If the work of marketing and business development centers around building and evolving relationships, both within the organization and outside (and it certainly does); then arguably the most important skill to hone is an understanding of communications.
For many who grew up focusing on advertising or sales, the numbers and the effect of those communication numbers are drilled into you (frequency, reach, sales calls, conversion, etc). However it seems many of these principles are getting lost.
Possbly the most important one revolves around understanding what it takes for a message to be heard and possibly understood.
What was drilled into me as a young marketing professional was that the research showed that messages must be sent a minimum of 3 times to expect anyone to hear it. And that the optimum number of communications was 6 to 9 times.
In other words, if its important,
> noone hears it before you've said it 3 times
> one should expect for people to have heard your message once you have communicated it 6 times and that
> there was probably less real value to communicating it more than 9 times. If it hadn't been understood or acted upon at that point, it probably wouldn't be.
So if you believe your communication's responsibility stops with sending an email or a white paper or because you left a message or gave a speech, you are extremely naive. Or maybe what you have to say just isn't very important.
So here's the arithmetic: if you are communicating something which requires perception and/or possible action and you haven't communicated your message a mimimum of three times, you shouldn't expect anything from anyone. Follow this rule and your life (both professionally and personally) will make a whole lot more sense . . .and you may become be a great communicator.