We at How 2 Media are all about maximizing opportunities for our clients. For us, success isn’t measured by our bottom line; it is measured by the success of our clients. And to have true client success, you need to market correctly. Though many, many companies have marketing directors, marketing officials, and even entire marketing departments, many companies lack the knowledge of today’s correct version of marketing, and suffer the consequences from not understanding how to properly market. Many times companies will go to outside marketing companies for help, and while there are a select few marketing companies that truly do listen to their clients, and help their clients, the majority of such marketing companies are simply out for money, push their own cookie-cutter agenda, and don’t even listen to a company’s wants and needs. That is why we have created a cheat sheet of sorts, and a guide, in order to help companies implement the proper steps of marketing, and to help companies truly benefit from properly marketing. That is why we bring you today, lesson 2: Choosing the Right Method.
1: The Right Method of Marketing:
The second step in proper marketing is choosing whether or not to handle marketing yourself, handle it through a marketing department within your company, or seek a marketing agency outside of your company.
1A: Handling Marketing Yourself:
For some, handling the marketing themselves is just fine. They may be a smaller company that can’t afford a marketing department or outside marketing agency, or they may just be able to handle the added task of marketing. No matter the reason, before you venture down this road, there are a number of things you need to make sure of..
1: First, it’s important to understand just how important marketing is. You have a demographic, and you need to gain their attention, maintain their attention, and have them remembering your company. Without marketing in some fashion, you blend into your competition too much, and are lost, especially when others are actually marketing properly.
2: Second, it takes money to make money, right? Well, it also takes money to market – even if you’re doing it yourself. The goal is to reach people…It does absolutely no good to market when it has no impact or doesn’t reach anyone!
3: You’re going to need to spend money correctly! Marketing isn’t just about spending money on the first marketing idea you come across. Take your time and do your research first! Understand the type of impact certain types of marketing have, and then ask other businesses how they have done with that type of marketing. I believe in learning from mistakes, but it’s always easiest to learn from others’ mistakes, right? And let’s face it; there are a lot of options out there, where people are ready to take your money for marketing…it’s best to know what you’re getting involved in before you do it!
4: The messages for your marketing. Here’s where, if you’re going to market on your own, you’d better be really well versed in SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and you’d better understand how to approach your demographic. The best way to do this is to look at different genres of companies and industries, and see how they approach their demographics. You’re going to see successes, and you’re going to see massive failures…take the time to learn from both! Once you feel comfortable in understanding what your demographic needs and wants, then it’s time to formulate your messages. And notice how I wrote, “needs and wants” instead of “wants and needs”??? It’s because needs come well before wants, and your demographic will actually react to “needs” far faster than they will to “wants”. “Wants” are things you may want, but you can have patience, and simply wait. “Needs” are things that your demographic truly need to react on quickly. Based on your the strength of your message, they will either react to you, or your competition. But rest assured, your demographic will react.
5: One of the most important things in marketing is understanding that IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU, AND IT’S NOT ABOUT YOUR COMPANY NOR YOUR COMPANY’S PRODUCTS! So many companies get wrapped up in the personal aspect of running a business and marketing. I’ve seen so many individuals want the spotlight, and to be the face of the company, but those same people just can’t deliver the proper message, nor can they speak in front of the camera. Someone may run a company really, really well, but that doesn’t mean they’re the right spokesperson for their company. Like Socrates once said, “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” Ultimately, it’s important to understand that people fill different roles for a company for a reason! Don’t be so vein as to think you can do it all yourself, and don’t be so vein as to think it’s all about you. The true answer to marketing is that it is about your customers, your demographic! Once you can give yourself an “out of body experience” and allow yourself to look at your company as an outside would, you are then on your way to showing appreciation towards your demographic, and understanding it is ALL ABOUT THEM!
2A: Handling Marketing Through an Internal Marketing Department
For some, they may not have the time to commit to marketing on their own, and want to create a department within their company to handle all marketing. For others, they may have tried marketing by themselves, and realized either it’s just too much, or they just don’t know enough about it. Whatever the reason, here are the things you need to be on the lookout for when marketing through an internal department within your company.
