There are many marketing consultants or companies that say they know marketing, but do they REALLY know marketing…the kind of marketing that only comes from years of experience and keeping up with the industry? It’s scary what folks think is passable as good business marketing. In fact, I just came across a peer the other day who is promoting his company as a marketing solutions company. You can imagine my shock when I learned his marketing solutions consisted of postcard templates from Vista Print. You, as the client, may not understand the intracacies of branding, social media, direct mail, graphic design, etc. and you rely on your marketing manager to educate you. How is this possible if they aren’t educated themselves?
Here are 5 red flags that should tell you that your marketing company/consultant/manager is not effective:
1. Let’s start here…real marketing professionals do not use Vista Print (No offense to the Vista Print people of course). If your manager/consultant mentions Vista Print, please fire them!
2. Your manager/consultant doesn’t think you need a professional graphic designer. If your marketing manager suggests the DIY method of laying out your promotional materials, be very afraid!
3. Your manager/consultant thinks it’s OK to use MS publisher to create your promotional or direct marketing materials. All GOOD marketing professionals know that MS Publisher is for amateurs. The industry standard is use of Adobe products for graphic design – period!
4. Your marketing manager/consultant thinks you’ll get results from running one display ad or dropping one direct mail. This is a rookie mistake! Branding and awareness takes time – unless you’re in the business of getting one sale and no repeat customers or referrals, this approach is uneffective.
5. Lastly, your marketing manager/consultant does not encourage you or presents you with a marketing plan – on paper! BIG rookie mistake here…it’s OK to get some promotions or direct mail out the door now to get the ball rolling, but if your manager/consultant does not put together a marketing plan for you with your involvement, it’s time to find a new manager/consultant!
Don’t just hire anyone to do your marketing (i.e. Your neice fresh out of college, your neighbor’s son who is in web site design school, or that intern who will blog for free) because you do get what you pay for and your brand is nothing to jeopardize. Your brand is what defines your business and how your customers see you. Why risk the most important aspect of your business by giving it to marketing amateurs?
Know who you’re hiring and ask for recommendations!