogy and look at the ways we practice.


Doctors diagnose. Marketers discover.

One of the best ways for marketers to help move the needle for any business is to conduct a discovery session. This is where we go deep and become students of our clients’ businesses and organizations. We learn from them: from their leadership, internal marketers, sales teams, customer service teams — sometimes even from their customers. 

We go deep to understand the whole picture and discover where the successes and misses are, and the ways we can create a positive change. We distill this information into deliverables like personas, journey maps, and competitive analyses. 


Doctors treat. Marketers activate.

Armed with information from a deep discovery, we have the foundation to make the right recommendations to activate - or execute a treatment plan. 

Back to that one-size-fits-all comment. We can’t always say one thing will definitely work for business B just because it worked for business A. That’s why we look at the entire landscape of activation possibilities to come up with the right recommendation for a clients’ goals, audience, and budget.

This may manifest itself in a variety of services like marketing collateral, sales enablement materials, videos, digital and social advertising, websites, mobile apps, augmented and virtual reality, trade and event marketing, or more. 


Doctors follow up. Marketers do, too!

Doctors follow up with patients after a procedure or a medication change to ensure positive progress. As marketers, we do the same thing after a campaign or program launches. Marketing, like medicine, should never be a “set it and forget it” philosophy. We care about making sure our work makes a positive impact. 

We use both qualitative and quantitative inputs to measure success and inform our next steps. That might mean conducting additional A/B tests, trying new creative or exploring additional (emerging) options. 

And, while we aren’t required to pursue continuing education like doctors are, our team actively stays up on trends, tools, and opportunities to develop our skills. 


Practice makes perfect? Practice makes progress.

For more than 25 years, we’ve been helping our clients make progress and achieve business-building goals. Interested in what we can do for you? Drop us a line at 


Heather Vaughn

Heather Vaughn

Marketing Services Director

Heather Vaughn is CI Design's Marketing Services Director. Her marketing career has been split with equal time on the agency and client sides, giving her a 360 perspective on marketing, and a keen understanding of how to use all its glorious data. With a blend of account, project management, and content strategy skills, she loves working with teams to connect the dots and craft marketing solutions that work.

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