The marketing industry is admittedly flawed, yet wonderfully accessible. It has become a monster sector – a place where anyone with creative flair or digital acumen can carve a career on their own terms. Sadly, this has happened to the detriment of many small business owners who’ve fallen fowl of bad experiences.
Marketing is a tricky subject for many businesses. With the growth of digital in the past ten years, many business owners have feared being left behind. This has driven demand and caused an influx of digital marketing specialists entering the industry without accreditation – or indeed, experience of running a business.
There is so much marketing noise in the small business world. “You need to be on social media for your business to survive…” Enter the social media expert. “Your website needs to rank on Google for your business to survive…” Enter the SEO expert. “You have to be mobile-friendly for your business to survive…” Enter the web designer. “You have to have blogs coming out of your ears for your business to survive…” Enter the copywriter.
And so on.
In most instances, marketing activity becomes siloed. This means businesses burn money on ineffective methods – sometimes methods they don’t even need to be involved in by roping in different experts. Or, typically, they may reach out to a “full service” marketing agency to sort the lot.
Small business owners can quickly become spooked at the money they’ve spent, especially if it hasn’t come back. Once a business owner loses confidence in marketing, it soon becomes a tricky subject to navigate. They become blind sighted and have no idea what works.
If you feel like you’re burning money on marketing and have no idea what works, then you have likely lost confidence in the marketing industry – and I don’t blame you.
The reason you’re burning money on marketing isn’t what you may think…
Almost every client I’ve worked with has had a bad relationship with a past agency or marketing professional. That relationship broke down because it wasn’t managed correctly. In my experience, most marketing creatives are absolutely capable of generating a return on investment – but in order for them to create the work to the standard and timeframe you need, they have to be meticulously managed.
If you think about large corporations who have huge departments with teams of people, they have an internal management structure that holds everybody accountable to somebody above. The missing link between a small business and marketing agency (or professional) is internal project management.
Many marketing agencies have account managers to bridge that resource gap – but it can still be one sided. Account managers may have numerous clients and projects to look after. A one-man-band marketing professional does it all themself. A small business will heavily rely on the agency or professional to manage the marketing – and that’s where it can go wrong. Deadlines are likely to be missed or work can be sub-standard while communication can be lacking.
The only thing a business owner can see at this point is that they are burning money without knowing what’s working.
It’s no-one’s fault. The current iteration of the marketing industry has allowed small businesses to feel safe in the hands of a marketing agency – which can quite easily over-sell and under-deliver.
Now is the time to change stance and ensure that small businesses have a robust management plan in place to fully build that link between business and third-party.
My role as The Marketing Doctor is to help business owners find their confidence in marketing and move forward with a completely different view on their business. Together we create a marketing strategy that works before I guide your business to implementing it, plugging that gap between your business and any third party suppliers required