DIY Marketing and Hiring Marketers to work In-house is one of the biggest mistakes being made by many Australian small businesses.
Marketing, like most business disciplines is changing rapidly due to advancements in technology, media fragmentation, and the resulting change in consumer wants and behavior.
Increasingly, there are more marketing specialists than ever before and the decreasing number of remaining marketing management generalists have to keep up their knowledge across an increasing array of new channels and tools whilst managing more complex campaigns and measuring and analyzing increasing reams of data on an ever decreasing budget.
Marketers are struggling with issues around Loyalty, CRM, Big Data, Search Engine Marketing (PPC, SEO, Display), Social Media, Content Marketing, PR, UX, etc. And each of these distinctively different disciplines has at least 3-4 different broad areas before one even drills down to specialities!
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Outsourcing Your Marketing Infographic
Essential small business guide to hiring a marketing resource or outsourcing to a marketing agency
Yet most SME Marketing Job Descriptions read like a mythical Marketing Super Hero, with marketing job descriptions for a Marketing Manager, Marketing Assistant or Marketing Coordinator encompassing vastly disparate skill sets.
Here’s a typical description for a Marketing Coordinator or Marketing Assistant in a company where this individual is the one and only marketing resource and hence a recipe for disaster, where he or she is expected to:
Manage the company’s website and all Social Media Assets, from both a content and technical maintenance perspective
Support the Sales Team and / or Distribution Channels
The simple truth is that these marketing superheroes do not exist except on resumes of individuals who need a job and tailor their CV’s to say so.
The sad reality is that most SME business owners do not know what they really need and end up “copy and pasting” from job descriptions they have seen. Due to the fact that most business owners are not professional marketers, they have no idea how to tell a ‘good’ applicant with the appropriate skills, in a few areas they are actually good at, from ‘bad ones’.
At the very best, the SME business owner hires someone who is good in 2 or 3 areas out of the 7 or 8 they have advertised for, effectively investing in a marketing project manager, who will still have to either engage outside marketing specialists or try to do it all themselves. The overall result, no matter which way you slice it, is at best mediocre.
The easiest way to understand this dire situation is to look at the marketing department of a bigger company, where the typical job description above would be performed by 2 or 3 different teams or at the very least 2 or 3 different individuals. Yet small business owners expect one person to perform miracles or worse still believe they can do it themselves.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are exceptions, success stories of entrepreneurs doing their own marketing and doing it brilliantly, but the key word is exceptions. In many cases these entrepreneurs have a marketing background and a real passion for marketing their business. This is not the case in general. Most people go into business to do what they love, being an accountant or an architect, a lawyer, a plumber, a gardener, etc.
Here is a summary of the factors that would see you lean towards an in-house or hiring solution:
Large marketing budget at your disposal
Slow to steady rate of growth
Very sensitive proprietary information
Few Urgent Deadlines
You prefer Day-to-Day supervision of all personnel versus a Results Only Work Environment
You disagree that media communication has become too complicated.
qubePartners Outsourcing vs In-House Marketing Diagram summarizes the advantages marketing outsourcing can deliver to a small and medium sized enterprise.
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Outsourcing Your Marketing Infographic
Essential small business guide to hiring a marketing resource or outsourcing to a marketing agency
For a free and no-obligation assessment of your marketing needs don’t hesitate to call us or alternatively in the first instance you can have a look at the Marketing Check document in our Marketing Resources section.
Are you looking for a marketing consultant who can assist your business growth or help you overcome a challenging situation?
Judging by the number of SME clients who we have worked with who have previously been let down by their chosen marketing partner, it is easy to see why so many business owners are concerned that marketing people over-promise and under-deliver.
We believe the problem in the industry is multifaceted and is unlikely to go away in a hurry – here is an examination of some of the industry issues. Hence the purpose of this article is to assist SME business owners in selecting the right marketing professionals to work on their business.
