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  • Writer's pictureLyanne Campbell

4 keys YOU can use now. Unlock the value of marketing.

infographic of 4 keys you can use now

Have you ever felt stuck, like no one ‘gets’ what you do as a marketer? It’s a hard place to be, and when you are stuck, it can be hard to articulate the value marketing can bring to the organization.

 

I’ll give you 4 keys you can use to help unlock the value of marketing when speaking with your leadership and co-workers:

1.       The purpose behind the tactics

2.       The value of time

3.       Let’s all work the same garden

4.       Please, set that red pen down and back away



 

As I reflect on the past year, I am drawn time and again to a conversation I had with an individual in charge of marketing for a business. When I asked how their strategies are linked to their corporate goals, I received this response: “Marketing is a maintenance function. We put up what we are told and don’t do much else with it.”

 

This has been bouncing between my ears, and each time, I have to pull up my shocked jaw. This was not a mom-and-pop small business. This was a large organization. Sadly, this type of response was only one of many very similar responses received as I have reached out and had conversations with organizations across the nation over the last 2 years.

 

So why is that?

 

I believe that it is because people may not understand the powerful gift they have, and all they need is the keys to unlock it.

 

Here are 4 keys to help YOU as a marketer unlock the value of marketing at YOUR organization.

 

infographic point 1 the purpose behind the tactics

Key number 1: The purpose behind the tactics

Have you ever been tasked to add something to your website, create a social media post, place an ad, or attend an event? And it seems to have come right out of the blue?

 

These are very common requests that come to marketing. As a leader in marketing, it’s important to understand the why behind the requests so that you can evaluate the value of the time, resources and placement needed to invest. You need to understand how it relates back to the corporate priorities for the year, and if you can’t see it and the individual asking can’t articulate it, then is it worth doing?

 

Here are 8 questions to ask and answer before proceeding.

 

  1. Why do we need to be there/do that?

  2. What corporate goal will it meet and align with?

  3. Is that where our audience is?

  4. What will be the benefit (short/long term) of us being there/doing that?

  5. What are the resources required to effectively make this work?

  6. What can we give up, or pivot from, in order to make room for this?

  7. Aside from initial costs, what are the ongoing costs to maintain and be effective? (let’s not forget human resource time)

  8. Will this set a precedent for the future?

 

Remember, marketing is NOT just tactics. Those are very often what people see - it’s the end result. They may then think “that’s what marketing is all about”. When tactics are planned, they need to have their own goals PLUS a direct alignment with the corporate priorities, goals, and values.

 

infographic point 2 the value of time

Key number 2: The value of time

As a marketer, can you count on one hand how many times you’ve been asked to create, plan, or do something and the deadline has a short timeframe? How did you do? For me, I don’t have enough fingers on 2 hands to count the number of instances this has happened.

If their emergency becomes your emergency, that means the work you are doing gets set aside. In some cases, it truly is an emergency, but in many cases it’s lack of communication and or planning.

 

So how do you communicate why time is important to your leadership and co-workers who make requests to marketing?

 

  1. First, review key number 1 and answer those questions.

  2. Explain that marketing does so much more than only the creative elements (yes, those are important, but we can deliver more than that).

  3. When marketing is included early, it allows time to plan and strategize. People who are not in the marketing field may not have the depth of knowledge in the marketplace, members/customers behaviours and habits, etc. that a marketer would.

  4. Create and distribute a timeframe checklist to help set expectations within your organization. You could include “<______ type of request> needs to be placed <______ days/weeks/months> in advance”.

 

I’m going to walk you through a scenario to help paint this picture. The viewpoint in this story is from a NON-marketing department leader.

 

Let’s say you are planning to host a special event within your department for your customers/members. You and your team have been meeting over the past 3 months to plan it all out – the venue, guest speaker, even the food. You’ve got it all covered, now you just need marketing to do up something pretty to mail or email to your members, and you need it within the next week or 2.

 

This is where you are short-changing the effectiveness of your event.

 

Had you included marketing at the beginning - 3 months earlier when you first started to talk about this - you may have learned about a target audience you hadn’t considered, different approaches to reaching them, positioning that would resonate, certain words that make sense to them, and ways for your teams to help engage customers/members in conversation, to name a few. This is a lot more than a pretty invitation, isn’t it? And the result – possibly thousands of dollars in new money because you’ve exposed and engaged your audience in a way you may not have considered.

