There is a disconnect between marketing and client results.
And the fault of the issue lies on both sides of the fence.
Agencies, vendors, software companies, media companies, and the like all have different root objectives from their clients. They are solutions providers. They sell products and services that solve problems of awareness, consideration, and engagement.
Business owners, with varying degrees of expectations about how marketing works, can often have a myopic focus on the end results. After all, they are investing in marketing and advertising in order to achieve results – ROI.
So where is the disconnect? Advertising and marketing get – and often take – more credit than they deserve when things go right. Conversely, they also get – and deflect – too much blame when things go wrong.
We’ve already taken the first step of admitting we have a problem. Now we can turn our focus on ways to solve it.
The next step is developing a deeper understanding of needs and purpose.
A Better Understanding of Everyone’s Interest & Purpose
Everyone – agencies, media companies, and business owners – wants to grow. Sometimes this growth comes at a cost to each other.
agencies & Media companies
Agencies and Media Companies (AMCs)
Agencies can be full-service or single-solution vendors. Media companies are TV, cable, radio, Hulu, Pandora, Google, Bing, etc. For simplicity, we will refer to them collectively as AMCs.
AMCs are in the business of providing a service or collection of services to their clients in order to help them grow their businesses. That service is not intended to or capable of making miracles happen (although sometimes, it is irresponsibly sold that way).
Marketing and advertising can do a lot of things, but neither is a magic “Get Sales” button. If they could accomplish the impossible, you would be paying a lot more for the services. Marketing and advertising are, rather, investments – calculated risks. The size and scope of that risk depends on a variety of factors, but it falls to the business owner to assess and own that risk.
There isn’t a marketing strategy out there that can consistently overcome a bad product, a bad process, poor follow-up, bad service, bad pricing, or any number of independent market conditions. Marketing or advertising in any form serves as fuel for a fire that is already burning – not as the firestarter itself.
business owners & In-house marketing
Business Owners & In-House Agencies
Business Owners are in the business of growing their business. They are not advertising and marketing experts. They rely on AMC professionals to help guide them through marketing decisions. It is the responsibility of AMCs to know their shit and look out for their clients’ best interest.
At the beginning and the end of the day, it is a business owner’s job to start and maintain the fire. Marketing and advertising can then be used as fuel to enhance the blaze.
The business owner’s focus is on improving products, services, processes, and people. They need AMC professionals who are ever-attentive students of marketing, who will take the time to understand their business and make proactive recommendations. They need more honesty, transparency, and clarity – and less justification.
LET’S FIX THE DISCONNECT.
Can we take responsibility?
AMCs, business owners, and In-house agencies alike need to own their individual truths, 100%.
In a perfect world they would trust each other and work from a place of collaboration and mutual gain. But it’s not a perfect world.
In this world, they need a marriage counselor – an independent third party who understands the needs of both sides but is partial to neither: a champion of mutual success.
Where does such a champion exist?
In the data. Let the data be your truth. No ego, no right, no wrong – just facts.
How Do We Get There?
Ready to take the first step?
It starts when someone takes the initiative to understand the leading indicators that contribute to the end results.
Find every data point, those that are within your control or beyond it, that can positively or negatively affect the outcome. Collect information on every factor and develop baselines.
As soon as a business can understand what factors contribute to results, they will take a quantum leap toward future proofing. All decisions – especially marketing ones – become incredibly clear. It is no longer about guesswork. It is about strategic testing and optimizing for success.
Next we are going to discuss in more detail, the data points you need to be tracking. Stay tuned…