At qubePartners we don’t hide behind jargon nor try to impress you with it
At qubePartners we don’t hide behind jargon nor try to impress you with it – talking of which this is hilarious! You know your business better than anybody else – we know how to get you in front of your target audience, with the right message at the lowest possible cost.
At qubePartners our experienced marketing consultants have the expertise to increase your sales and decrease your costs.
Marketing is about common sense so it is best to interview a few providers and see who makes most sense to you. Make sure to get references and see examples of their work before making the final decision. Most importantly, you need to be comfortable with how well the marketing consultant understands the key drivers in your business.
Here is a list of questions that will assist you in selecting the right marketing consultant for your business:
1. How many years experience does the marketing consultant have in the marketing industry?
Anything over 10 years is acceptable.
2. How many years experience does the marketing consultant have in consulting to small medium enterprises (SME’s)?
Less than 2 years is unacceptable. Consulting in general is one of the most transient industries and marketing is no different.
Anyone can call himself or herself a consultant and in fact over 8,000 individuals in Australia do so, but your chances of finding an independently accredited professional consultant are just 1 in 12!
So make sure that the marketing consultant you are talking to is a member of a professional marketing or consulting body, at the very least this means they have the right education / qualification.
3. How many different product / service categories has the marketing consultant worked across?
The more diverse the marketing consultant’s background the more likely they are to provide your business with innovative ideas on how to find, attract and retain customers.
4. Has the marketing consultant worked both in the corporate world and small medium enterprise?
The diversity of the marketing consultant’s experience across both big and small businesses is a great asset to your business, as each camp can learn much from the other. A marketing consultant that has worked with big business has the planning discipline and knowledge that can only be gained working at the big end of town. A marketing consultant that has worked with small and medium enterprises will have the street smarts that come only after one has experienced the limitations of tiny budgets that force a marketing consultant to think outside the square.
5. Does your prospective marketing consultant have B2C (Business to Consumers) and B2B (Business to Business) experience?
Although the marketing principles are the same each type of market – B2C and B2B – have their own peculiarities. A marketing consultant with experience across both areas will be able to deliver more comprehensive and creative solutions to marketing challenges faced by your business.
6. Does the marketing consultant have Integrated Marketing Communication experience?
The term Integrated Marketing Communication refers to the deep understanding and knowledge of all the facets of the marketing industry and how these different disciplines interact to provide the consumer with a superior brand experience.
Does the marketing consultant you are interviewing have experience across all or at least most of the marketing disciplines, and for how long? Here are some of the main areas:
Research and Product Development
Strategic Brand Positioning
Online and Social Media Marketing
Media Planning / Buying
Sales Promotions & Events
Ask for proof of their experience and examples in all of the above areas! Only marketing professionals that have had experience in most of the above areas for a period of at least 12 months per discipline can claim to understand and utilize Integrated Marketing Communications.
Why is it important, you ask?
Only an Integrated Marketing Communication approach will deliver the full benefits of marketing to your business. Integrated Marketing Communication is the “helicopter view” of your marketing situation, rather than a band-aid approach to the immediate challenges at hand.
7. Has the marketing consultant worked both on the client and advertising agency side of the marketing fence?
Marketing professionals on the client side concentrate on developing products or services to meet the needs of their target market, managing the distribution relationships and the sales process, analysis and research of buying trends etc.
Marketing professionals on the advertising agency side concentrate on the communication aspect of marketing, making sure that the right message reaches the right prospects, the right number of times. This is also generally the most expensive part of your marketing – getting your message into the hands of your prospects, before their eyes, and into their ears.
Both sets of skills are vital to achieving success for your business. Ask your prospective marketing consultant for proof and examples of their work on both sides of the marketing fence.
8. How creative is the marketing consultant that you are considering?
If a marketing consultant can’t come up with a few innovative ways of promoting your business in your first meeting, they are probably not right for you. Be aware, however, that ideas and strategies are tools of trade and marketing consultants may be hesitant to give those away for free, but they should be able to at least provide you with some constructive observations on how your business can be improved. If they can’t show you or talk you through at least a dozen creative concepts from current or past clients, you shouldn’t consider them!
