Showing posts with label outsourcing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label outsourcing. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Needing a Marketer Is Like Needing an Accoutant

For a business to grow and be successful, you have to hire specific people to do specific tasks.  This means hiring full or
part-time staff to manage key areas of your business operations.  But, sometimes outside assistance is needed.  Tax accounting is a great example of this thought.

When it comes to accounting, you can manage your accounts payable, accounts receivable, and payroll internally.  However, when it comes to tax accounting and financial reporting, we hire or contract with a professional.  Marketing isn't that different.  

Marketing is how we tell our story to our customers.  Sales are dependent upon it.  Your base operations would not exist without it.  And, just like tax accounting, marketing is often performed best by a professional.  

There are two primary reasons you should consider hiring or contracting with a marketer:

You can't do it.  You don't know how.  You don't have the time.  Name your reason, give your excuse, but the bottom line is we hire certain team players because we don't know how to do it.

You don't want to do it.  Could you do it?  Sure.  You could stay abreast of all of tomorrow's marketing trends and the paths to get you there.  You could add yet one more business operations task to your daily activities calendar to keep you up at night.  You could study to be a CPA too.  But, do you really want to?  Yeah, me neither.

You need a Marketer like you need an Accountant.  

Friday, September 28, 2012

Opening Doors in Marketing

There are so many doors I have opened in my life and my career. Remarkably, the one that changed my business perspective the most was being a window and door salesperson for commercial buildings. That experience opened my eyes to sales & marketing in ways that I still think about today.
You can have a building with expansive walls of glass, walls with only a few punched openings, or even (on rare occasion) no windows. However you can never have a building without doors.  Doors can serve multiple purposes, but like good marketing, each door represents a gateway of opportunities. On one side of the door, there is a business that is ready to work with and serve the world outside, and on the other side is a world of possibilities.
Opening doors in marketing means going beyond just opening doors for business - that's the easy part.  As a successful product representative, I learned two main strategies. First, that Sales & Marketing are unconditionally intertwined. Second, I learned that there is always a door to open if you know where to look. And, man, oh man, are there all sorts of doors to fit any given marketing situation.

Doors for Prospecting
Salespeople are typically the first face a prospect sees outside of direct marketing. More than cold calling or leaning on existing clients that treat you well, sales & marketing starts with networking. And, I'm not referring to the online networking.  Successful sales & marketing people join industry specific (and in some cases non-industry) organizations and groups.  
Taking it a step further, successful sales & marketing people also get involved on Boards & Committees. By doing this, customers and prospects perceive them as attentive and caring thought leaders and not someone looking to market their business' name by just showing up.

Doors for Educating
As a sales & marketing person in the construction industry, I learned the best client is the one that never pays you - the Architect / Engineer / Designer. By marketing your product and services to the key decision makers, in any industry before final plans are made, you will ensure more opportunities. This could be through online webinars, being a key note speaker at a professional event, or with a focused lunch and learn style presentation.
Doors for Rewards
Direct marketing is great, but when it involves giving a prize, well, nothing beats that. This could be done through a direct mailer scratch-and-win game piece or online with a check-in promotion from a location-based social media platform. Additionally, marketing doesn't stop after a business sells a product or service to a customer either. Effective marketing is continuous and catches the customer both immediately after their purchase and even months after.
A business can't discount Internal Marketing either. Continuous improvement programs are great, but opportunities for rewards, recognition, and advancement will help ensure marketing success.

The revolving door of marketing spins so fast that some businesses find that they're on the way out quicker than it took them to step in.  When considering marketing improvements, it seems that if a business isn't always on the cutting edge of marketing options, they're bound to be left behind. There are always new doors to open.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Thinking About Tomorrow's Marketing

Finding the right person or outsourced business partner to effectively market a company is critical to business success. Marketers represent the constant public face for a company's brand and image even before salespeople get involved.

So what does a business consider when conversing with a person or company that claims to live and breath marketing?

Being on the cutting edge of marketing

Marketers, in today's technological world, need to be on the cutting edge of what’s coming out the day after tomorrow, not just tomorrow.  When conversing with marketing partners or marketing employee candidates, a business shouldn't let the conversation spin around how to leverage today's technologies and online resources. This is an important consideration, but, even more importantly, a business should also ask what technologies and online marketing resources are coming the day after tomorrow.  

An effective marketing person needs to have gone beyond just reading and conversing about tomorrow's resources. Marketing people need to be using online marketing resources in Beta form. Even if the technology or online resource goes bust, at least the marketing person was there to see it rise and fall and learn from it. Innovation and technology are so intertwined any more, that this will give a business insight into whether the person they're talking to has marketing know-how.

Letting go of fads and fashion

It's not about Android being better than Apple or Google+ being better than facebook.  Each of these corporations pride themselves on being innovative and are continously working to strengthen their Research & Design departments to improve the technological world of tomorrow.  

It is, however, important that a marketing person or company understand all of the technology and resource options that each one of these corporations offer, even if they don't use them personally or professionally.  Apple makes great products and has done a tremendous job on being at the forefront of tablets.  So much so, that I know many business people that refer to all tablets as iPads in conversation.  Beware of fashionable technology.  Blackberries were considered the cat's meow in the business community but where are they now?

Networking, online and off

Being engaged online is an obvious must for marketers.  A good marketing person or company should be on, if not just aware of, every engagement platform online.  Like volunteerism, an effective marketing person will be actively interacting, not just signing up for the sake of signing up.  

But, when it concerns marketing without the internet, it seems a lot of marketers may fall short. Holding clout online is important, but it doesn't mean they can represent a business in face-to-face situations. A marketing person needs to write well, speak well, and make effective presentations. If a marketing person can meet this minimum criteria, everything else will fall into place.


There are many important considerations when trying to incorporate the right marketing employee or partner for a business.  The best marketing fit is the one that is actively engaged, not married to one type of technology, and one that never stops thinking about tomorrow.