When you work in marketing that whole money thing is often the elephant in the room.
Before we had online marketing and analytics tools, it was difficult to accurately measure the return on investment (ROI) gained from spending money on a marketing activity.
Even now, marketeers often don’t have the time (or the wherewithal) to gather the measurements needed to justify costs. And, without a measurable ROI, marketing is seen as an expensive drain on resources. A marketing team or budget are often the first to be hacked away in tough times.
To me, culling projects in an attempt to reduce the cost of marketing seems like a bum move.
Ever been to the supermarket last thing on a Sunday, just before they close at 4pm, only to make your way home and then realise, too late, that you forgot one of the main items on your shopping list? Your best hope for recreating Nigella’s latest offering is that your local corner shop is stocking kaffir lime leaves or harissa paste amongst its ancient tins of Vaseline and Fray Bentos pies.
This can happen in the world of business brand design too.
All businesses make mistakes. We can’t be perfect. We can’t always mind read exactly what our customers are expecting us to deliver, and that expectation gap sometimes proves problematic. The occasional apology for messing up or failing to deliver what was expected, is a necessary business evil. Just like the dreaded tax return.
There’s another reason why you should always apologise when you’ve made a mistake. Because it’s the right thing to do. There is nothing worse than silence from a business that you KNOW has wronged you.
If you are a regular reader of any marketing columns or blogs (err, like the one you’re reading now), I am pretty sure you will have come across recent advice about needing to brush up on your storytelling skills!
Storytelling does seem to be hot topic these days. In fact, HubSpot predicts that storytelling will be the most important business skill of the next 5 years.
I think, but I’m not sure, that businesses find hire a marketing consultant difficult.
I’m wondering if it’s a bit like hiring a nanny.
As the founder of your company, you’ve done all the hard work of giving birth to this amazing, living, breathing thing. You’ve spent a couple of years monitoring it like a mother hen.
The day comes when you can’t maintain that level of focus. You’ve got to get some other projects off the ground. You need more time in your day to look after your clients, or manage your staff. You aren’t available all the time to give your baby the focus it needs. So, you start looking around for a nanny (marketing consultant).
Last time, I wrote about the dangers of the ‘cute idea’ that doesn’t always work, and you end up with egg on your face, and LOTS of leaflets in your cupboard.
I also explained how, while it’s tempting to blame the designer, it’s probably more likely to be your fault (#sorrynotsorry). I expect your initial briefing likely wasn’t good enough for the designer to get an accurate picture of what you were after, and how to make that idea work for your audience.
So – you might be thinking – Mrs KNOWITALL, what should I be including when I’m briefing a designer that I’m not saying now, that would make ALL the difference?
Well. Lucky for you, I’ve put together a mini-checklist so that you can get it right every time from now on.