Plumbers and roofers are both required during the construction of a home, neither use the same materials or skills to complete the job. Assuming all marketing roles can be handled expertly by one person will leave you underwhelmed–and sometimes downright disappointed–with the results.


The sheer idea of marketing often times conjures up visions of being taken advantage of, trickery, a lack of results, and an unknown use of the dollars you’ve worked so hard to have.

When I bring this subject up with people, I hear horror stories that start with, “Let me tell you how I got burned.” Or, “They took my entire advertising budget and dumped into Pinterest…no results, and no more advertising budget.

If you have a marketing person on staff, they just aren’t the right fit and don’t seem to be able to handle their responsibilities (campaign planning, website design, copywriting, managing social media, among other things) at the level of quality you’re looking for. And the story becomes, “Our marketing would be great if we could just find the right employee.

There is no doubt in my mind that these stories are true and what’s worse, they’re all too common. Marketing isn’t rocket science so why does it make you feel duped, where’s your right person?

The difference between “who” and “what”.

In marketing, as with most things, be leery of hiring one person to deliver the moon. The plumber you hire isn’t the same person you hire to roof your home. At your neighborhood market, the butcher isn’t the same person who bakes the cakes. So, why would your marketing manager be your graphic designer, your website developer handle your tradeshow advertising, or your signage vendor have a say in your social media?

Plumbers and roofers are both required during the construction of a home, neither use the same materials or skills to complete the job. Assuming all marketing roles can be handled expertly by one person will leave you underwhelmed–and sometimes downright disappointed–with the results. And, to be fair to your graphic artist, it’s unrealistic to expect them to develop your marketing strategy…those two roles function on opposite sides of the brain.

Define the what, this will tell who your key players need to be.

There’s a reason marketing and adverting agencies charge what they do. They have experts in every department because of their various client needs. As a result, they are able to develop and launch top-notch marketing campaigns that go viral, create social buzz and ultimately increase revenue. Depending on the size of the agency, the roles may look something like this, with overlap in areas that are closely related.

Don’t panic. It’s unlikely you’ll need even a fraction of these people.

The what depends on the size of your marketing project(s).

On the left side of this diagram, are the roles in marketing that typically do not include creative development. This is the “account” side of things as it’s called in the industry, and are the services offered by Aldea. This is where marketing strategies, research, planning, budgeting and project management happen. Depending on your marketing needs, it is possible for all of these to be handled by one person. This person is like the general manager when building a home, and gives your plumber and roofer the information needed to complete their jobs. Other comparisons could be the role of a conductor or quarterback. The same structure applies to marketing.

Rely on the “account” side to help you build your marketing foundation and then, create a strategy or plan. This plan will define the size of your needs, revealing the what and the who.

Once you have a game plan, define the right and cohesive message to put in front of your audience. It’s highly possible one person can fill the creative strategist, brand strategist, content strategist and copywriter roles–this is the person who comes up with the creative messaging plan (words and visual recommendations) that will be the best solution for supporting the goals you’ve just defined in your marketing foundation and strategy. (See the red outlined bubbles on the chart.)

If your plan includes a campaign with several different types of advertising that happen all at once–digital ads, social media, print, radio, website updates, videos–and spans over a period of time, the needed creative skills now start to be defined. And, your marketing manager may begin to where the hat of a project manager.

Looking at the advertising list–digital ads, social media, print, radio, website updates, videos–and using the creative strategy, a digital creative person can help with website updates that support your campaign and develop your digital online ads. Some graphic designers do print design as well as online ads and website updates (see green outlined bubbles on the chart). Audio or video needs are provided separately by experts in those specific areas. So, if you’re creating a video or a radio ad, it’s time to bring in someone other than a graphic or digital creative person.

Spend some time up front to define your marketing needs by writing them down. Make a plan before spending money on advertising or hiring the wrong fit, whether that be a consultant or an employee. By doing this, the unnecessary roles will self-eliminate. What remains will allow you to streamline your marketing efforts and people for a better return.

 

More information on marketing planning and best practices: