The term 'marketing' is so commonly misused that Malcolm Johnston, one of our Marketing Directors in the UK, felt strongly to get everybody on the same page. Marketing can be looked at as an iceberg, where a small part of the outcome from analysis and planning is what we can see and that visible bit is known to marketers as the promotional mix. Yet, due to this element (which includes PR, direct mail and advertising) can be the most expensive bit of marketing, it catches the attention (and ire) of finance directors and ill-informed multiple pressure groups. Marketing is a lot more complex than promotion and is, both a function and philosophy within a business.
Should you outsource your business’ marketing or keep it in-house? You may assume that we would answer this question with a solid ‘outsource your marketing to marketing experts’. But here’s where we might surprise you. Marketing encompasses everything a organisation does to push sales and promote its brand; from advertising to direct marketing to digital marketing, market research, PR, product development - even distribution methods.
Growing a business is demanding, no matter what sector you operate in. Having a powerful marketing strategy in place and the right team to deliver it is fundamental to success. Naturally, your marketing demands will change as your business faces different challenges. The need for different skills, levels of external support and budget requirements will all change over time. But it’s not always clear what your priorities should be, and how these might change with time.
Who’s the best driver in the world: Rally star Sébastien Ogier or F1 champion Lewis Hamilton? Trick question. Both are viable contenders, but only for a given value of “best”. Their driving styles are worlds apart. F1 is a matter of speed, precision and perfect understanding of the vehicle. A rally champion may not hit the same raw m.p.h., but they need to drive with flamboyance and a will to improvise. There’s a fundamental difference in mindset and skill set involved, and a champion behind one wheel may end up in the middle of the pack behind another. There’s a lot more to the choice than: “well, they both drive fast, don’t they?” So it goes with many things - including sales and marketing.
Successful business owners surround themselves with strong teams, and without the support of the right people, growth can stall. While qualifications and experience are clearly important, the key question most business owners ask themselves during an interview is: “Is this person the right fit?”. That is, will they gel with the rest of the team? Do they ‘get’ us?