Friday, June 27, 2014

4 Things To Do Before Hiring A Marketing Consultant

  1. Be ready to listen. It is important your first phone call or meeting be a collaboration of your needs and goals, as well as how the marketing consultant's skills can meet your expectations. The consultant should have already done some research on your company as well as your competition. They should come to the meeting with ideas and discussion items.
  2. Have your goals written down. Your goals should be S.M.A.R.T. goals. And they should be written down, in advance of the meeting. Be open to changing them, or at least adjusting them, a bit during your meeting with the marketing consultant.
  3. Be willing to let them do their job. Like any professional, they should know what they are doing and don’t want to be micro-managed. If you have written down your goals, during your discussion with the marketing professional, there should be collaboration on a clear plan of action.
  4. Be ready to compensate them. You get what you pay for. If you hired a plumber or electrician you would be prepared to pay them for their services from the moment they stepped foot on your property. Marketing consultants expect the same thing. You should have had a phone call (or series of emails) before your actual meeting. During those conversations, fees should have already been discussed.
Got any more tips? I would love to hear them. Write them here or send me at tweet at @LisaLFlowers.

Friday, June 20, 2014

10 Things Every Marketer Should Know

1. Know where you are now. Stop what you’re doing right now and do an assessment of your current marketing activities. Seriously. WRITE IT DOWN. Be sure to include on- and off-line marketing, even organic marketing.

2. Know your goals. They should be SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. Your goals should be written down and reviewed often. And they should be given to every team member they affect.

3. Know the benefits of your product or service. You should be able to identify your customer’s needs and easily explain how your product or service solves them.

4. Know where you stand from the perspective of a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis is a summary of your company’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. (This one step could be a game changer for y our company is done correctly and honestly.)

5. Know your competition. You should be monitoring them. Set up Google alerts. Track what they are posting and sharing. Don’t forget to do a SWOT analysis on your competition.

6. Know your priorities. You can’t do everything all at once. Some things will just have to wait until you get the most critical and urgent items out of the way.

7. Know when you’re going to do all these things. As you’re doing the steps above, be sure to include deadlines. These dates should include when to start and finish the campaign or marketing effort.

8. Know your team. When you’re up to your elbows in all this stuff, it’s important to get another set of eyes to look over your work. There is no shame in asking for help and collaboration. If you don’t have a buddy to bounce ideas off of, get one. Also, if you hired the right team, they probably know more than you do, so ask them. And don’t forget the folks in the trenches, like customer service people.

9. Know your plan. And work your plan. Now, here’s the best part. If you do all those things I mentioned above you have basically put together a marketing or strategic plan. All you have to do now is plug in the budget numbers. Okay, one more thing. It’s not a “know” thing, but a “do” thing.

10. Commit to a monthly review. Being able to see even the smallest increments of success will keep you (and your team) motivated. Your findings will also allow you to adjust your campaigns to help meet your goals.

What do you do to keep focused? I would love to hear from you. Comment below or tweet it to me at @LisaLFlowers.