Home Forums Marketing mastery Working With Marketing Providers: Biggest Frustration?

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  • #1000103
    TheChangeStarter
    Member
    • Total posts: 12

    I’m curious, what’s your biggest frustration when it comes to working with marketing providers?

    I very often hear things like:

    • “It cost me thousands and I got nothing for my money”
    • “They took months to get it done and it wasn’t right”
    • “It didn’t work”
    • “I’ve found a provider who’s going to do the whole thing for me” followed a couple of months later by; “I’m paying them every month, but I’m not really sure what they are actually doing”.

    How could marketing providers do a better job for small businesses, do you think?

    #1222969
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Moderator
    • Total posts: 3,117

    Hi and welcome to Flying Solo.

    When I step into a fitting room to try on clothes, I get to look in the mirror to see if the clothes fit well, I get to feel the fabric and see how it falls off the shoulders. I can assess the quality of the fabric and have a good guess around how it will wash, how it will stand up over time.

    It is a sensory experience.

    Marketers could learn from this IMO – it is about stepping the prospect through a process in a way that makes them “feel” how the new service would serve them.

    telling your own story of how you built your business is a great way of doing that.

    Cheers

    #1222970
    TheChangeStarter
    Member
    • Total posts: 12
    Paul – FS Concierge, post: 269347, member: 78928 wrote:
    Hi and welcome to Flying Solo.

    When I step into a fitting room to try on clothes, I get to look in the mirror to see if the clothes fit well, I get to feel the fabric and see how it falls off the shoulders. I can assess the quality of the fabric and have a good guess around how it will wash, how it will stand up over time.

    It is a sensory experience.

    Marketers could learn from this IMO – it is about stepping the prospect through a process in a way that makes them “feel” how the new service would serve them.

    telling your own story of how you built your business is a great way of doing that.

    Cheers
    Thanks for your reply Paul – great example. I 100% agree that any business that is selling services needs to take the prospect on a journey and highlight the tangible outcomes they will receive from working with that business.

    From what you’ve said, it suggests to me that being ‘walked through the experience’ is NOT something you have experienced from marketers. Is that right? Have you had any stories of engaging a marketer who hasn’t done what you thought they were going to? I would be really curious to hear about that.

    Stevie :-)

    #1222971
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Moderator
    • Total posts: 3,117

    Hi Steve,

    I find by far most marketers try to sell “what they will do ie, the tasks they perform” whereas to give a prospect the sense of how the service will “feel” to the prospect, marketers would do better to instead, sell the outcome.

    I started to follow a lot of internet sensations, among them, Pat Flynn but is just an example of the process.

    His way of showing what the process looks like and then stepping through to the outcomes is transparent and evocative – it gives the viewer a sense of how it all works for him which is a perfect stepping stone for the viewer to imagine how that same process may work for them.

    It is this last bit that is key IMO.

    #1222972
    Wozza
    Member
    • Total posts: 16

    Hi @TheChangeStarter

    Welcome aboard…

    Coming from the point of one of those marketers I agree with you. We have won many clients as when they initially contacted us that was their exact point “I don’t know what the last mob were doing” or “I haven’t seen any results”. The important thing is to set client expectations from the start, as well as the tasks that you will be performing. We do this in our initial discovery call to get a feeling for the client & the goals and to see if we are a good fit for each other, as we don’t work with everyone.

    “Results” from client’s perspective may mean inquiries, getting the phone to ring or more sales – while the marketers may be focused on something else such as rankings.

    For us, we work together with clients to find out what their end goals are and what’s important to them and we work towards these goals together. For example, better rankings doesn’t always lead to more sales, etc if the website is horrible looking it will never convert. So we found it best to be transparent & honest with clients.

    We build a monthly project plan for clients so they can always see what has been done, what we are working on and what is planned for the coming month. This alleviates a lot of the “I don’t know what they did” and gives them the opportunity to ask questions about why for example we are doing that task and the outcome we expect for it.

    So yeah just like in marriage honesty and transparency is key…!!

    Cheers

    Brian

    #1222973
    Evo the marketing guy
    Member
    • Total posts: 58

    It is a fair comment and 100% accurate. I get most of my clients from picking up the pieces from the previous marketing consultant.

    Not a popular view – but most marketers don’t actually know how to grow a business. I mean, they will try lots of stuff. But really, you are paying for guess work.

