So, you’ve been making sales and are probably coming to the end of your naturally occurring circle of network or referrals. Possibly, you realize that your growth goals are outpacing that network anyways. It’s time to start building healthy Marketing Practices!!!
With so many available marketing channels, options, and platforms most CEOs are finding that ‘Marketing’ is the first (maybe second behind bookkeeping) core business function to be delegated out to ‘someone who knows better than me’.
It’s time to break beyond your own personal networks and start talking to the Market! Go on and make that bread! Let’s look at the options available to a business when it comes to marketing:
The Problem with Hiring Marketers
Most businesses fall into one of three categories their first go around with building marketing teams and systems. These three options depend largely on the size of the business and also the confidence level of the decision-maker.
- DIY – You may think to yourself, “I got this, how hard can it be?” First off, on behalf of my industry, screw you. And secondly, “good luck out there, tiger”. This stuff is hard and even when it’s super easy, like selling snow cones in the Sahara, it takes management and constant monitoring to know what is working and what isn’t working so you can get better and bigger. If ‘good enough’ is the end goal, then yes, DIY might be for you. If you want to grow and make big waves, you’re going to need to do better than good enough.
- New Guy/Girl – “Alright,” you might say, “I get it. It’s more complicated than I gave it credit for being.” And so you search high and low (Ahem *Craigslist much?), and hire your first affordable person to run your Instagram. Why you need IG when you are selling concrete services is a little confusing, but this person has lots of followers and just got out of college, so let’s give it a go. Here’s the problem – give it 3 months and you’ll start to wonder if they are worth it. They are on their phone all the time, and yes, the IG does have lots more followers, but the phone isn’t exactly ringing off the wall any more than it was before. You, like any good business owner, know that you should probably hold this person accountable for their job, but to what exactly?! So, you justify their job, by having them do other things, like plan company parties/meetings, client care, office care, organizing files, answering phones, running errands, and pretty soon, that person’s no longer a marketer but an overpaid office manager.
- Rockstar – Next level now! We’re moving up, we’ve hired a marketing director who just came out of a company that grew 5x in the last 3 years. They were big-time and (you’re certain) will be a fantastic culture fit for your company. They know stuff. They know way more than you! Which is awesome! They know ads, they know google, and Facebook, and all the things!!! AND, they are going to be accountable to the bottom line! Here are the problems:
- Day one, “Thanks for hiring me” they might say, “what’s my budget and who’s my team?” – “You are the budget,” you think to yourself and without a clear answer, you say something along the lines of, “we’ll get working on that soon. In the meantime, what can you work on to get started?”
- Most career professionals are being encouraged to stay with a company for at least two years. Wait, two years!? Your marketing team may work and build something great, but unless you are building a phenomenal work culture for marketing creatives, you start to see the clock counting down.
- You still have to hold this person accountable. Most marketing systems are “pay-to-play” and unless you and this person/team are completely aligned, the KPI’s and metrics will be a little suspect until you’ve been doing this for a while and can see the impact and efficacy.
The Problem with Hiring an Agency
“Alright, fine, I get it” you’re probably thinking to yourself. “You’re an agency so you must want me to hire an agency.”
No, not yet, not exactly.
There are over 500,000 “marketing agencies” in the world. Each agency with a do-dad, widget, or specialty. They’ll generate calls, traffic, or audience (to you and 20 of your competitors at the same time). Book your calendar, churn your accounts, and take out the trash. They’ll take your money, deliver your thing, and slap ya on the booty on your way out.
In short, they aren’t aligned with your goals. At least, not really. You might just be instinctively feeling this need to bail. What you’re experiencing (rightly, so) is the need for “Risk Mitigation”. The risk is too high, because if the do-dad doesn’t work, or the calls aren’t the right calls or the audience isn’t my audience, then the agency can just walk away from the scene and has all the cash. Bummer.
But, wait, there’s hope!
On the back side of doing all this hard work, after you work through all these potential pitfalls, you may be asking yourself, IS THIS EVEN WORTH THE HEADACHE!?
Yes. Yes, it’s worth the effort, because your business is worth the effort. Your goals are worth the effort. You need someone to fight with you for your interests.
What if there was a way to align your companies revenue goals, mitigate risk, and have accountability? What if you didn’t have to take on all the pay-rolls but could still grow into a powerhouse in your industry? What if there was a partnering company that would benefit when you benefit and loose when you lose? Maybe you wouldn’t lose so much… maybe? You might even be amazing!
I, briefly, want to show you what an aligned company/agency relationship feels like. This is a brief glimpse behind the curtain into what it can be like. Here is a screenshot of some interactions we have with clients regularly.
Couple of things to notice:
- We focus with our client to establish the RIGHT metrics. They know and we know what the numbers are there for and what they imply.
- We set our goals for IMPACT on the company. We don’t look at vanity metrics, intuition, or anecdotal metrics.
- Easy and fast communication.
- Also, look at those returns for the client!!! Shoot dang.
Now, what do you think the client is experiencing in their office right now? Phones ringing, Invoices being Sent and Customers being delighted with great product/service being delivered. This does not have to be complicated. It can be amazing. Give us a call right now!