Would you let a marketer extract your teeth?
Ask yourself, who's in charge of Marketing? Set the scene, you're in pain - you've just cracked a tooth. Nerves exposed, the pain isn't subsiding -in fact, it's getting worse. You call your dentist - you're just able, semi-coherently, to explain that you need an emergency appointment for amazing dental implants, things need sorting out immediately - you can't wait! But unfortunately, your dentist can't help, he's tied up for the entire day - but hey, wait a minute, he has a suggestion - his receptionist has some spare time on her hands, perhaps she can help you out - whilst she's not a qualified dentist, she's good with people - perhaps she can manage the challenge!
It just wouldn't happen would it...? Would it? However, in my experience of practising as a Marketing Consultant I often find that ‘unqualified' people are put in charge of marketing - in fact, I find it incredible the amount of people I meet who are 'in marketing' - and yet have no formal qualification, training or grounding in marketing. Extraordinary.
If, as a business, you are really serious about the strategic direction, growth and reputation of your business - ask yourself who is in charge of ‘marketing'.
Often, a Director or Partner is nominated as the ‘Marketer' - because they have a great personality, or they are good at networking - and whilst this may help, it's not great grounding is it! Again, when I visit The Birmingham Periodontal & Implant Centre, I would rather the professional dentist pull or fill my teeth than their receptionist - regardless of how 'friendly' she is.
Marketing, as I see it - is the lifeblood of any business - in fact, if you look at most of the activities within your business - pretty much all of them involve communicating and providing service to clients - and effectively in it's broadest term - that's marketing.
Of course, for many businesses, large and small, budget restrictions do not enable practices to employ Professional Senior Marketers. And in many cases the MD plays the role of Marketing Director for a while and then brings in a junior marketer (hopefully with some marketing qualification or experience).
This is a positive step - provided that the MD plays the role of ‘Strategic Marketer' - pulling The Marketing Plan together to align and deliver on the strategic goals and objectives of the business, providing direction and support to the junior - measuring and monitoring activity on a regular ongoing basis - ensuring actions are actioned and progress is being made. If Marketing doesn't get senior attention - it tends to fall by the wayside - and a lot of great intention leads to ‘ad hoc' activities and not much else.
Marketing deserves to be given serious time and attention - key business owners need to get involved, and Marketing should play a significant part on the agenda at Board Meetings.
Another solution for businesses not wanting to commit to employing a senior marketer is to employ the services of an independent Marketing Consultant - working with someone who effectively Project Manages the marketing activities - creating and managing the Marketing Plan, meeting with the Directors on a regular basis to keep them updated and receiving regular input - working alongside key members within the business to get the job done! Properly....
This type of Marketing support can prove very cost effective for businesses - as it provides the business with the ability to tap into real marketing expertise, guidance, experience and knowledge - without having to employ another professional - and it frees up the Directors to focus on what they do best!
For more marketing news, views, tips and advice - why not subscribe to