Admit it, you've hired marketing people or agencies and fired them with a nasty break-up. It's ok. There are 'marketing haters anonymous' meetings happening all over the world. Are there things you could have done differently? Absolutely. Here's why your marketing fails:
1 - You Hired The Wrong Person - Everyone is a 'marketer' these days. I'm sure there are 3 'marketers' arguing about Comic Sans Font, why content is king and the importance of social media at the top of Mount Everest. They'd also somehow update their LinkedIn profile with a long-post analysis from there too. The truth is, none of those people may have ever grown a business of any kind. They certainly have no academic or professional background in marketing or certifications to show for it. Usually, they are graphic designers, bloggers or people that have earned a living posting content on Facebook. Look, you are overreaching if you think a digital marketing specialist, graphic designer or social media guru alone is really going to grow your business. Those individuals are specialized in one or two areas (like graphic design or Tweeting), but don't have any sort of marketing background and haven't setup something like a process to get leads or opportunities for a business. Believe me, if they had they wouldn't need a job! You need to really dig deep for the right marketing person. Someone that has a history of growing businesses or setting up an inbound/content marketing process to get leads for a sales team to close on. This person is worth paying good money for. Designers, SEO specialists and copywriters can all come after and are usually a lot cheaper. After all, the architect is what you need...not the contractors, but you hired the wrong person for the wrong job. Stop expecting Aquaman to fight crimes happening in the Sahara.
2 - Incorrect Partnership - Suppose you have the right marketing people (or person) in house. Their value comes from industry knowledge and experience implementing marketing processes for other businesses. But if you task them with blogging, managing Google Ad campaigns, and updating Twitter accounts you're overpaying for their time. Partner with an agency that your in-house people can throw those sorts of activities at. They'll be the army your in-house marketing team needs to lead. Remember, marketing agencies can provide the activity cheaper, better and faster than you could if you did it in-house. If your agency costs you more than a team of full-time employees do each month then you've got the wrong partnership. Fire them and find one that is more in your price point.
3- No Direction - Give your marketing hires and agency partners a purpose when you hire them. Clearly tell them what will get them rewarded and what will get them fired. Use clear goals. Remember, you're investing in all of this content, promotion and marketing material for a reason (or at least you should be). Make sure the people responsible for its creation know its purpose and what the ultimate goal behind all the marketing material is. Also, depending on your business, marketing may be responsible for leads or opportunities instead of sales. If it's responsible for leads then you really need the metrics you evaluate on to be relative. Leads may be a by-product of website visits, special offers people sign up for, whitepaper downloads, ebooks and several other factors. The best executive teams get their marketing resources to focus on the 'process' of getting leads and mastering that. It takes time and an investment, but eventually it will pay off. You're not being realistic if you leave your marketing team in the middle of the ocean with a life-vest and expect them to make it to Hawaii. Give them the time and necessary resources to be successful. The key word being necessary because we all know how much marketing departments love to spend money.
The next time you're looking for a marketing change invest in the right marketing resource and agency partner. Then, give them a direction and purpose! Those targets will keep you happy...and away from those marketing haters anonymous meetings. Use this toolkit to help you with the proper job description and marketing agency contract to help rebuild your marketing department.