Stop Trying To Manage What You Don’t Understand

January

26

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As business owners, it's impossible to understand every aspect and nuance of what is required to run a successful business. We're not unicorns. I think we'd like to think we are, but we are not. We sure try to manage and understand all these aspects, but it's just not possible. That's why today I want to spend a little bit of time talking about the problems that I see popping up when business owners try to manage marketing when it's not their area of expertise or understanding.

Join Tim Fitzpatrick for this week’s episode of The Rialto Marketing Podcast!

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Stop Trying To Manage What You Don’t Understand

As business owners, it's impossible to understand every aspect and nuance of what is required to run a successful business. We're not unicorns. I think we'd like to think we are, but we are not. We sure try to manage and understand all these aspects, but it's just not possible. That's why today I want to spend a little bit of time talking about the problems that I see popping up when business owners try to manage marketing when it's not their area of expertise or understanding.

Hi, I am Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto Marketing, where we believe you must remove your revenue roadblocks if you want to accelerate growth. Marketing shouldn't be difficult. Thank you so much for taking the time to tune in.

Here's the reality I want to talk about today. We cannot manage something effectively when we don't understand it. And as business owners, we try, especially early on when we've got small teams, there are things that we just feel like we have to manage. And so we manage them, but we don't understand it. This never ends well when we try to manage things that we don't understand. And so what I'm going to talk about today are specifically with marketing. This is appropriate to any area of our businesses. But I want to share with you what I see with marketing and the downstream issues that pop up when we try to manage marketing and we don't really understand it or it's not our area of expertise. Okay, so there are five that I'm going to talk about today. These are the most common ones that I see pop up. They are not the only ones, but these are the most common roadblocks that come up when I see business owners trying to manage marketing and it's not their area of expertise.

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Most Common Roadblocks Business Owners Face When Managing Marketing

First one is a lack of strategy and lack of a clear marketing plan. The way I think of strategy is I think of strategy like fuel. It's fuel for the marketing vehicles, i. E, the tactics that you choose to use for your business. What ends up happening is a lot of times you got vehicles, but because you lack the strategy, you have no fuel for those vehicles. We all know what happens. Well, some smart ass is going to say to me, Well, it's an electric vehicle. Well, think of strategy as your battery instead of fuel. Either way, the vehicle you have doesn't have what it needs to get where it wants to go. When we're trying to manage marketing, it's not our thing, it's not our area of expertise, you're certainly not going to understand the strategy behind it. Strategy is super, super important. Strategy must come before the tactics.

Second big issue I see, and the second and the third are intertwined. But if you're hiring in-house marketing people, you struggle to manage those people. You may have a marketing specialist or a marketing coordinator or Marketing Manager, and it is really hard to guide, coach, mentor, and hold those people accountable when you don't really have a good understanding of what they should be doing. It's impossible. When you can't guide those people strategically, again, you're saying, Hey, go do this. They've got a bunch of vehicles that you want them to use, but they have no fuel. It's not a good place. And what ends up happening is those in-house people end up getting frustrated. Because oftentimes, too, the owner is putting unrealistic expectations on them and what they should know and what they should be doing because, again, they don't understand what's involved.

Now, the third thing that's intertwined and related to this is hiring agencies. Hiring agencies is no different than hiring in-house people. And if you don't understand marketing, it is difficult to hold your agency accountable, and it is very difficult to ask the right questions to help hold them accountable and make sure that they're doing what they need to do. It is really hard to manage agencies and in-house people when you, as the owner, are trying to oversee marketing and you don't understand it completely. What ends up happening is you hire these people, whether they're in-house or external, and you go 6, 9, 12 months down the road and you're like, This isn't working. It's not always their fault. It might be, but in some cases, it's because they're not getting the right guidance and leadership that they need to be successful.

Next thing I see is spending money where it shouldn't be spent. You're guessing, you're gambling with your marketing budget. It's like taking that marketing budget and betting it on the roulette table or the craps table, whatever it is, but you're putting money where it shouldn't go. Either that's a tactic that just doesn't make sense for you or it's a tactic that you're not ready for. There's multiple reasons why, but you put money where you shouldn't. And then guess what happens? You end up wasting time and you waste money.

The last one, the fifth one that I see is neglecting analytics and the return on investment measurement. Either metrics aren't being tracked at all or the wrong metrics are being tracked. Either way, you don't have the data that you need to make strong data-driven decisions because the reality is most marketing doesn't work. A lot of people are going to... Well, won't say that to share that with you, but most marketing doesn't work. We're always testing. But if we haven't identified the right metrics, we don't have what we need to understand whether what we're testing is actually working or not, and what course corrections and shifts we need to make. That's a big problem when you're not tracking metrics or you're tracking the wrong metrics.

What to Do When You Hit These 5 Roadblocks

Those are the five biggest issues I see popping up when people are trying to manage marketing and they don't really understand it or it's not their area of expertise. What is the business owners to do when they're in this situation? Because if you are in this boat, you are not in this boat alone. There are so many people in this boat. I think there are several things that you can do.

I mean, one, if you've got a smaller budget, there are all kinds of marketing courses, training material out there. You got to start to level up your skill set from a marketing standpoint so that you can be a more effective manager and leader of it. You can hire a coach or consultant. We do this for clients. We help when they're not at a place where they're ready to hire a marketing executive, we guide, coach, and consult with them. Think of it almost like a marketing executive looking over your shoulder. As you implement and execute, you have somebody that's helping level up your skills, but also helping you avoid those common pitfalls so that over time you're becoming a better and better marketing leader. Your understanding of marketing is getting better and better and you become a better leader. But while you're becoming a better leader, there's no reason why you can't have a marketing coach or consultant helping guide you through that process. You just need to understand what process they use and what process they're going to take you through to get you there.

The last one is if you're actually at a place where you can hire a part-time or a full-time marketing executive, well, then you can hire somebody. We do that as well. We act as a part-time or outsourced marketing executive or fractional chief marketing officer. If you're at that place, well, then you can do that. Or if you're in a place where it makes sense to hire somebody full-time, if you're thinking about hiring somebody full-time, just make sure you're at a place where it does make sense to do that. Most businesses do not need a full-time Chief Marketing Officer or Director of Marketing. They're far better off hiring somebody on an outsourced or part-time basis for that. Those are the three things that you can do to help not go down this path and experience these problems that I just talked about.

Conclusion

I hope you found this helpful. If you did, you've got further questions, head on over to our website, rialtomarketing.com. You can Book a Free Discovery Call. I'd be happy to chat with you and help give you an idea of what you should be focusing on right now to get where you want to go. The other tool I've got available for you is over at RevenueRoadblockScorecard.com. Over there in less than five minutes, you can discover which of the nine revenue roadblocks are slowing down your growth. By the way, it's usually not just one. There's multiple that are slowing down your growth. You've got to remove those so that you can get where you want to go faster. It takes less than five minutes to get your customized report over at RevenueRoadblockScorecard.com. Go check it out. Thank you for tuning in, watching, listening. Until next time. Take care.


About the author, Tim Fitzpatrick

Tired of marketing that doesn't deliver? Ready to create lasting marketing success?

The world of marketing is vast and constantly evolving. It's easy to fall prey to information overload and feel lost in the marketing maze. In this ever-evolving landscape, expert guidance is critical to navigate successfully.

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