Oil is technology. It lubricates, keeps the engine running.
Water is sales. It is the sustainable life force for all organizations.
Marketing is alcohol. It is desired by businesses but seen as a luxury, not a necessity. It is the first thing cut in a recession. This seems unfair, especially based on the data.
Those that take the plunge are not choosing the right strategy. “Should I go with the reliable IPA, or should I step it up a notch and take a chance on the mid-shelf liquors?” Unfortunately, most people can’t determine what to pitch and what to implement and strategically adjust based on the data.
Too often, you hear this vague statement: “50% of my marketing doesn’t work, I just don’t know which 50%.” I could go on a rant about the absolute necessity for analytics, and more importantly, a team who understands what to do with them, but I’ll save that for another time.
As marketing strategists, we need to show businesses why they need to splurge on top-shelf alcohol. This is a fundamental two-fold process:
Marketers need to prove their worth.
Businesses need to use clear facts to make better long-term investments.
Perhaps, we aren’t holding marketers to a high enough standard. There is no bar exam or required degree. Don’t get me wrong, quality experience can easily put a degree to shame.
Literally, anyone can start a marketing agency. There is no bar exam in marketing. You need only a MacBook Pro, a clever business card to prove that you’re creative, and a website.
In full disclosure, I know this because I did it. I launched Wilderness Agency in one week. There is zero barrier to entry. You don’t need to build a building, take out a loan, hire staff, purchase equipment, create a board of directors, et cetera.
You can literally go from school teacher to Founder and Creative Director through self-appointment. It’s not a joke. I’ve seen this happen twice in my market. I’ve seen a large agency led by a man whose academic background was a college degree in French.
So what do we rely on to determine the qualifications of a marketing agency? Case studies.
Clients need proof of expertise. Basically, “We did this project with this company that is kind of like yours, and we will do it for you in a way that is a little different, and you’ll probably be okay with it.”
The agencies that last are not the ones with the best degrees, the most certifications (most of which mean little if you cannot implement their teachings), or the aesthetically appealing offices. The agencies that last are the ones prepared to get dirty to achieve the mission.
And no, we don’t mean play dirty. We mean those agencies who push through the late nights to deliver a badass website; those who comb through resources to gain an upper edge; those who want to genuinely grow businesses and make communities better through their work.
For aspiring marketers, you don’t need a degree. You need fire. For businesses, find an agency that will not stop grasping for tinder and sticks to make the flame grow brighter, higher, and longer.
Marketing should be the fuel that lights the fire. It lights the fire beneath every aspect of an organization. Without it, a business may slowly burn, barely surviving the wind and rain battering it.
With it, the flames grow stronger, higher, and ready to overtake anything in its path.
It is the fuel for growth.
Reach For the Top-Shelf Goods
For middle-market players with $3 to $30 million in revenue, it is often unrealistic to hire a team of 10 people to manage all of the components to handle PR, website enhancements, video, digital advertising, social media, and have it integrated into sales efforts.
We’ve built a customized team of specialists in those verticals. Let’s set up a meeting.