Most companies, especially small firms with less than 20 employees, can’t afford to hire a full time marketing director. Often times they are relegated to using agencies, independents, or they simply manage their own marketing.
I can’t tell you how many businesses I have worked with in the past with a president or CEO who knows his customer, knows what he or she is thinking, and how to sell them products and services without question. “So why do we need a marketing director?”
Thus, I always find it interesting when I come in for market research or other consulting purposes and find that the core customer or target market hasn’t changed.
These businesses already find themselves in a slump and immediately want to believe that this is as a result of the economic conditions, changing markets, or new competition…
After a bit of digging I often determine that there is much more to it than what have become common excuses for the slowdowns. Do any of these sound familiar…or for that matter…possible?
- Low Morale
- No recognition
- No internal brand pride/strength
- Clock punching
- Negative comments
- Ineffective meetings
- Slow, or no-close contract periods
Companies can experience a slow period, or virtual failure, as a result of the company image suffering…especially internally.
So what in heaven’s name does this have to do with a ‘marketing director’, you ask?
A marketing director is more than just the guy who works with an agency or the gal who buys space in the newspaper. The marketing director IS the company image. If this person doesn’t exist, or the person filling the job is not as excited as a high school cheerleader about your company brand or image…then you have a problem.
“Buy-In” is a very important word/phrase. It doesn’t mean you have to sell your soul to the devil and wear nothing but t-shirts from your companies HR conference you attended last year. What it does mean is that you should like what you do and who you are doing it for.
Often what is missing from small to medium sized companies is that sense of self-worth. “What are we doing for our customers, and does it really even matter?”
Strange is at may seem, the responsibility for this company self image is just as much the responsibility of the marketing director as the image that is presented to your customers.
If the people who have to hit the street everyday aren’t excited about their product or what they can do for their customers now or in the very near future…then what is the point?
This does not have to be the way things are. You can change the environment of your company, and as a result you can see your business grow. Go hire a cheerleader!