9. Failure! Ask your prospective marketing consultant to give you some examples of projects that didn’t succeed or attain desired objectives and why.
Every one of us has failed in something and hopefully learned from that experience. This question can really provide you with great insight into the person’s honesty and ego, ability to overcome challenges, and learn.
10. Has the marketing consultant ever run their own business or invested in businesses other than their consulting business?
Marketing people are used to spending other people’s money with the aim of doing so in the most cost effective manner. Nothing makes one appreciate the real value of a hard earned dollar as much as spending money on marketing your own business. Marketing consultants who have simultaneously worn the hat of entrepreneur are much more likely to treat your marketing budget like they would their own – and that makes a world of difference!
11. Finally, will the marketing consultant just take your brief or will they challenge it?
Does the marketing consultant have the guts to challenge you – their potential prospect? It is an unfortunate fact that most marketing people who call themselves professionals do not have the fortitude to tell their clients and prospects the truth about their chances of success, about their briefs and about their businesses in general. At The marketing Network we promise to give you a good dose of reality. Our clients thank us for it and watch their sales increase.
As always, we love to hear from you, so if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us for a confidential and obligation free discussion about any of your marketing needs.
Are you one of the many organizations trying to improve the effectiveness of your marketing team in house only to find the marketing professionals you have recruited are incapable of meeting their KPIs?
Are you just not sure what ‘success’ means when you find someone who you think meets your requirements?
If you ‘still haven’t found what you’re looking for’ U2 are not the only group to have sung this tune!
At best, the recruitment of marketing professionals is a challenging task for most businesses, given the lack of understanding of what they really need, and how to go about searching for it.
Common mistakes in recruiting for marketing professionals are made by business and recruitment agencies alike, the amount of time and money spent on finding and selecting the right individual is rarely proportionate to success in the outcome. Most recruiters exist to ‘sell’ you a marketing professional, yet all that glitters is not gold! They are interested in closing the sale, not the longevity and fit of a new team member. Usually recruiters of marketing professionals are neither willing nor able to ‘get their hands dirty’ and examine what your business really needs, nor do they know which language and method to use to find it. We exist in an anomalous realm where we both understand how to help you to determine what you need, and how to find it midst a sea of potential candidates.
The main issues with recruiting fall into two categories – not knowing what you need, and not knowing how to recruit.
Almost every job ad on SEEK and other recruitment sites echo organizations’ confusion regarding who they are looking for, this is reflected in a plethora of marketing job ads that contain a shopping list of ‘must haves’, which are usually impossible to find in one individual. Seeking a ‘Marketing Co-ordinator’ which is a junior role, as well as seeking a ‘Marketing Strategist’ which is a senior role – will find you someone who is either under-skilled or overqualified and increase the chance of staff turnover, wasting your time and money.
Casting a wide net and listing multiple functions in the one marketing job description, hoping to snare the one person who is out there to answer all your prayers, i.e. looking for a designer, copywriter, and search engine optimiser… will only find you someone who at BEST will be good at one of these things but great at NONE!
Combining inappropriate functions such as business development which is about sales, within a Marketing Strategist’s job description proves you don’t know what you’re talking about and provides an open invitation to those who are great at selling themselves to apply – functionality and suitability – optional.
If you’re considering traditional recruitment methods like resumes and psychometric testing – think again
These methods have been superseded by the use of convincing portfolios but mostly by projects. Firms who mean business are now asking candidates to do real time project work, either solo or in groups, otherwise known as “projeclications” or “applijects” wherein potential marketing professional candidates work on a task they could well be tackling in the future – editing a keynote presentation, for instance, or help redesign a social media campaign – the results of which are considered more indicative of a candidates real potential.
All is not lost when it comes to finding the right person to meet your requirements, avoiding these common errors is a start, however it is essential to make use of talented marketing and advertising agencies for areas of specialisation which cannot be found in one individual.
