Marketing professionals like us constantly forget to do the exact things we tell our clients to do .
I spend much of my time speaking in the theoretical (and occasionally, when someone doesn't get it, the rhetorical). We talk a lot to clients about how things should be, what they need to do, what the future looks like for their business if they follow our advice and how it should all play out. While I am experienced in online advertising, and started doing it before people even knew what online advertising was, a lot has changed since I started in this industry 15 (OMG 15!) years ago. Back in 2000, when I was helping to build what is today a billion dollar advertising website, we would call our prospects to talk about advertising online and they would say things like, "The Internet is for the Devil." "That thing, the internet, is going to go away. I'm not spending any money there." It was a wildly exciting time.
While I could always speak theoretically to our current clients from my experience in building the company I mention above and the Distinctive Homes brand, those were different kinds of companies and the experience I garnered there in theory could be related to our clients, but it wasn't exactly apples to apples.
I felt like my explanations were more theoretical instead of taken from my own personal experiences with my own business at times. Then it dawned on me, my marketing company, Expose Yourself PR was very similar to the businesses we serviced, and we ourselves weren't doing the things we were telling our clients to do.
You see, I would tell clients, If you do this….this being a long line of marketing and advertising functions (which vary slightly from industry to industry depending on the target audience), over time you will not only build a brand but people will seek out your products and services. It won't be HARD anymore. You'll know where your customers are coming from and you'll have more!
In theory that's true of course but I wasn't practicing what I was preaching when it came to how I was operating my marketing company.
As a result of wanting to prove our theories using a business very similar to the kind of clients we deal with, a little over a year ago, I made a concerted effort to take my company on as one of our clients. If I'm suggesting specific marketing and PR functions, I should walk the walk, too. At the time, this was something that was hard to do because we didn't have the extra resources required to manage another account, but I made the decision that I needed to prove a theory.
It was, like I tell all of our clients, a slow start. We did what we tell everyone to do. I found it was like losing weight. You put in all of this effort and don't see results right away. But then, slowly, I noticed my pants were starting to loosen, um, I mean, I started to see people sharing our content online, and slowly but surely the phone started ringing. And Ringing. And Ringing. I've been on 15 new business appointments since the beginning of the year - ALL OF THEM found us online. I didn't know any of these companies beforehand.
As a marketing company, it's a great feather in your cap to be able to ask people who call, "Where did you find us?" and have them answer, "I found you online." or "I found you on Facebook." I always say, "That's great, our marketing must be working!"
The moral of the story is this: Before you hire a company to do your marketing, make sure they have a proven track record. Make sure they are experts in online and offline advertising. Make sure they know how to use Google Ad Words. Make sure they are a Facebook Super User and make sure they have the experience to get you to your goals. If you take the time to interview them thoroughly, you will ensure you're hiring the best marketing company around.