Another Year of Chasing Your Tail
We’re already two days into the new year! How is your marketing strategy going? Do you feel like you are already behind before you’ve barely begun?
Is your team is already out of bandwidth?
Maybe no one had the time in December to pull together a strategy or content for 2019. So now you’ll just start doing things how you’ve always done them. Quickly pulling together marketing pieces that don’t end up working out the way you want them to and telling yourself you’ll try again next year.
I get it – you’re a local business. You can’t afford a full-time marketing person on your team. Or, your current marketing person is completely overwhelmed and is barely keeping her head above water.
But what if your marketing didn’t feel like a chaotic waste of your time and resources?
What if it was possible to get ahead of the game – to make purposeful and calculated moves toward influencing your bottom line?
What if you actually saw your return on your marketing investment?
Introducing Your Marketing Consultant
You’re right – you don’t need to hire another person to handle the marketing at your organization. What you need is a partnership. A partnership with marketing experts that can help you strategize, plan, execute, and measure your communication efforts with your current and potential audiences.
But how do you know if you are partnering with the right marketing consultant? Here are the 4 characteristics to look for before signing the dotted line with your next marketing partner…
A “Forever Learner” Mentality
How do the experts stay the experts?
They never stop learning, challenging, questioning, and improving.
Just like you stay up-to-date on your industry, you should expect the same out of your marketing consultant.
But there is an extra level of education that you should come to expect out of that consultant. Not only should they be well-versed in marketing & communications, but they should also make it a priority to stay up-to-date in your industry as well.
An excellent marketer is one who knows marketing inside-and-out, and can also learn hundreds of other industries as well.
For example, in my time writing strategy and content for companies, I have researched and written on marketing, leadership, real estate, sustainability, conservation, gardening, higher education, and more.
If a marketer isn’t willing to put in the time to really listen to your story, learn your industry, and partner with you in knowledge, it is not going to be a very prosperous experience for either of you.
There are hundreds of different tools, philosophies, and mindsets when it comes to marketing. If marketing is not your main focus and job, no one should ever expect you to have to interact with more than 2-3 vendors TOPS for your communications needs. Ideally, you would partner with an agency that can either do everything in-house or can handle any other partnerships that are needed.
A Respectful Mentality
You know that feeling when someone “just gets it”? When they fully understand your organization, industry, and passion? When they respect your organization’s goals? When they see your passion and experience and value your input and expertise?
That is what your marketing partner should make you feel – and more! Your consultant is going to be the one directly promoting your organization. If they don’t ‘get it,’ their work will show.
After you tell your story to your consultant and allow them the time to do their own research, they should become your most genuine cheerleader. They don’t just talk you up for the sake of looking good, but they really understand why you do what you do, how you do it, and what you do.
When you partner with someone like that is when the magic really happens!
A Long-Term Commitment
A solid marketing strategy will take time to build, execute, analyze and work out all the kinks along the way. And while an organization can sometimes see quick success overnight, it is most likely few and far between.
This is why we recommend partnering with a marketing professional that you can see yourself working with for months or years to come. And be sure that agency takes the time to get to know you, your organization, values, and mission.
Marketing is a marathon. It is a lot of research, planning, creativity, and hard work. But it is also worth it to share your story, reach your customers, and make a difference in your community and our world.
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