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If one more person tells me they took a marketing class in college…I may spontaneously combust!
With seemingly everyone in the world claiming to be “the expert,” the purchasing market is confused. This confusion extends to business owners and sales teams that refuse to permit an expert’s vision and creativity to craft their brands for increased brand recognition and sales. Marketing is inherently fun, and everyone readily provides input, no matter their company role, typically leading to a confusing messaging strategy that sputters from the outset.
Malcolm Gladwell posits the 10,000-hour rule in his book Outliers, which states that individuals’ efforts applied to real-world situations in their chosen fields greater than 10,000 hours validates them as an “expert.” With thirty years of practical marketing experience (and a communications degree), I have helped grow brands and sales across the world. My forty-hour, eight-hour-per-day workweek translates to 2,080 hours per year. Over thirty years, the result is 62,400 hours. By Gladwell’s standard, that’s “expert times six.”
As a marketing expert, I have experienced tremendous successes and a few failures. The minority failure category is typically due to a company not investing properly in marketing (not enough budget), input from too many people (messaging is unfocused and confusing to the audience), or lack of chemistry between myself and client company stakeholders. To be effective, the experts need to be trusted with the larger marketing vision and execution. When people trust my guidance and expertise, the success odds swing heavily in their favor.
Marketing-forward companies that want tangible sales growth need to provide the expert as much information as possible about their company, ideal customer profile, competition, and differences from the competition. They then need to trust the industrial marketing expert to apply an objective vision to a comprehensive strategy to grow the company. This road map for company growth should then be approved by leadership and adopted by the sales staff.
Too often, I see impatient salespeople butt in and create their own version of sales collateral that distracts from the company’s branding goals. Somehow, a marketing class in college or time spent on Facebook qualifies them (in their minds) to initiate renegade campaigns.
Corporate lawyers and CPAs rarely experience this phenomenon because legal documents and corporate tax returns are rarely second-guessed. However, ad campaigns are routinely destroyed by overzealous owners and salespeople taking a clear message and muddling it. The role of corporate approval should be focused more on ensuring accurate and consistent messaging, not alternative directions.
The best policy is to provide ample information up front to your marketing expert, trust his or her expertise, and commit to a long-term marketing strategy to achieve measurable company growth.
For more information regarding business to business marketing for manufacturers, visit IndustrialMarketingExperts.com.
Written by Woody Stoudemire