If we accept the notion by the grandfather of modern management, Peter Drucker, that “Business is about two things and two things only, innovation and marketing” and that people are in fact our greatest assets, then it would make perfect sense to deduce that your company’s marketing consultants are your most important and valuable assets. So much for theory, the stark reality of marketing as a discipline and a profession in the small business arena is quiet different.
Why is it so? Because unfortunately, for most small and medium sized businesses, marketing is an expense and not an investment. Most small business owners do not understand the meaning of marketing or branding let alone have any basic understanding of advertising principles to effectively and efficiently reach their target audience. Hence much of the small business marketing efforts are wasted and as proof all you have to do is to open your local paper, look into your mailbox or jump online and that’s just in the consumer space, the business to business and professional categories are even worse!
But this is not another article pointing out the shortcomings of marketing by small business owners. We’ll focus on those entrepreneurs who understand the importance of marketing for the success of their business. The 8% (PWC survey “Private Business Barometer IV”) who didn’t nominate the slashing of their marketing budget as a coping strategy during the Global Financial Crisis; the 8% who know their history and understand the importance of maintaining or even increasing marketing investment in a weak economy. They know that competitors tend to cut spending during a recession thus creating opportunities and that maintaining promotional spend during tough economic times will sustain or even grow their market share.
Yes, we are talking to you, you the minority who carry the hope of all small business owners and it is for you, that we write this guide on how to get the most out of your marketing resources – your human marketing resources.
You who would never dream of appointing your personal assistant to the position of Marketing Coordinator or Manager! You would never promote an engineering professional to the position of Marketing Director or make the HR person responsible for marketing your professional services firm! Sounds crazy right? No-one in their right mind, with any understanding of the marketing profession (noun, a vocation requiring knowledge of some department of learning or science) would ever do this? Unfortunately it happens every day, so we won’t waste precious space on the CEO’s, MD’s, GM’s and business owners who allow this to occur. We’ll focus on those who understand and appreciate the importance of professional marketing in their business, where maybe our message and advice will do some good and not fall on deaf ears.
So you have come to a realisation, a point in your business when you recognise, unlike 92% of your small business counterparts, that most people couldn’t walk in off the street and run your business, so you do not expect to somehow be an expert when it comes to marketing.
So, where to from here? You have 2 choices; to outsource your marketing services or employ a marketing professional.
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