Today’s technology provides us a mind-numbing series of diagnostic alarms and indicators. Each of these is designed to alert us to potential neglect that may be in the not-to-distant future – an oil change in your car, an upcoming tax bill perhaps or an appointment with your business lawyer. And when these handy dashboard lights come on, you either handle them on schedule to keep the machine running or you put black tape over the panel, turn the music up louder in an unwise attempt to leave important maintenance out of sight and out of mind.
The problem with this in business is that nature and gravity eventually use that operating basis as an opportunity to drag the organization downward until you look up and realize that after some time, you haven’t been gaining any new measurable market share. There’s been no progress in brand equity, and your overall revenue is nowhere near where it could or should be. That last one stings because it affects people’s livelihoods and your ability to fund important activities and projects to keep your business from becoming stagnant.
It’s also a key indicator that you have not been managing your marketing well internally speaking. Since this is not one of the brighter, gaudier alarms on the dashboard many businesses don’t even realize what they create when they assign marketing to the slow lane, or fail to delegate it to the right people in the first place. It happens. So let’s learn from others’ mistakes and move on.
It’s in the Hands of a Non-Marketeer
Group after group, time after time, we see too many situations where a current staff member is the default marketing manager on a part time basis. In terms of post, these are typically Sales managers, IT managers, administrative staff, sales coordinators and so forth. The rationale for this is often based on the idea that marketing is not a task that requires a full-time resource. It is true marketing communications isn’t necessarily a full-time gig for most. Many of the dealerships and independent service organizations we know are not large organizations with enough communication going on to keep a true manager/coordinator sufficiently busy 40 hours a week with strategic thinking, programming, creative development and execution. Why spend the money on a post or function that wouldn’t keep someone busy for anything more than 20 to 30 hours a month? You shouldn’t. We get that.
Prosperity Plus Management Consulting, Inc.
P.O. Box 85
Smithtown, NY 11787
Marketing Management Series
When Outsourcing Makes Sense
By Tim Votapka
Unfortunately this idea validates a decision to forget one very important fact – your receptionist or your IT guy does not have the training, the experience and the creative knowledge necessary to handle marketing the way it needs to be handled. And that means getting promotional concepts conceived, designed and produced; email blasts scheduled, released and tracked; website content updated regularly (how many of you haven’t posted a news release since 2012?), etc.
Think of it this way – if you have a rookie field service technician just out of trade school, would you send that individual to your top account unassisted? Probably not until that tech has developed the prowess necessary to get the job done as needed. The revenue and income associated with the account is just too important to risk anything less than top-shelf service, right?
So You Really Think Marketing
Agencies Cost Too Much?
If you’re thinking about a Madison Avenue agency, this would be entirely true. It’s also true of many other creative boutiques. However there are resources available that can provide Madison Avenue creativity at Main Street prices and your best option is to pull in one that knows your industry and sales channel. This keeps the learning curve short and gets your program active in a very short period of time. In fact, you can retain the equivalent of a marketing communications department for as less than $50 a day. The other route is to hire separate people at the required level of expertise and shell out more than $140,000 a year in salaries, benefits and such. In the outsource route, you may invest just $30,000 a year and get the results you need to build your brand, look like a leader and grow market share.
When you need legal advice, you retain a lawyer – preferably one who knows your profession. When you want to ensure your staff payroll is done accurately and timely, you bring in a payroll company. There’s often no question in your mind that these functions are best left in the hands of those who know their trade and get the work done. Marketing communications is in the same tier of significance. Don’t put it on the back burner any more. Your competition may already be hitting prospects in your region or territory, and these are revenue opportunities you cannot afford to lose!
This article is the first installment of articles within the Marketing Management series presented by Prosperity Plus Management Consulting, Inc. Founded in 2001, Prosperity Plus is a full-service consulting group that provides goal-oriented administrative guidance and strategic marketing services that help companies improve profit, cash flow and growth.