    Before you work with any marketer please ask to see some proof of business growth. Not just tactics and activity.

    A recent example. A client paid $50,000 for a marketing proposal. The outcome. A fancy plan, lots of meetings and perhaps a marginal uplift in sales.

    This, in my book, should have been a 5k – 10k job, get some new customer growth – then use the new customer growth income to part fund future marketing activity.

    Also, post COVID-19 your marketing partners should be more comfortable with some risk/reward sharing. Skin in the game. It might be a % share of future revenue for a lower up front fee. Why should the business take on all the risk? The answer. They shouldn’t. Now is a great time to hire a marketer.

    Another tip for small businesses. Often the problem you think you have is sometimes not the real burning bridge. Example. One client recently came to me wanted to fire up ‘more advertising.’ Yep. That is easily done.

    But their win/loss rate on client quotes was 11%. Now, before we do any advertising, the burning bridge is to get that quote win rate up a lot higher. Target > 30%. Advertising – in this example – would have just made the problem worse.

    So please, do give your marketing consultant a little bit of time to properly diagnose your business. Every business requires a unique solution. That is the exciting part. It is also the most challenging – and most time consuming – as you can’t use a template if you are doing your job properly.

    Evo

    #1222974
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Moderator
    • Total posts: 3,117

    [USER=31829]@Evo the marketing guy[/USER]

    You posts are thoughtful and relevant to the actual market.

    I diagree however with this, “Also, post COVID-19 your marketing partners should be more comfortable with some risk/reward sharing. Skin in the game.”

    The reason I disagree is this, “But their win/loss rate on client quotes was 11%

    If it didn’t make sense to business in this way Pre – pandemic, it will not make sense to change post-pandemic.

    Cheers

    #1222975
    Evo the marketing guy
    Member
    • Total posts: 58

    Thanks Paul.

    Food for thought.

    Many businesses need strong marketing right now as they face a once-in-a-lifetime short term cash flow issue.

    More flexible models of working with marketers – such as % at risk – could be attractive to both parties right now.

    A hobby retail client needs a boost so we’ve come up with a % revenue model. That means the owner doesn’t need to dig nearly as deep into his pockets today – at a time he can least afford to – but he can still get some traction. And if the marketing goes well, it will be a win/win situation.

    I just wanted to offer a fresh line of thinking for businesses. It might be something owners can discuss with their current marketing and digital service providers. You never know what new ideas/avenues of working may emerge…

    #1222976
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Moderator
    • Total posts: 3,117
    Evo the marketing guy, post: 269439, member: 31829 wrote:
    I just wanted to offer a fresh line of thinking for businesses. It might be something owners can discuss with their current marketing and digital service providers. You never know what new ideas/avenues of working may emerge…

    For sure it is always good to experiment where the risk isn’t too great.

    It is just that that particular model doesn’t tend to work well – more for the marketer than the business most times because you are buying into the whole way the owner does business including cash flow, budgets, strategy, decision making etc, etc…. it is fraught with risks.

    #1222977
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,472
    Paul – FS Concierge, post: 269440, member: 78928 wrote:
    it is fraught with risks.

    And marketers never put themselves at risk. The sad thing is they take the money upfront, and it could be many months before the outcome of a campaign are full filled, by which time the marketer has there $’s, and is off taking money from the next poor individual, with no recourse for failed campaigns.

    #1222978
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Moderator
    • Total posts: 3,117

    Let’s say the business let’s the phone run through to message bank instead of answering or doesn’t have a decent returns policy or doesn’t get a quote back in a reasonable time, or argues with customers etc,etc, etc… the list of what businesses do wrong is almost endless.

    For any or all of the things above, it is best for the Marketer to ask for a fee and deliver on what they can control.

    #1222979
    TheChangeStarter
    Member
    • Total posts: 12
    Paul – FS Concierge, post: 269365, member: 78928 wrote:
    Hi Steve,

    I find by far most marketers try to sell “what they will do ie, the tasks they perform” whereas to give a prospect the sense of how the service will “feel” to the prospect, marketers would do better to instead, sell the outcome.

    I started to follow a lot of internet sensations, among them, Pat Flynn but is just an example of the process.

    His way of showing what the process looks like and then stepping through to the outcomes is transparent and evocative – it gives the viewer a sense of how it all works for him which is a perfect stepping stone for the viewer to imagine how that same process may work for them.