I was watching TV last night, a rare occurrence that I’m sure reflects the media diversification trends and the decreasing importance of the traditional TV spot, but I digress from the 2 ads that struck me, one positively stimulating my senses and the other making me mumble “what happened to their marketing strategy”?
Good, Better, Bosch…those were the days…
I used to love BOSCH, the German multinational that stood for quality across a range of product categories from brown goods, to car parts and even business services! I was disappointed when they dumped the brilliant positioning statement “Good. Better. Bosch” And yesterday when I saw their ad for the dish washing machine I was simply dumbfounded! Then again I was even more surprised to find that in Europe they were starting fires.
Even if I wasn’t a marketing consultant or an ad agency professional who is preoccupied with marketing strategy, I think I’d be even more offended as a consumer.
Here’s the offending commercial, albeit the version I saw was sans the Finish promotion!
Water conservation is an important concern for all of us, but an ad aimed at convincing you to use a dishwasher instead of washing by hand? Really? Seriously? How many people do you know who still wash dishes by hand? I could understand Bosh running this ad in Brazil, India, Russia, but in Australia?
Maybe I’ve got it all wrong; maybe Bosch decided that Australians were more like their English forebears where only 1 in 3 households own one and decided to take a leadership position but a quick check of the ABS Statistics going back to 1999 showed total Dishwasher penetration being around 95% of the population in Australia!
If you still don’t have a washing machine, and you are thinking of buying one wouldn’t you be comparing different types of washing machines?
So maybe that’s what the folks at Bosch were trying to achieve? Get to me emotionally?
However forming an emotional connection at its most basic, is all about helping others see you as the same as them, as someone who gets them…not someone that insults their intelligence! And let’s get real; the Bosch machine is priced at the premium end of the market, ranking at 7th and 10th spot for 2013, hence one would guess they are targeting a fairly intelligent demographic?
In contrast this ad, through it’s sheer cinematic brilliance and use of a haunting Nick Cave soundtrack made me want to visit the Barossa Valley and discover the mysteries it has to offer!
Most interestingly have a look at the number of people who viewed both ads and the number who actually engaged with it, in this case “liked it”. That’s a story in itself!
The Mayans were wrong, we are all still here, your clients and prospects still need you, but
they are increasingly harder to communicate with; grabbing attention is more difficult and
keeping it is even harder.
Doing the same thing and expecting a different result is not only the definition of insanity but
it also means that today you will NOT get the same result, but one that is substantially worse
– you will be going backwards.
For your convenience we have prepared a summary of Hubspot’s 27-page Marketing Trends and Predictions for 2013 and one we have turned into a simple Marketing Action Plan Checklist. 1. Inbound Marketing (Get Found*, Convert, Analyse) will become more important and both
small and large enterprises are dedicating more of their budget to online / digital and away
from Outbound / Traditional Marketing.
Have you established your KPI’s, e.g.: Cost Per Lead, Cost Per Sale
Are you being found by enough new prospects?
Are you getting enough referrals?
Do you have a Referral Strategy?
2. Marketing Communication is moving away from Campaigns to Real Time Communication thanks to Social Media and immediacy of client expectations. Prospects are increasingly contacting / finding (Inbound Marketing) prospective suppliers / sellers and they want answers NOW! Technology will keep driving these changes with new widgets, gadgets, readers and scanners, RFID tags, and of course apps! Gamification will also grow as a marketing tool beyond product placement to improve the delivery of content in a more enjoyable way.
Do you have all of your Social Media profiles set up correctly; do they reflect your
company and personal brand?
Do you know which Social Media channels to focus on?
Are you interacting with prospects and customers via Social Media?
3. CRM and Unified View of the customer will become more and more important, and some
of the new systems are now integrating Social Media information for their client records.
