The other day, I received an email from a former colleague. He’s just taken on the directorship for business development for a new firm, and asked me – as people often do – how DKD “did the marketing” for the distributorship where we both worked as consultants.
Of course, my immediate thought was a snarky “well John Doe, I could plug a cable in between your brain and mine and download my abilties in identifying target markets, developing strategies and creative concepts . . .all intellectual property I have earned in my 20+ years doing this, but no such cable exists.”
But I realized John was just soliciting my professional advice, not looking for a freebie. I provided him a few tips on e-blasts to serve an immediate need, but then also provided a comprehensive list of the kinds of services DKD provides and a summary of the different questions and information we need to develop a comprehensive marketing plan for any company. Wisely, he put together a meeting between the two of us and his CEO and now we’re negotiating how DKD can help his new company. He looks good to his boss and keeps the marketing communications off his plate so he can focus on his priority, sales and business development. A win-win for all.
But it got me to thinking.
And I realized. I absolutely do have a one sentence, foolproof, absolutely easy way for a company to “do their own marketing” and I’m going to share it with you.
So go get a pen.
Okay, here goes.
Hire an outside professional.
Yes, whether it’s a firm, a set of firms or a consultant . . .the way to “do your own marketing” successfully is to hire an outside professional.
Now I hear you saying to yourself “well, that’s NOT doing it myself,” but I look at it the same way I do when people ask me “is that your hair color?” To which I reply, “Absolutely.” Because it is my hair color. I earned the money to pay for the colorist every 4-6 weeks to make sure it is absolutely, 100% my hair color.
It’s the same with your company. You’ve spent the money and time to invest in developing a product or service that you believe is of value to consumers or businesses, so go out, interview and hire the best outside professional you can find to market those products or services, cut them a check and boom . . you have done the marketing all by yourself.
And now I hear you saying “well, Angela, of course that’s what you’d say, after all, you own a marketing firm.
And you’re right. I am absolutely biased. I also know that I am absolutely right, and I can prove it using my own business as an example.
Do me a favor and look at the logo at the top of this post. Take a minute, examine it and tell me what you think the name of my company is.
Okay, now do you see “DKD Marketing” or do you see “iDKD Marketing”?
Yeah, me too. I now see the “i” right in front of the D which is not only NOT the name of my company, it is now the team joke that our name is “I don’t know d*** ” about marketing.
Hahahaha DKD team . . . you guys are soooooooo funny! (sob)
But it proves my point. It proves that even though I am a marketing professional who has done 1000s of successful campaigns for my clients, that when you are too close to your own product or service, you sometimes miss the obvious. When our artist created all of our logo options at the beginning of DKD, my fellow partner and I saw an icon of a strong powerful woman, with a resemblance to a classic game – the queen on a chess board, which we saw as promoting our strategic approach to marketing. While classic, it was also modern, showing that we service high tech and stay abreast of the most advanced marketing techniques. We used progressive colors, but masculine enough to be accepted by our security and energy technology-based targets that are run largely by men. The name DKD was very “traditional” – because we didn’t want to be known first as some girly-girl firm with a cute name. The list goes on and on of ways we can enumerate what is right about our logo.
But it all falls apart when you realize that I get at least one email a month in which someone calls my firm “IDKD Marketing” or worse, cuts the check to “IDKD Marketing” (loads of fun at the bank).
If that’s not proof, I don’t know what is. Well, that, and the fact that my blog is sorely neglected, my website needs a refresher, my email marketing campaigns are sporadic . . . virtually everything I do for my clients, I neglect for my own firm because I am too busy providing the service and product that I offer to focus on marketing my own company (which means I probably have 20 typos in this post, but am not going to waste one of my copy editors’ time reviewing it, so don’t point them out in your comments, please).
So if you want the best “do it yourself marketing” you can possibly get there is simply one answer. Bite the bullet. Write the check. And make it out to the best outside professionals you can find and let them do the job using skills they’ve spent years honing to make your business more successful.
(now, to take my own advice . . .it’s time to call my favorite branding firm Soapbox Marketing Group and my favorite social media firm Geben Communications and get them to create a new logo and develop a campaign for DKD and then. . . what’s that? Really? A client’s product just won the top spot in the best 10 new products award at a major security show and we need to develop the promotions campaign around that? Ok, I’ll be right there.)