Tag Archives: marketing firms

What You’re Paying For with BIG Marketing

marketing firms

 

Quite some time ago I had what I thought would be the great privilege to work with a huge marketing firm.  I was very excited about the project as I was going to get the opportunity to see how one of the “world’s leading global public relations firms” handles marketing, social media and the like.

I was thrilled to have such a great opportunity to look inside such a huge marketing juggernaut and to learn from them whatever there was to be learned.  But more importantly, I was extremely excited about a specific project they were suggesting for the tiny nonprofit I was working with at the time as a consultant.

Learning from the “Gurus”?

You see, just prior to this consulting gig, I worked with TechSoup Global and helped to run their Digital Storytelling Challenge.  We had a very small team of folks to run this international competition.  While we had, in my opinion, knocked it out of the park, like any other huge project done by a small group of people with a ton of other projects going on at the same time, there was certainly room for improvement.

This huge international marketing firm was suggesting something fairly similar to the digital storytelling event we had just completed at TechSoup.  It would be easier to run as it only involved photography rather than both a video and photography component as we had done at TechSoup.  Unlike the TechSoup Challenge, it was only going to be open to folks in the US rather than all over the globe, cutting out a ton of complexity.

And of course, with the HUGE global presence of a marketing firm with over 70 offices worldwide who contests all the time, marketing for some of the biggest companies in the world, watching them run something like this should be amazingly educational.  Right?

Learning How

As I sat in on the meeting a ton of the logistics about the contest didn’t seem to come up so I asked about them.  There didn’t seem to be much thought or knowledge about how these basics would work.  These things hadn’t even been considered.  I should add that I wasn’t talking to the high level idea people.  No, these were the people who would make this project happen for us.

Finally I asked the big question, the one we had struggled with at Tech Soup and the one that provides for a ton of really tricky concern as, if you do it wrong, you can get into a TON of hot water… RULES.

You see each state has a ton of different rules about what is allowed when it comes to contests.  Use the word raffle in some states and you’ll be in serious trouble… cause now you’re gambling.  Aka no one can pay to enter your contest and your contest has to be a contest of skill, not chance.

And this is where my mind was blown.  It wasn’t that they didn’t know off-hand about how rules for each state would be handled.  No, that wasn’t the shocker.

They Didn’t Even Know…

They didn’t know that there was even a concern about rules regarding contests.  They didn’t even know that there were rules that existed for contests.  They didn’t know this would be an issue or something to even consider.

 

I’m not sure if I did a decent job of hiding my shock at this or not.  I doubt it.

 

These people are paid BIG BUCKS… in this case more than $350 for a blog post with a few words and some pictures (as an example) and they didn’t even know that contests have rules?  I can’t recall how much they were charging for the contest portion of the marketing contract.  It was a lot.

That may not seem like a huge problem but if they don’t know that there are rules around this sort of thing what other hot water might they get our tiny nonprofit into?  What other thing might I need to watch for?  

Is it possible that we could get into serious legal issues because they don’t even know what they don’t know?


And with the HUGE cost of what we were paying for, shouldn’t we be able to expect they would have our back legally?  Shouldn’t that kind of thing be a given from a major global marketing firm?

The answer is no.  You shouldn’t expect that from a major marketing firm apparently.  You shouldn’t expect that from the majority of marketers you work with.

 

The take-away?

So find someone who knows better.  Find someone who thinks “is there something we need to look into here legally before we do this thing?”

 

Just because you pay through the nose doesn’t mean you’re getting what you pay for.

 

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Who is doing your social?

Do You know--

Who is doing your social?  Are you sure you know?

Usually when people hire a marketing firm they believe they’re getting a professional marketer to do their marketing.  But is that really the case?

Just recently I came across this post on Facebook and it absolutely blew my mind.  And then I realized I really shouldn’t be too surprised.  You see, it’s not that I don’t know who is offering up a lot of the social media consulting.  I do.

But do you?

WHAT

 

Notice, nothing about actually selling product.  Almost anyone can “capture leads” but can they actually SELL?  Isn’t that what you’re paying them to do?

Do yourself a favor, take a look at job postings for social media jobs.  Look specifically for job postings for agencies looking to hire people.  And since most of you are too busy to do that I’ll tell you what you’ll (often) find.

Who is doing social…

First, you’ll find people hiring for agency jobs often looking for people with little to no true marketing experience required other than experience why USE social media.  And often these jobs pay minimum wage if they pay at all.  Sometimes they’re hiring interns and interns only and yet the job makes it pretty clear they aren’t offering much in the way of training as they want this new hire to be competent at most of the job tasks without any supervision.

Here’s the thing folks, using social media and selling on social media is NOT the same thing.  Just because someone has a lot of friends on social doesn’t mean they know anything at all about how to actually get people to your event or sell your product.  Indeed, having worked with MANY newbie social media managers, it’s often true these folks know little to nothing about how to actually sell via social (though they usually assume they do).  Being a popular kid doesn’t actually sell product.  Certainly not unless you’re a celebrity and sometimes not even then.

The most important thing for you to consider is that a number of these marketing companies are hiring people YOU wouldn’t hire if you were hiring your own marketing person to do marketing in-house, certainly not for the price you’re paying them for their services.

And yet many people hire marketing companies assuming they are getting experienced marketing professionals.

For that matter many people are hiring the consultants like those being trained above assuming they are hiring marketing professionals.  They don’t assume they’re hiring someone who has a few months (if that) of marketing training under their belt, most of which focused on how to sell their business to you and not how to sell your business and its products or services!

A short training program isn’t going to make you competent at selling via social.  What it might make you able to do is convince people that you’re a “social media rockstar”.

So how do you hire someone to sell your business?

The same way you hire for any position.  Results.

If you’re hiring for a salesperson you want someone who has a proven track record of selling.  So hire a social media person who has a proven track record of selling.  Don’t focus on click-through rates.  Look for someone who has built pages, grown followings, someone who can get people in the door if you have a brick and mortar shop, and someone who has SOLD PRODUCT.

If they can’t prove that they can do this for you through their past efforts, find someone who can.