Does a marketing person have all the marketing answers?

It is an interesting question, and very relevant to me. I get business owners phoning me expecting answers! What must they do to launch a new idea? Raise awareness? Gain new customers? Generate leads, and ultimately sell more stuff?

Do I have those answers? Often not.

Marketing is like medicine, or engineering. Saying you are a marketer is like saying you are a doctor or engineer. What type of doctor? What type of engineer?

The marketing world has become specialised and like all industries, it is filled with experts who charge significant fees for what they do. I recently heard of a website costing R700 000, a graphic design job – a single job – costing R500 000 and a social media campaign for R70 000 a month. You don’t pay that kind of money to amateurs.

Do I, the marketing consultant, know about social media like someone who does it for R70 000 a month? No.

So where does this leave the entrepreneur desperate for answers and a limited budget?
Clearly the marketing consultant is not a true one-stop shop. Clearly employing a bunch of functional experts and best of breed solutions are unaffordable.

The answer lies in the approach, not the answers. It is about focusing less on tactical marketing details and more on running small, yet fundamental marketing experiments that can be rapidly scaled as they show potential. It is about an approach that relies on doing the fundamentals right and moving fast, in small increments.

This is the value a good marketing consultant should offer the entrepreneur. It is not about having the specific answers for the particular industry but an appreciation for the unique realities of each business and matching those with good marketing practice. The rest will look after itself.

Should you be on Twitter or not? Is your website good or bad? Should your logo stay or go? I don’t know. Let’s find out – together, and quickly.