Don’t Put Your Head In The Sand When Marketing Your Brand

April 5, 2011

in Business

marketing knowledge

As the key marketer of your brand do you have enough knowledge to make the correct decisions if you outsource certain marketing activities?

If you do not and allow them to have all the knowledge then you could be heading for trouble if their business fails or you break up.

All the knowledge goes with them.

A small business owner who repairs carpets brought this issue up last week.

He was hiring another business to run Adwords and as he was stretching my carpet I did a bit of a search of the keywords and the results he was getting. He brought their proposal which was very light on detail.

I am no expert but after 20 minutes I could see he really wasn’t getting the value for the money spent.

I asked him a few questions and he didn’t know enough about Adwords or what he should know.

This meant that his lack of knowledge prevented him from being an active participant in a marketing program that was costing him money.

Marketing Overwhelm

There are so many marketing tactics around today that it is hard to know all about them. However if you are outsourcing any of your marketing you owe it to yourself to gain knowledge on the activity.

You don’t have to have in depth knowledge, just enough so you can understand the reasons for their suggestions and course of action and how it will affect your business.

Taking the carpet guy example he didn’t know that the words in the ad should fit in with the likely searches and contain words that lead to the right action, not just a click through to the home page.

Ask Questions

Any reliable business would be happy to explain the key aspects of what they are proposing and the key elements.

If you ask questions then you can put the answers to the ‘does it make sense’ test. In the example of the carpet guy, one question I gave him to ask was why they were having adwords appear when his own website was on page 1 for a particular keyword.

Knowledge is Power

Trust is important but it is your brand and if you do not understand then you could be wasting your money.

Whether you are doing it yourself or outsourcing you do need to have a level of knowledge to make sure the right decisions and actions are made.

If you are outsourcing any marketing activities, take a moment and ask yourself whether you understand what they are doing and the do their suggestions or course of action make sense.

If you out source how do you make sure you have enough knowledge? If you have other businesses outsource their marketing activities to you, how do you help your customers gain the right knowledge?

Marlee April 7, 2011 at 10:50 am

Hi Susan,
I really like what you’ve said about asking questions. In your example it probably didn’t even dawn on your customer that it was a waste of money to advertise where they already had a presence.
Awareness is key!

Susan Oakes April 7, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Hi Marlee,

It didn’t and once I showed him and explained he understood and could see the issue and that he was wasting money. It reminds me of being told early in my career, if you don’t ask you then you can’t complain about the result they gave you.

Marquita Herald April 7, 2011 at 9:23 am

Great advice. When I started my blog I was determined to learn the ropes from the ground up. It took more time to learn how to do things myself rather than just hire someone – and I’m still learning – but I’m so glad I’ve taken the extra time because now that I understand how things work and am in a far better position to outsource elements of my work in a smart way.

Susan Oakes April 7, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Hi Marquita,

You are a great example of how to do it. As you said you are now in a position to outsource in a smart way. Some try the quick way and not gain sufficient knowledge but it can trip them up unfortunately.

Alex@Jocuri April 6, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Hello Susan,

Right on! I would never recommend someone to outsource something if they didn’t know what kind of results to expect or what that processes involves, at least in general. People are usually lazy and they want to do the least amount of work for the most amount of money. And now I have seen in online, that many start throwing terms that most customers don’t understand in order to look like an authority and a man/woman who knows what s/he is doing.

How I protect myself? I usually try to research what I have to do first, in order to decide if I can do it myself, and if I can’t because I don’t have the time or the means, I outsource it, but this means that I already know what it should be done and I know that exact steps I need to watch in order to determine if they are doing a good job!

Susan Oakes April 6, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Hi Alex,

You make a very good point about throwing around terms. On the proposal I saw I asked the guy if the terms were explained what they meant and unfortunately he said no and didn’t understand them. I think companies don’t realise if they cut the jargon and explain in simple language the process etc there is far less trouble in the relationship.

A friend of mine did the same as you as she knew she still had to oversee the outsourcing without getting involved in every detail. Your approach is a good one to take.

Susan Oakes April 6, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Hi Nabil,

Good to see you have it under control.

Catarina Alexon April 6, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Agree with you Susan. Am sure there are an abundance of people out there who have out sourced their marketing activities to people who are taking them for a ride.

Just look at what’s on offer in Linkedin groups. Am getting spam sent in my inbox almost every day offering the kind of services you mention. And almost all of them in another country with a different jurisdiction. Not a recipe for success is it? Especially not for people who don’t understand what it is they are paying for.

Susan Oakes April 6, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Hi Catarina,

These days small business do need to have a level of knowledge before they outsource otherwise they can’t make the right decisions. The carpet guy agreed, however it is not always easy for them to get the time. I also get those emails and in the very least they should segment and target who they send them to.

Nabil@näsflöjt April 6, 2011 at 8:58 am

Easy one.

If companies outsource their marketing activities to me — I simply write a blog post about it I haven’t done so already. Always does the trick ;)

/Nabil, from Sweden.

Previous post:

Next post: