Archive for results
I’ve just finished reading a blog about PR measurement that whilst wonderfully interesting, kinda made me annoyed.
In the blog post the writer – a very senior large agency person tells the story of a junior account executive whose client had threated to end their relationship because her reporting wasn’t up to snuff. The benevolent writer explains to the “talented junior” that it wasn’t really her reporting, but that she misunderstood what the client was really after – ie: sales, not ‘buzz’. And so the junior learned her lesson and all was well in the world.
Except that the client had their money WASTED so a lovely junior could earn her stripes. Where was someone to guide her? I’m sure the client thought they were going to get that.
What is it about some larger agencies that they think it’s okay to hand off client business to lovely young things that have absolutely no serious experience to bring to the table. A junior can help certainly, but to leave them in charge of a major client launch? I don’t think so.
Being handed off to a junior is often clients number one bug-bears about dealing with an agency, be it advertising, PR, marketing, etc. The next big bug bear is rates – how can anyone justify paying $150+ per hour for someone with no serious skillset, no business experience and little saavy – but that’s what juniors are usually billed out at. It’s almost funny – except that it’s not. Having said that though, really it’s not about the price, it’s about the cost to the business owner or brand. The wrong person launching your product/service/brand is far more costly than an hourly rate.
Think of it this way
If you were building a house (a similar sort of risk to launching a business/product), you’d meet with the builder, agree a price and the scope. What if at that point he introduced you to his first or second year apprentice to work out the finer details including the plan, buying the materials and knocking it all together (then the builder said he’d check in again when you wanted to spend more money) - you’d run a mile, but that’s essentially the big agency way.
Any wonder clients are flocking in their droves to smaller consultancies (or solo consultants) with time in the chair, who’ve disavowed the whole ‘big agency’ concept. My favourite consultancies that I’ve worked in or led have been staffed by more senior industry folks with time in the chair who just want to get in and do a great job – no buzz, just results. Much more fun for the consultant and much more satisfying for the client.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some fabulous juniors with great potential to be found out there. They’re just lacking about 10 years experience before they can really understand what the client really needs (and sometimes that’s different from what the client says they need), the right strategy to get there and the experience to deliver it – on time and on budget.
Kristin Austin is a marketing & communication strategist and trainer who’s been doing the marketing ‘do’ for almost 20 years. She can be found hanging out in social media land – for her clients’ benefit of course when she’s not working on client programs, strategy or writing them content. You can follow her @glitteratichic or click on the LinkedIn icon on the right handside to connect there. If you’re not on social media and still want to connect - she’s happy to talk marketing and business boosting over coffee.
1. What do you know about my company, market, industry?
This tells you if they’ve done their homework. If they haven’t – run!
2. What campaigns have you done in a similar industry, similar company, etc?
You should ask for several examples. Listen for specifics, numbers, audience types, products. People who talk in general terms are usually not the folks you’ll want to work with. Having said that, just because someone hasn’t worked in your industry, that doesn’t mean they can’t bring something great to the table – for example there are some weird similarities between tourism and pharmaceuticals that I’m sure could be stretched to other industries too.
3. How long have you been doing this? And what did you do before that?
This will give you an idea of what they’re going to bring to your work. There’s no point in hiring a financial planner to build your website unless you’re building a financial planning website (and then you’ll want to meet the tech developer as well).
4. Have you managed consulting clients before?
Even if someone’s managed big campaigns working for a multinational – they’ve probably had agencies, juniors, admin folks sharing the load and a budget that didn’t matter if it went over a couple of hundred /thousand dollars. What you want is someone who can actually deliver on and produce the job they’ve waxed lyrical about (and manage your expectations and budget along the way).
5. Why do you keep doing this?
You’re looking to get an idea of their ongoing level of passion for what they’re doing.
6. What’s the best result you’ve had for a client so far?
Again look for specific results (see point 3).
7. Do you have references I can actually talk to? When did you work with them?
Make sure that the people you’re talking to worked with them in a similar situation to yours. There’s no point speaking to the CEO of BHP about a marketing job Joe Bloggs did for them – 5 years ago – marketing moves at a much too quick a pace for that sort of reference. If you’re interested in mine, you could start with some testimonials or check out the most recent ones on LinkedIn.
Kristin is a marketing & communication strategist who’s been doing the marketing do for almost 20 years. She can be found hanging out in social media land – for her clients’ benefit of course. You can follow her @glitteratichic or click on the LinkedIn icon on the right handside to connect there.
If you’re anything like most business owners, you spend a lot of time thinking about how to get more customers through your door. Marketing is critically important to your business, but should you do it yourself or should you get someone else to do it?
Let’s look at the top three reasons to give the job to someone else.
1. WIIFM? – how many times have you been to a store, visited a website or sat through a presentation thinking “these people just don’t get it”. Most likely the reason was that they were talking seemingly endlessly about themselves – when what really matters to you is YOU. Certainly their product, service, etc might be of interest, but it’s what it does for you.
Throughout your whole experience with them, you’re trying to make what they’re saying apply to you. If all they’re doing is talking about themselves, you’re likely to dismiss what they’re saying as irrelevant. Only the better marketers know how to apply the WIIFM principles well.
2. Good marketers understand how to bring how to bring your best points to the front and centre of your customer’s minds. If you’re like many clients, you might find you’re too wrapped up in the detail of what you’re selling – or in love with your product. Which is great from a passion perspective, but often it means that you might be burying the most compelling reasons your customers need in order to buy from you.
A client and I were talking about a marketing piece he’d mocked up. After half an hour of talking me through it (it was a very busy brochure), it emerged the strongest reasons to buy were the free personalised trial and the product’s environmental benefit (which was exceptional).
After two brief looks at the piece whilst we were talking (which is sadly more than a customer will usually give a brochure), I found the FREE offer buried in the middle of page 2 and the environmental message was entirely missing. Needless to say, those messages are now front and centre.
3. Better outcomes. Working with an experienced marketer vastly increases your likelihood of achieving the outcomes that you’re after for your business. Don’t just look at their work from a ‘how it looks’ perspective – it might just be ‘pretty’ work. Ask them what it achieved for their client – you’re looking for answers like -” this campaign”…*
- uncovered 32 potential new pieces of business waiting to be signed
- achieved media coverage of $1.5 million
- became the top selling non-fiction book
- reported to be one of the most-successful infomercials of the year
- increased overnights to the destination by 20%
- changed the product from being an ‘untouchable’ before launch to rocketing it to number one in a reasonably mature category in six months.
Ask for hard numbers – if they can’t give you any – maybe it’s time to talk someone else.
* these are actual results from my real campaigns.
These are just the top three, but there really are loads of reasons to outsource your marketing – more coming soon. If we can help, please let us know.