1: REMAIN INVOLVED! Too many times, I have seen that people create a marketing department, and then they leave that department to do the job, and that’s it! But when it comes time to make some kind of drastic decision, the owner is so far removed that they don’t understand the consequences of such a decision, or worse, they just leave it up to their marketing department because they don’t get themselves involved. If you own the company, you should know everything going on at all times. I’m not saying you need to be there every minute of the day, and micro-managing, but you should be having weekly meetings with your marketing department, and you should understand how it is operating, what kind of messages they are using, and how those messages are impacting your demographic. If you leave it all in the hands of your marketing department, you’re going to be sad in the end. But, if you do leave it all in the hands of your marketing department, hold yourself accountable, and only get angry at yourself when things fail.
2: Hire the right people! Your internal marketing department may be a bit of a revolving door for a bit until you find the right mix of people. You definitely shouldn’t go for “yes” people, or people whom solely agree with you, though. Instead, I have always found that the right mix includes people whom tend to look at things completely differently than you do. Take our company for example. I carry myself much differently than our executive producers, and because of this, it is a great business marriage. I am comfortable in telling them what I think are good ideas and bad ideas of theirs, and vice versa. The most effective relationship in this fashion, though, is if a person disagrees with you on a marketing message, is for that person to have their own solution to present as well. Mixed ideas creates brainstorming, and brainstorming creates amazing ideas!
3: Don’t be afraid of trust! When you hire people for your marketing department, trust them. Trust they will do what you hired them for. Trust their ideas, but make sure they can back up their ideas, and make sure their confidence is where it needs to be. A little trust goes a long way with a marketing department.
4: Don’t be afraid of firing people. Every now and then people need to get fired. It may be for a number of reasons, but by staying on top of your marketing department, you will understand who is doing their job the way your demographic needs it done, and who is not. But if you hesitate in firing a person, it means you’re hesitating in getting the right person in your company’s door, and in your marketing department.
3A: Handling Marketing Through an Outside Marketing Agency.
If you have chosen this route, your company is either too big to handle marketing internally, or you have given up on the people you are hiring, or given up on trying to figure out marketing. No matter the reason, this is the most dangerous route of marketing, so let’s break down why…
1: No One Cares About Your Company Like You Do! I don’t care what your marketing agency says about themselves, nor do I care about their track record, it’s a simple fact that just like your children, no one will care about your company the way you do. If you go out of business, the marketing agency simply loses a client – not their business! If something goes wrong in a marketing effort, they can’t really be blamed because it’s all trial and error in the marketing industry.
2: If you’re going to go this route, stay on top of things!!! If you sit idly by, and simply allow your marketing agency to dictate the marketing for your company, things will eventually go down the drain. You NEED to be involved, and YOU need to be the master of the message, when it comes to your company, and the needs and wants of your demographic. If your marketing agency doesn’t like you “mixing in” like this, they are not the right marketing agency for you because it means they do things in a cookie cutter manner, and a cookie cutter manner isn’t going to create the necessary customized message for your company! Be involved! Question everything! Ask for proof of past success! Be invested and interested in your company!
3: Don’t be afraid of firing your marketing agency. Your company is relying on the success of your marketing message. If your marketing agency isn’t getting you there, don’t hesitate on changing to a company that will LISTEN to YOU, and that will hold themselves accountable.
4: Don’t be afraid of trust!. Just like when you have your own marketing department, and as much as you need to be on top of your marketing agency, you also need to trust their expertise…just not to the point where you just let them do everything on their own.
Each week, we will update this blog, and help people truly understand marketing, in a soft yet direct approach. We feel that providing too much information too quickly is a good way to lose people’s interest, and then people don’t follow through with what you’re trying to teach them. Your first lesson from today is to begin understanding your demographic, researching them, and begin to formulate a plan to communicate with them, in order to fulfill their needs.