If you are thinking about these issues please give us a call. Choosing the CRM system
(or getting the most out of your existing one) is a minefield and we have access to a number
of world-class experts at qubePartners as well as our own team that can assist you.
4. Mobile Optimisation of Websites will keep growing and become a must have channel for
Pretty easy to do depending on what your current website has been built in. Give us a
call and we can provide answers very quickly.
5. Social Media, Content Marketing and Off Page SEO will keep overlapping and merging
and On-Page SEO “tricks of the trade” will play a less important role. Social Search and User
Generated Content with Facebook’s and Google’s focus in this area will undoubtedly
make a big impact!
Start treating these practices not as separate channels, but as one part of holistic
Have a Content Marketing Plan for each of the channels and work out how they
should be integrated amongst each other and your website.
“The advent of social media has meant that the world of separate internal and external
messaging has disappeared. If a customer talks to your Customer Service department, they
expect the same response they’d get if they talk to marketing, or sales, or engineering.
Creating a unified external face is critical. If you want to build long-term relationships,
you’ve got to have a consistent, human voice – coming from all levels of your organization.” –
NICK JOHNSON founder useful Social Media
8. Email will not die but become more personalised, relevant and targeted based on real time
Are you communicating regularly with your database and is the marketing
communication tailored to different segments?
Are they engaging with your content and offers?
9. Content will remain King and more marketing teams and departments; small and large
businesses will invest into more quality content and attempt to make it go viral or at least
improve the chances of it being passed onto to a secondary audience. With falling production
prices and better and simpler technologies, we see Online Video as the ‘biggest and most
effective mover and shaker’ in Content Marketing. Most small businesses do not have a great
website, let alone reasonable video content, so this area will keep booming.
Do you have great content?
Is it promoted sufficiently? No point creating more content if not enough people are
engaging with what you have!
10. “Sites like Pinterest and Instagram prove that visual content is really worth 1,000 words
(or in instagram’s case, $1 billion). Infographics, photos, picture boards, video, and other forms of rich-media will increase over the coming years as humans look to digest more information faster than ever before.” – Hubspot Marketing Trends and Predictions for 2013, p.23.
Does your brand have a well developed visual palette?
Do you have a suitable image library? Make sure this is part of your Content
———————— Wishing you a healthy and productive 2013. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any assistance in improving your marketing results.
What can professional service providers and consultants learn from crime families when it comes to business to business marketing? – Is it debt collection? – Cash flow? – Flexibility? – Confidentiality? It’s none of the above. It is EXCLUSIVITY. Exclusivity with a marketing referral program like no other! Television shows that delve into the depth of the underworld such as Sopranos and Sons of Anarchy, illustrate how hard it is to join these outlaws. And of course it is even harder to leave! The marketing strategy lesson is to increase your barriers to entry not just barriers to exit.
Of course traditional thinking sees most marketing consultants recommend making it as easy as possible to “try before you buy”, or to experience a product at the lowest possible cost in hope of then building a long term and loyal relationship. And undoubtedly this works across most product and service categories. However there are cases when marketing consultants and their clients can use one of the 6 Laws of Persuasion – The Law of Scarcity (in other words Exclusivity).
Of course it is not exclusivity alone that is the drawcard, whether it be joining an exclusive golf club or an organised crime syndicate. It is the benefits; from the feeling of safety and belonging to the power and the financial windfalls, whether through networking at a golf club or profiting from the illicit trade, there are substantial benefits, that keep the “member” engaged!
For marketers the challenge is knowing when and how to use exclusivity to your advantage.
Consultants in any profession who work with:
– Anyone (no defined target audience)
– do Anything (no defined area of expertise)
– Anywhere (no defined geographic area)
– at Any price (no defined value) are simply DESPERATE and get “crappy clients”
Whereas those that work with:
– THESE people
– doing THESE things
– throughout THESE LOCATIONS
– at THIS PRICE are FOCUSSED and have “cream clients”.
We’d love to hear how you have managed to find your CREAM, and if you are still looking then maybe we can help!