If you're planning to, or have recently hired, a marketing guru to help grow your business and you don't feel like the strategy presented is somewhat risky for you and your business -- or at least a departure from the traditional -- fire them. (If you're not interested in getting your money's worth, or taking your business to the next level, carry on.)
Some marketers tailor their work to the myopic notions and personal preferences of their clients. "We should advertise in print and ads should be blue." (However, you could write that plan yourself and save a lot of money.) Great marketers get noticed by and create customers for, their clients. The latter is infinitely more difficult. Here's why:
- Great marketers take risks. And they've done it before, many times. They can calculate the appropriate risk level for your organization without going too far to spoil the ROI. A fine line indeed, but that's partly why you hired them. This kind of work is always worth talking about.
- Great marketers have the courage to be wrong. Chances are, your industry has been selling itself the same way since you've been in it. Sooner or later, someone is going to take what's always been done, turn it on its head, and begin anew. If you want to win, that should be you. If you're too scared to be wrong, you'll never know. The great marketer has been there so ask her how she is going to help you rewrite your industry.
- Great marketers know it's not about asking 'will everybody like this?' or about engaging in a discussion as to whether or not your VPs or Board approve of the new logo colour, but about knowing that with remarkable communication and smart risks, the target market will notice it...and buy it...and spread it.
Most organizations believe that the smart (read: safe) strategy is doing it the way we've always done it because that's the way we've always done it. A great marketer knows change, creativity and risk are critical.
Bottom line: Easy and safe don't cut it anymore.
So, are you ready for some risky business??