    It is this last bit that is key IMO.
    Thanks Paul, great insight. Yes, I agree, a list of tasks is what a lot of ‘marketers’ are selling, not the outcome or results.

    #1222980
    TheChangeStarter
    Member
    • Total posts: 12
    Wozza, post: 269391, member: 117204 wrote:
    Hi @TheChangeStarter

    Welcome aboard…

    Coming from the point of one of those marketers I agree with you. We have won many clients as when they initially contacted us that was their exact point “I don’t know what the last mob were doing” or “I haven’t seen any results”. The important thing is to set client expectations from the start, as well as the tasks that you will be performing. We do this in our initial discovery call to get a feeling for the client & the goals and to see if we are a good fit for each other, as we don’t work with everyone.

    “Results” from client’s perspective may mean inquiries, getting the phone to ring or more sales – while the marketers may be focused on something else such as rankings.

    For us, we work together with clients to find out what their end goals are and what’s important to them and we work towards these goals together. For example, better rankings doesn’t always lead to more sales, etc if the website is horrible looking it will never convert. So we found it best to be transparent & honest with clients.

    We build a monthly project plan for clients so they can always see what has been done, what we are working on and what is planned for the coming month. This alleviates a lot of the “I don’t know what they did” and gives them the opportunity to ask questions about why for example we are doing that task and the outcome we expect for it.

    So yeah just like in marriage honesty and transparency is key…!!

    Cheers

    Brian
    Hi Wozza,

    100% agree with what you’ve said. I also feel like I’m picking up the pieces from the ‘mob’ who went before. Clients just don’t know what they don’t know and so they are often guided by the provider, which gets tricky if the provider is ‘task list’ rather than ‘outcome’ driven.

    Great to hear that you put some solid work in up front to set up the goals and desired outcomes so that everyone is on the same page. So often, everyone is on a different page.

    I will reveal that the reason for my initial question is because I’m currently writing a thesis for my masters and I was in the initial stages of exploring topic ideas. The discussion on this thread has really cemented what I suspected about our industry and I’m super keen to represent the ‘good guys’ in my paper so that we can identify the problems the industry faces, and help change perceptions that may have been negatively impacted by the ‘mobs’ you speak of. Would you be open to being part of my research? It would probably mean an interview, case study or questionnaire and your business would be represented, or you could remain anonymous depending on your perspective. If you are open to this, please let me know – it will be during June/July time that the research will take place. No worries if not!

    #1222981
    TheChangeStarter
    Member
    • Total posts: 12
    Evo the marketing guy, post: 269439, member: 31829 wrote:
    Thanks Paul.

    Food for thought.

    Many businesses need strong marketing right now as they face a once-in-a-lifetime short term cash flow issue.

    More flexible models of working with marketers – such as % at risk – could be attractive to both parties right now.

    A hobby retail client needs a boost so we’ve come up with a % revenue model. That means the owner doesn’t need to dig nearly as deep into his pockets today – at a time he can least afford to – but he can still get some traction. And if the marketing goes well, it will be a win/win situation.

    I just wanted to offer a fresh line of thinking for businesses. It might be something owners can discuss with their current marketing and digital service providers. You never know what new ideas/avenues of working may emerge…
    I think this is definitely a model worth exploring in the short-term, for sure.

    #1222982
    TheChangeStarter
    Member
    • Total posts: 12
    bb1, post: 269444, member: 53375 wrote:
    And marketers never put themselves at risk. The sad thing is they take the money upfront, and it could be many months before the outcome of a campaign are full filled, by which time the marketer has there $’s, and is off taking money from the next poor individual, with no recourse for failed campaigns.

    Thanks for your input bb1! Your perspective is very valuable to me as I’m currently writing a thesis about this very topic! I know from working with business owners that this is some of the perception that you have of our industry and I’m keen to get some clarity on what’s going wrong between marketing providers and business owners.

    There is no way that you should ever feel like you are being ‘scammed’ out of your hard earned money and getting no results from it. As the other marketers on here have said, setting the goals and outcomes up front is imperative. It sounds like you may have had some previous poor experiences, is that the case?

    Would you be open to be involved in my research? For business owners, it will most likely be a survey, or a video interview taking place in June/July time. If you’re open, let me know. No worries if not!

    Stevie :-)

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