For every organization that has full-time marketing support, there are hundreds that don’t. The reasons vary, but the primary ones are cost and need. Some companies or groups don’t think they have enough work to merit a full-time person, and no-one wants to spend a penny more than they have to. But every organization has marketing needs, and a long wish list of things they can’t get around to or don’t have the skillset to accomplish...AND a nagging thought that they are missing opportunities by not having those needs filled.
Turning these marketing tasks over to an admin or volunteer sometimes works for a spell, but there are certain responsibilities that really must be guided by a pro in order to get the results you need without having to worry about managing the process yourself. Even a freelance specialist can only provide a narrow range of services at your direction -- The pressure is still on you to drive the action.
There are three areas in particular where having a marketing mind totally focused on your company or organization makes a huge difference. (I refer to “customers” below, but the same concepts are true for organizations that have goals other than selling something). Then, we’ll talk about how you can get these benefits on a leveraged basis, without hiring full-time help.
1. Brand Management
There are proofs on both sides of the coin that brand management is good for business. In a world where 75% of all purchase decisions are based on emotion*, your brand can either make your business soar or sink depending on how well it is managed.
This means it’s worth the investment to build a great brand. Having a great logo is only the beginning...everything you do must reflect the uniqueness of your brand: the tone of your words, the imagery you use, the way you express your unique value. Added to that, the work of constantly protecting your brand from being hurt or misrepresented is hard. One wrong review in the right place, and years of work can be tossed in the dumpster. Consumers now consult an average of 11 reviews before making a purchase decision**.
Who is thinking about your brand every day? Don’t leave this to chance or think “I’ll do it when I have time”.
2. Customer Communication
Social, Blogs, Email, Advertising, and so on and so on. There are an incredible amount of options for communicating with your customers. Too many for most companies to properly manage them all. So, they spread the love around, doing an OK job on the ones that seem the most important at the time. Bad idea. How much of that spaghetti you are throwing is sticking to the wall? Make every single thing you do count, because you don’t have time to do everything, much less do it well.
You’ve probably heard that it’s much more efficient to keep your current customers than to find new ones. In fact, it costs 6 times more to attract a new customer than it does to keep an old one***. That’s a great place to start...customer retention. But did you know that consumers who receive e-mail marketing spend 83% more and order 28% more often**? Facts like this can help shape a powerful and effective communication campaign, but you need someone thinking about it!
Who is researching the best ways to communicate with your customers, and providing you with quality content that will get results?
I saved the most important one for last. Quite simply, if you don’t have a marketing strategy, you will never get the most out of what you do. Even giant organizations that give lip-service to strategy spend a much higher percentage of their time on execution than they should. Both are important, but execution isn’t all that effective when you’re executing the wrong stuff, especially when you have limited resources.
You need to know where to invest your money, and that’s not easy. Trusting your gut might work sometimes, but it isn’t a good long-term strategy. Neither is doing nothing or limping along with a “when I have time” mentality. A marketing mind provides a unique and important perspective that complements business strategy and completes the picture.
Who is ensuring that you are investing your resources on the things that will bring the most return?
If you’ve come this far, you or someone you know could probably use some marketing leadership. We’ve already established that some companies or groups don’t think they have enough work to merit a full-time person, and no-one wants to spend a penny more than they have to. So what is the best business plan for this situation? Not typical freelance...that is meant to fill certain gaps (copywriting, video, design) and must be closely managed by someone in your organization. A marketing agency can provide a broader variety of services at your direction, but the cost is typically high, and you will be one of many clients. I propose another solution:
Leverage is the power to use a small investment to control a much larger one. What if you had a marketing expert working for your business one day each week? For those hours, there is no other organization in the world. I’m talking about having a Chief Marketing Officer, but in an increment that makes sense for you.
I have been using this model for a while now, and the results have been very promising. My clients share their needs with me, and I handle the planning, execution, measurement, and adjustments required to get the most out of our time together, whether that’s just half a day a week or more. The arrangement provides a level of ownership I wouldn’t otherwise have, and it works!
If you want to know how Leveraged Leadership can work for your business, learn more here.