It seems fitting this time of year to reflect upon the things that we are most thankful for, so I thought I would pen (type) a few of my own. Here are three client behaviors my team and I are most thankful for.
Thinking of Marketing as an Investment Versus a Cost
We always find it a tad bit perplexing when clients, who want to aggressively grow their business, tell us that they view marketing as an operational expense. They never seem to get the irony.
To us, thinking of marketing as an expense creates a dimensional business vortex capable of ripping apart the very fabric of the Universe’s space-time continuum. Well, maybe not, but we do see a lot of irony in this line of thinking. Here’s why—if marketing is thought of an expense, and clients are always looking to reduce/eliminate expenses, doesn’t it become counterintuitive to try to grow a business by doing less to promote it?
Companies that are successfully in building brand awareness, driving more leads and securing new business as a result of their marketing efforts all share a common philosophy—they view marketing as an investment, not an expense. Why? Because, unlike expenses, we are always looking to maximize our investments, treating them with optimism and patience while properly supporting them with the necessary means and opportunities to yield the results we seek.
So, this year I would like to thank all of our great clients who allowed us to not only be a part of the investment in their company’s future, but also for saving the Universe from certain disaster.
Developing and Adhering to the Strategic Marketing Plan
Ready! Shoot! Aim! It’s a marketing philosophy many companies embrace. They read about a new marketing strategy or tactic and then drop everything else they were doing to implement it. In their wake, they leave dozens of partially executed marketing initiatives. Initiatives that just a few weeks prior were seen as the Holy Grail of marketing inventiveness.
By year-end the strategic marketing plan, which was carefully crafted just 12 months ago around very specific ROI-driven goals and objectives, is now just sitting in a binder on a shelf in someone’s office. Marketing plans should be fluid; adjustments certainly need to be made to account for the unforeseen. However, those who don’t follow a roadmap toward achieving stated objectives will find themselves frantically searching for some kind of ROI story to present to the CEO at year-end. Yikes.
Being Treated as a Business Partner versus a Vendor
I always get uncomfortable when someone refers to me or my firm as a vendor. Nobody strives to be a vendor. We strive to be, or at least should strive to be, a business partner. The guy you buy a hotdog from on the corner of 5th and Main is a vendor. The fact that he happens to have both ketchup and mustard packets is nice, but hardly qualifies him as a business partner.
To be considered a business partner, you have to earn it, but the best and smartest companies offer their business advisors that opportunity by giving them a seat at the table on day one. They also encourage their outside consultants to challenge them and are willing to objectively listen and consider their insights before making a decision. In short, they treat and recognize them as a respected member of their team, thus turning a “vendor” into a fierce advocate and loyal strategic ally for their business. And who doesn’t want one of those?
If you’d like to learn more about Skoda Minotti Strategic Marketing’s services, feel free to send us a message or give us a call at 440-449-6800.