“Anyone can do marketing.” Yes, it’s true. Anyone can do marketing. The problem is, being able to “do it” doesn’t equate to being able to do it well.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met with a prospective client and had an exchange like this:
“Historically, what have you done from a marketing/public relations perspective?”
“Well, we’ve tried a little of X, and last year we did Y.”
“So, last year, for example…what did you do and how much was your marketing budget?”
“Well, we really don’t have a marketing budget, per se. But a radio sales rep presented us with an unbelievable radio package, so we did that…and we sponsored a table at the XYZ symposium.” Etc.
“So, all totaled up, you say you spent about $90,000 on various marketing initiatives last year, but you feel like you made no business growth progress?”
“Yeah, I can’t believe we spent that much, but I guess we did.”
That’s what happens without proper strategic planning, specifically for marketing a business or organization. There are so many “opportunities,” ways to spend or invest your marketing dollars. Whether you have a set budget or make it up along the way as “opportunities” appear before you, it sure makes sense to run those options against your specific business goals for the year to see if a given expenditure makes sense from an anticipated results angle.
You may like to tinker with cars, maybe even add a quart of oil when the Low Oil light goes on, but you leave the Check Engine light to the trained mechanic. You may think a “standard contract” from the Internet might be adequate for a business transaction, but then you thank your lucky stars when you have your attorney review it and ultimately save you from potential disaster.
It’s the same with marketing. You may be intrigued by some of the more exciting elements of marketing, but here’s a recommendation: Play a role, but don’t overdo it. It’s not only appropriate but encouraged, for clients to be involved with their marketing, particularly at a helicopter level. Give input, understand what initiatives are planned or underway, and see how it all supports the business goals. Be involved, but trust professionals with decades of education, training, and experience to do what they do best, while you do what you do best.
Don’t be the one who reflects back on the past year, realizing you had no strategy, no plan, and no results…yet you sure did “do” marketing.