What makes a marketing expert?

Fuel Marketing blog imageIn one of my previous blogs, I talked about the fact that you cannot call yourself an expert, only someone else can. Well in the seven plus years since I set up Fuel, I have come across many businesses and business owners who claim to be “experts in marketing.”

When challenged about their experience they seem to fall into one of the following categories, none of which I am afraid to say makes them a professional marketer in my humble opinion:

  • Marketing is obvious – you don’t need any formal training
  • I’ve read many marketing books, so I know what I am talking about
  • I’ve just completed a weekend marketing course, which I am now putting into practice
  • I do something in a similar field (sales, business mentoring/coaching/ training, website development or social media) so I simply diversified into marketing as it seemed like the obvious next step
  • I have just contributed towards writing a basic business book, so I know all about marketing and how it works

Over promising and failing to deliver

What’s the problem I hear you cry? Well to me, the problem is this. On first contact, the client doesn’t know the difference between any of the above and someone who has learnt and refined their craft over many years. It’s only as time passes and they end up with a campaign that doesn’t do what they want it to, or more often doesn’t work, that they learn the hard way that the marketing services they have been promised, simply do not deliver.

And whilst I admit that at times marketing is obvious, after 25 years in the industry, I know what works for certain sectors and when. I also understand how long marketing takes to gain momentum and what investment is sensible to kick off with. In addition I advise people using my knowledge and experience on how to change marketing plans and campaigns in a timely manner so that the results will continue to surprise and delight.

Jack of all trades!

Let’s be honest, I admire entrepreneurship and know that in today’s business world you always need to be looking at the next big thing. But when I take my car to the official Skoda garage for its annual service and MOT, I know that they will service and MOT my car in a professional manner. If they were suddenly to tell me that they could also service my boiler and book my bi-annual holidays too, I would be confused and more than a little worried. Worried that their core activity, that of car maintenance, would suffer and of course confused that they see the need to diversify into areas where they don’t just don’t have a demonstrable track record or any qualifications.

Stick with the specialists!

So my advice is to use specialists wherever you can. They know their stuff, they live and breathe it 24/7 and if something does go wrong, they will know exactly what to do to make sure that any issues are quickly resolved. If you are unsure whether your supplier has experience in marketing services, ask them for a testimonial or case study, or better still ask them if you can speak to one of their actual current marketing clients and/or inquire about their qualifications!

For marketing expertise, delivered in an honest manner and focused on achieving the results that you want, contact Vicky at Fuel on 07766 566690 or email vicky@fuelmarketing.co.uk