It sounds like a great idea to turn your business's entire multichannel marketing campaign over to a single large marketing agency, doesn't it? You simply tell the agency, "Here's our target market, this is our brand, here's how we would like to position ourselves. Now go create the content, buy the media and help us grow." And the agency promotes itself as a "full-service" provider capable of handling every detail of your marketing from soup to nuts. So why are the results so frequently lackluster?
One of my favorite quotes is “It's amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t care who gets the credit.” This quote has been attributed to Ronald Reagan and Harry S. Truman — both eminent leaders. A challenge for any CEO today is how to rebuild or drive more robust growth with existing teams and constrained resources. As a two-time CEO and lifetime marketer, I know this is a recurring challenge.
You have just parked the car and are on the way to pick up your dry cleaning or buy some cough drops at the neighborhood pharmacy. Suddenly, your cell phone lights up, asking if you would like a discount coupon to buy a pizza at the shop on the corner? You stare at the phone, in dismay, wondering how the pizza shop knew you were there and knew you were hungry?? Doesn’t it realize that you are trying to eat healthily? How does this work?
Perhaps the most common issue I see among all kinds of businesses, from startups to large, established firms, is a lack of focus in their marketing. This generally takes the form of what I call taking too broad a brush to the market — throwing broad, scattershot strategies at the market in the hopes that some of it will stick, instead of pinpointing the most lucrative opportunities and then choosing the right applications — the right brush, if you will — to get the most of out those opportunities.
When you are suffering from knee pain you go to an orthopedic surgeon. Why? You need an expert to diagnose the cause of the knee pain. The surgeon collects objective data, including a physical exam, observation, and a series of questions about your pain. The doctor then sends you for X-rays and MRIs to validate the insights from the physical exam. Only then does the skilled surgeon make the diagnosis. Your orthopedic expert then develops a strategy to fix the problem. Medication, physical therapy, surgery, and immobilization are all solutions in his armamentarium. Your surgeon then makes certain the therapy is delivered and mentors you to be compliant.