Welcome from the Marketing Goddess! In the course of a week, I meet so many people who fall into either one of two categories: desperate or disillusioned.  Those desperate for help are seeking the one saving grace that will save their business or bring them much needed attention from potential customers.  On the other side, those who are disillusioned have tried marketing, by their own hand or inexperienced professional, and believe marketing is all smoke and mirrors.  I can assure you that good marketing can bring a business into the light and great marketing can catapult it into success.  As sure as I am there is not a successful business on the face of the planet that can survive without good marketing (this opinion is starting to bare fruit by the number of Fortune companies that are making CEOs of Marketing professionals), I am equally as sure of one other thing.  Marketing is a carefully applied, well structured science with built in tweak times that allow for adjustment based on your audience and product reaction.

Let me be more clear…a company that puts a marketing plan into effect and leaves it to function without guidance or careful supervision is doomed.  Even the best marketing strategy should be adjusted for competition analysis, market fluctuations, audience reaction, and business partnerships.  If this is starting to sound like a pain that would make a toothache fun, then you are missing the point.  By all mean, Marketing should be where the party is at!  It is where all the crazy “what ifs” and magic “Ah Ha!” moment take place.  But, those moments can not supersede the planning, execution, and revision of a strong marketing strategy.  Enter stage left your marketing consultant.  This is the person who should guide you through the process.  They should make you a partner and make sure that you understand and agree with the approach.  I have on many occasions had to make a strong case to a customer about why we are approaching a market from a certain viewpoint, but any good marketing consultant will be ready with answers to these questions and willing to hear your ideas.Ok…so what questions do you ask a marketing consultant before you hire them?  Here’s a starter list:

  • What has provided the best results in your portfolio?  What has provided the worst results?  What did you learn from each?
  • Considering the scope of the project, where would they suggest your marketing start?
  • Describe a time when your marketing opinion conflicted with your customers marketing opinion?  What did you do?
  • What marketing theories guide you the most?  (Hint: Mine is always to use details.  Old marketing theorem says: “Lie with generalities, tell the truth with details!”)
  • At what point do you consider a marketing initiative completed?  (Review answer above!)
  • What type of marketing do you consider yourself best?  (web, email, PR, direct mail…on and on)
  • References past work with results

While I am not suggesting that you contact the FBI and get blood tests to make sure the person you hire is a competent marketer, I am suggesting that you get involved in their thought processes and understand their approach to marketing.  After all, you are trusting the growth of your company to this person.  You must be willing to believe that they know what they are talking about, have the ability to plan and execute a strong market approach, and know when it is absolutely correct to go back and reevaluate the plan.  The only way to know for sure is to look behind the smoke and mirrors for the science of the master plan.

Quote of the Post:  “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”Red Adair

If you want answers, then please ask the questions!~~Diana

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