Wow…would you look at that…here we are in 2013 and this my first post…
The previous year was quite the roller coaster of ups and downs yet in the end the positives certainly have outweighed the negatives. And in the process I’ve learned a lot more on how to deal with the wrenches life throws at me.
That being said…I am a marketing professional.
The reality of life in marketing is accepting the BS that comes along with it. It’s everywhere – around every corner – from all sides of life. Sometimes I wake up and question if there in fact are any honest people left in this vicious world we call home.
Now before you go off thinking what a hypocrite I am, stop for a second and think about it this way.
Marketing professionals have the duty to promote whatever product, service or brand the client requires. This is done by whatever means possible and DOES include embellishing the otherwise mediocre positive elements in order to make them appear ever so critical and desirable that the punters absolutely MUST HAVE whatever it is your selling. That’s my job!
Your job – as the client – is to provide me with accurate information so that I may then determine for myself what is useful and productive to our overall goal of selling more product/service. So it’s worth noting that BS’ing your potential marketing officer is not such a wise thing to do given it’s his/her job to design an effective marketing campaign based on the research material provided by the client themselves.
When I attend any meeting with a potential client I always begin with reminding them to leave the embellishing up to me – 100% transparency is always my way of approaching any working relationship. Then there’s no surprises or unrealistic expectations. And trust me…I’ve seen them all.
A couple good examples I’ve come across in my time are…
1.) Real estate developer (alias Jimbo) calls me up to meet over coffee. Upon arrival and initial introductions out of the way, I lay out the ol’ leave the embellishing up to me and that this meeting was to be 100% transparent so we know where we stand. “Understood”, says Jimbo.
He then begins by telling me that he’s closing 7-12 lot/home sales a month and that he can’t stop the phone from ringing. Naturally I again reminded him (1 of 4 times) that he needs to be honest with me if we’re to have any chance of working together. He again stood his ground said it’s 100% accurate. Needless to say my Spidey senses were tingling so I said…”if that’s the case – which I doubt it is – why did you call me for coffee?”
Evidently the fourth time of calling this guy out was enough for him and we politely parted ways.
You see…I love math – it doesn’t lie – and it will expose the truth faster than you can imagine. You see simple mathematics take over when someone tells me that their development of 150 lots is selling out at a rate of 7-12/mth. Meanwhile sales began in 2010 and here we are 36 months later and you’re looking to hire a lead procurement specialist (IE: inbound marketer). If those numbers were accurate then the project should’ve sold out in a record-breaking 21 months on the low-end of the 7-12 per month rate claimed. Hmmm…
2. Real estate agent and home builder (alias Iceberg) – calls me up and says, “I’m looking for the best and you’re suppose to be him.” Flattery almost ALWAYS works…hahaha…just kidding.
Iceberg tells me his current Costa Rica SEO and inbound marketing team(s) are disappointing him and that they are currently ONLY getting him 300 fresh leads a month. DING DING DING…logical math again…30 days in a month divided in to 300 is a cool 10 leads a day! Naturally I called BS on that number and when he tried to get me to commit to surpassing that number…I of course replied…”we need to be honest here – you’re not doing those number otherwise you wouldn’t be talking to me right now.”
Actually I’ve come quite accustom to BS’ers and how to deal with them when they repeatedly continue to ignore my ground rules of being 100% transparent. So my response was…”well I’ll tell you what, I will surpass the efforts of your previous people.”
In the end I wrote some of the most killer ad-copy ever (for $150-200k price point) and followed that up with a lead procurement funnel that produced 2 solid qualified leads per day for 2 months straight (before Iceberg breached contract) of which NONE were ever followed up on. Talk about dropping the ball.
To this day Iceberg continues in his perpetual chaotic state of operation while he spins his wheels trying to get ahead.
I could go on and on with these stories – especially with my own colleagues – but I’m sure you get the point. The lesson to be learned here is that whenever you reach out to an inbound marketing professional or SEO agent/agency, you’re doing so because there’s room for improvement. Nothing wrong with that considering every business within every industry requires marketing to succeed. So next time you’re considering employing the help of a marketing professional, remember to be honest and upfront because starting off on the right foundation is critical to the success of your marketing campaign moving forward. Not to mention that if you expect your potential marketing officer to be honest with you then the least you can offer is the same.
PS: and while you’re at it…don’t forget to accept what you can and can’t do – we all have our limitations and specialize in our own areas. Recognizing when it’s best to leave certain elements of your business to the professionals it vital in today’s dog eat dog business environment.