The process of marketing should involve much more than selling alone. Marketing should be planned wherever possible and a marketing plan should be well thought through, justified, communicated internally and of course, priced up.
In my opinion, without an organisation committing to marketing, it is likely that both the decision makers within the company and the company itself will lose motivation. No organisation can rely solely on word of mouth, it needs a plan.
With a marketing plan in place, it should receive adequate resources of time and money and it will be positioned as an investment rather than seen as a cost which wont be given the appropriate “value.”
Marketing is also not a quick fix or a decision made as a result of business slowing down. Yes, your company has a lot to gain from a possible short term fix, but in fact “selling” takes time to show results and a long term commitment is in your own interests. To me marketing therefore, should be a long term effort that is a process rather than an event. Marketing has a start, a middle, but no end.
There are a number of decisions to make when it comes to the appointment of the person (or people) who deliver the marketing activity, but we see 2 main options –
The company employs an in house marketing person (marketing employee)
or marketing is outsourced to a specialist marketing company
When considering option 1, if your role within the company is one of marketing, it is likely that it is not an easy role to play as you are unlikely to be the professional service provider nor a fee generator so you may well be perceived as an outsider and an overhead………no to mention a possible nuisance and a hard taskmaster in your attempts to turn unwilling participants into people who embrace the marketing efforts of the company! Don’t panic if you encounter resistance. You are the centre of excellence when it comes to marketing and you must fight back and justify your position!
If option 2 is the route your organisation decides to go down, there are plenty of marketing companies around, but be careful to do your homework. Speak to a number of companies. Do due diligence on each. You will also need to make sure that both you and the marketing company agree and sign up to the broad goals expounded in the eventual plan…….which includes the cost and fees!
Either way, remember marketing is not just about getting a brochure done! The process should include areas like –
Having the tools of the trade (logo, stationery, website, sales piece etc)
Understanding the market you’re operating in – speak to existing clients, run a SWOT…
Building your own brand – What sets you apart from the competition? Are you consistent in your messaging?
Planning – How does marketing fit into the business plan? Who is doing what and why?
Existing clients – Quality deliverables through quality processes
Marketing internally and externally
A large feature in marketing speak is “focus.” Do you know where you stand in relation to the competition? What is your market share? Does every stakeholder or shareholder buy into the marketing plan?
Lots of questions here so I hope your grey cells are working overtime!