There are a number of different ways to find a marketing consultant. Finding the right one can be harder. Ensuring that they are successful can be very difficult. While there are countless capable marketing advisers available to organizations, often times these marketing consultants are not set up to be successful for the organization.
Hiring a Marketing Consultant
Most organizations who are looking to increase their marketing efforts find consultants through their own networks or the freelancer networks. Invariably, there is often some sticker shock at the costs that these consultants charge. This leads to some reluctant negotiation, and then an expensive contract signed. They are often focused on a specific marketing task, like brand discovery or email marketing.
The Awkward “Discovery Phase”
After the ink dries on the contract, the consultant often asks the business owner “so–what do you guys do?” In the “discovery” phase, marketer are learning how to craft and deliver an effective message. The first marketing deliverable usually doesn’t go out for 6-8 weeks. Unfortunately, marketing is an inexact science and it the first deliverable is often horribly wrong. But, the good marketers will adjust their techniques and improve their message.
Fixing the “Bad Marketing”
Once the marketer has learned what messages won’t work, the contract is almost up. The organization has spent a lot and has not received any new customers. In short, the marketer is often just now learning how to effectively market–and they are taking everything that they learned with them as they leave.
A Different Approach
The “discovery phase” should be just that–discovery. It should not be expensive to the client. The “discovery phase” should also include the first few items sent on behalf of the client, to learn more about what will work. A good marketer will find what works for the business and should be driving a lot of new customers and new revenue. When the marketer has proven that they can deliver is when the full cost of the marketing should be incorporated. Paying somebody to learn about your business only to go away does not help the organization in any meaningful way.
If your organization is frustrated by your marketing options in the marketplace and want to expand your reach, let’s talk about the most-effective techniques for organization growth.
As I think back on the early days of my company, my marketing options were not appealing. I was “running” digital marketing on my own, I put “running” in quotes, because my phone wasn’t ringing. In short, all of the small business advertising ideas I tried were simply not working. That had to change, and I had to make sure nobody else felt as lost and bewildered as I felt at that moment. When I finally figured it out, I was going to make sure others knew what worked for me. I tried to do it myself: Pay per Click, I tried Facebook Ads, I tried Organic Content, I tried SEO—nothing.
Run my own Digital Marketing
The role of an entrepreneur is multifaceted. Within a 5-minute window, you move from Chief Strategist to Chief Operating Officer and then on to Chief Janitorial Engineer. In short—it’s all on you—and so is marketing…and so is digital marketing. Digital marketing is a nebulous and disconnected practice. The practice requires a delicate understanding of creative messaging, hyper-focused targeting, and technical knowhow. Most importantly, the practice requires concentration, devotion, and consistency—as any small business owner will attest—hours to sit and concentrate—are non-existent.
Hire a Marketing Agency
Marketing professionals do exist—and at the time I could have used some guidance. Since my company was not growing much at all, I didn’t have a ton of resources to dedicate to the rather outlandish fees charged by marketing agencies. I could almost cover the first month’s fees—I knew that was not going to drive substantive change.
Hire a Marketing Intern
I did hire an intern—and while my social media was now full of highly visual and inspiring pictures, my phone still didn’t really ring. The brutal truth about social media marketing is that very seldom does it actually lead to the phone ringing.
Even with fresh content and a growing audience—my phone still was not ringing.
Perpetual Digital Marketing
The reality is that social media is an important puzzle piece in digital marketing—but it is not a cohesive strategy. More importantly, using all of the different channels effectively is not entirely obvious. It was not until I learned how to use each individual digital media asset to its most-effective and as part of a larger ecosystem working all together that my phone started to ring on a regular basis. Once it started to ring, we had the data and the process needed to make it run again. Further, we had the foundation in place to get it to ring more often! In short, our digital marketing started sustaining and growing our business. We landed more clients—and we landed them more quickly. This became our business—we started showing companies how to use all of these disparate digital entities together and powerfully.
Will it work for me?
I’m very proud that you are reading this piece—it shows that we have found a repeatable way to find entrepreneurs who are frustrated with the options highlighted above and are ready to try something else. If you are ready to take your business to the next level, send us an email and we’ll discuss how we can get your business new clients.
If you would like to learn more about how Saffron Key can help grow your business, check out our Getting Started page and tell us about your company and its needs.