 

By the way, that scenario was a true story example from my experience.

 

infographic point 3 Let's all work the same garden

Key number 3: Let’s all work the same garden

Imagine that you are working in a garden and your job is to look after your row. Your row looks amazing – it’s flourishing and there isn’t a weed in sight. You are so proud of your row that you’ve been hyper-focused on. But when at last you look up, you see that the garden is being eaten up by insects from the outside in and the whole garden is in jeopardy.

 

This is what can happen when we don’t work together – your garden can get overtaken, and it’ll be too late to do anything about it.

 

You might be thinking – great analogy, we know this, but what does this have to do with marketing? Ideally, the marketing initiatives have a direct link to the corporate goals – also known as the garden. And since you are all working toward success of the organization, your goals (or your row in this analogy) are important and impactful to the marketing goals as well.

 

How can marketers lead and make a difference in the garden?

  1. Request to join a team meeting from different departments. This will give you a better idea of what they are working on and challenges they are facing. It will also give you opportunity to share how marketing could help.

  2. Ask for the various department’s annual goals. This is more than only the financial numbers. This includes any events they want to host, or those they want their team to take part in. It could be the number of referrals they are striving for. It could be having stronger conversations with members/customers. Whatever it is, encourage them to share. You can then determine how and if there are ways marketing could help.

  3. Request an invitation right at the start when you know that planning of an event or tactic is happening. See key number 2 - they may not consider the member impacts like you can.

  4. Show them how they can leverage the marketing collateral that is made available. It’s Ok to remind them that there is a strategic reason plus costs to place an ad, go on the radio, or build that website landing page. Those are there to help teams have conversations with members/customers. Let’s help them to USE it!

  5. Establish a recurring monthly or bi-monthly meetings with team leaders to share what is happening within each department.

 

infographic point 4 Please, set that red pen down and back away

Key number 4: Please, set that red pen down and back away

It’s been a tough year (or couple of years) for a lot of organizations. And with that, it may seem that easiest thing to cut is marketing. <insert crocodile tears sad face here>

 

How do you communicate why to NOT drastically annihilate the marketing budget to the holder of the coin purse? You can share these points:

 

When times are tough, this is actually when you need to double down on marketing efforts. When everyone else is making like a recluse spider, that’s the time you need to burst free and be the one in the hearts and minds of your audience.

  • If marketing budget gets drastically cut, an opportunity risk is created. That is, you are creating an unfavourable outcome for your organization because when you want to be considered for a product or service, and the individual doesn’t have you front of mind, they will choose another.

  • If you think this only pertains to new members/customers, you are wrong. This 100% applies to your existing members/customers as well. We all know that so many businesses are vying for your members dollars. And if you go dark and they don’t, who do you think will be first in the person’s mind?

  • Budget cuts can limit the resources and capabilities of the marketing team, making it difficult to effectively drive business growth. And business growth is what we need.

 

There are so many keys on the keyring, and these are the four I chose today. If this helped you, I’m so glad for that. If you’re stuck, let’s chat.

 

Keep on being amazing,

 

Lyanne


 
image of Lyanne Campbell, founder and consultant of blue dragonfly Marketing Strategies Ltd

With a drive to accomplish high-quality results, the marketing work Lyanne has spear-headed in business has been recognized and awarded nationally on several occasions. In addition to this, she proudly holds the Chartered Marketer designation through the Canadian Marketing Association.

 

After serving 28 years in corporate finance, she emboldened into new territory by striking up a business marketing consulting practice that exists to lighten the load of marketing leaders. Having been a leader in marketing, she appreciates the complexities of the job and the many demands that come with it.

 

Whether you are interested in learning more about how blue dragonfly can help your business, are interested in joining or learning more about Mastermind groups, would like to chat about a speaking engagement, or just want to meet with Lyanne, this is a great way to get started. Connect today.

 

Cheers to the beginning of a great relationship.


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1 Comment


j67paul
Mar 08

Great questions and resources to help remove those barriers and in bringing everyone to an enhanced level of understanding. Well done.

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