Prefer to listen than to read?

This post is also available over on our PodBlog

There are lots of reasons why a small or medium-sized business can get frustrated with their marketing. For many, sorting out marketing is one of those things that never quite makes it to the top of this list.

For many more, even when it does… the results are infuriatingly disappointing.

Most businesses I’ve been into as a consultant had tried a number of marketing activities over the years. And, most had already worked with various outsourced specialists. But, still weren’t seeing the sales results they wanted.

If, time after time, marketing doesn’t deliver; it’s time to ask a difficult question.

Is it YOU – the MD or chief exec of your ambitious business – who’s holding your business back?

In my last five years of consulting for growing businesses, I found myself spending the first weeks working not as a marketing consultant, but as a marketing confidante.

Bringing the MD up to speed on how marketing really works, so that they could make great marketing decisions, and lead a process of change as a systematic approach to marketing was put in place to support growth.

The difficult thing for an MD is realising that you may not know enough about marketing to take your business to the next step. Yesterday, I showed you 8 signs that you need to get more strategic about marketing.

Today, I’m giving you a rundown on red flags that may indicate that it’s you that needs to up your skills.

10 questions to work out if an MD knows enough about marketing to make sound strategic decisions

Sign 1 – You operate at arm’s length from your marketing people and suppliers

  • Ask yourself: Would you rather someone just ‘took the problem away’ and got on with the marketing stuff without you?

Sign 2 – Frustration that strategic marketing initiatives don’t pay back quickly

  • Ask yourself: Do you focus on the quick wins?

Sign 3 – Tactic burn; jumping from one marketing tactic to the next hoping to find one that ‘works’

  • Ask yourself: Have you tried lots of different things, like telesales, PR, social media, etc. and been disappointed with the results?

Sign 4 – Unable to apply marketing concepts in practice

  • Ask yourself: Have you ever been on a marketing course, or read a book / blog, then not really been sure what to do when you get back to your desk?

Sign 5 – Unclear about how and why the marketing tools and techniques your businesses uses were chosen

  • Ask yourself: Are there things on your marketing budget that you couldn’t explain?

Sign 6 – Belief that marketing is all about filling the sales pipeline

  • Ask yourself: Do you see marketing principally as driving awareness and lead generation?

Sign 7 – Disregard for the negative impact cold sales techniques or mass marketing can have

  • Ask yourself: Would you consider employing a salesperson on commission a safer investment than a marketing initiative?

Sign 8 – Poor previous experience when having worked with a marketing consultant

  • Ask yourself: Have you worked with one or more marketing consultants and been disappointed?

Sign 9 – Poor previous experience when having worked with outsourced marketing suppliers

  • Ask yourself: Have you outsourced work like copywriting, web development, graphic design, etc. and been disappointed by the results?

Sign 10 – Marketing is perceived as an expense to the business

  • Ask yourself: Overall, is marketing a cost to your business?

If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then it may well be time to work on your own understanding of marketing, so that you can lead it for your business.

In every engagement where the MD has been open to active in learning about marketing, at a strategic and practical level, the effect on the has been enormous. Both for them as individuals, and for the long-term health of their business.

© Bryony Thomas | The Watertight Marketer.

Bryony Thomas

Bryony Thomas

Author & Founder, Watertight Marketing

Bryony Thomas is the creator of the multi-award winning  Watertight Marketing methodology, captured in her best-selling book of the same name. She is one of the UK's foremost marketing thinkers, featured by the likes of Forbes, The Guardian, Business Insider and many more, and in-demand speaker for business conferences, in-house sales days and high-level Board strategy days.

Pass it on...

If you found this post useful consider sharing it with your network