5 Basic Questions To Help You Determine Whether Your Marketing Partner Actually “Gets It”

AUGUST 31, 2018

A marketing firm that “gets it” is one that realizes that the reason you actually hired them really boils down to just one thing – their purpose for being there, ultimately, is to help you increase your business’ profit-position…period. They get that every idea they conceive and every strategy they develop is only as good as it is in helping them accomplish this singular objective. While this may sound obvious enough, there are a lot of marketing firms that just don’t get it. They tend to get a little too caught up with the excitement of the prospect of utilizing the latest and most innovative marketing tactics like virtual & augmented reality marketing, interactive-content and AI-driven marketing, etc., that they loose focus on the fact that, as cool as these new tactics are, it’s not about the tactics or even what the tactics themselves can do. It’s about whether or not the using of those tactics results in a direct line that leads to the business making more money and increasing its profit-position.

So every once in awhile it makes sense for clients to ask themselves a question, does my marketing partner really “get it”? Because if they’re not getting it, not only might your business  potentially be missing out on opportunities to increase its profitability, your business is also likely throwing away good money via whatever fees you’re pay to that marketing partner. To that end, here are five very basic, but somewhat telling, questions you should consider asking yourself to help you determine whether your marketing partner actually gets it or not…and whether you might want to consider making a change or not.

  1. Do they understand the difference between increasing profitability vs. increasing revenue, and of the two, which one is most important for your business?
  • Many marketers love to say that they help businesses increase that classically famous dual called “Sales & Revenue.” And while this is certainly important, increases in sales and revenue alone is is not what helps a company ultimately become successful on a sustainable long-term basis – it’s the increases in profitability that accomplishes that. We’ve all heard of those companies that continually have revenue that is off-the-charts and who consistently generate quarterly and year-over-year sales increases, but who’s businesses still suffer.
  • However when a company’s profitability steadily increases, that is a positive barometer of its true financial health and that it is doing things right. If profitability is increasing it means that, in similar fashion to increasing sales and revenue, marketing must talking to the right people at the right time and compelling them to exercise a desired behavior. However each of these elements is likely to be just that much more targeted, better positioning the business to be able to hold or even increase profit margins, thereby increasing profitability.
  1. Are they more focused on producing vanity metrics than they are on producing results – AND – are they are more focused on producing results than they are on producing outcomes?
  • Vanity metrics make all of us, marketers and our clients, feel good. You know, having traffic to the website consistently increase, seeing upticks in Likes and Followers, and of course experiencing a campaign or marketing push go viral.
  • While being seen is great, and having people know or even talk glowingly about your business feels good, most marketers would agree that these things alone are not money makers.
  • Most marketers would also agree that producing results that yield profits are what marketers should be focusing on.
  • But a different and albeit better way of thinking about this would be to focus on producing outcomes rather than producing results. That’s because results, although a great thing to aspire to achieve, are really just snapshots of something at a specific point in time in comparison to a snapshot of that same something at a previous point in time. Outcomes on the other hand suggest the permanency of a sustainable new state.
  1. Do they believe in your product, service or solution and support your vision?
  • In order for a marketing partner to effectively market your product, service or solution, they need to believe in it, as well as support and share your vision. They cannot simply see your account as fee-generating opportunity for their firm.
  • However, this does not mean that they cannot and should not push back and challenge your thinking and assumptions, instead just the opposite, as your partner they should do so to drive excellence.
  • They should also try out and experience your product, service or solution. Obviously in certain instances doing so will be a bit more challenging, but this should be done whenever and wherever possible.
  • …when was the last time your marketing partner spent the day at your place of business (or even entered it for that matter) and not just saw, but truly experienced, first hand what you do, how you do it, and who you do it for?
  1. Do they say that they will know or learn your business, or do they say that they will understand your business?
  • If your marketing partner says that they will know or learn your business, that’s a sign they don’t get it. If they say that they will understand your business, that’s a sign they do get it.
  • These are not semantics, these are critical differences. Think about it, given the years of experience you have in your business and/or industry (not talking about it, writing about it, or marketing it – but actually doing it) what marketing company is able to come in and in a number of weeks or months be able to know or learn your business with any degree of effectiveness.
  • Understanding your business is more about “getting it”, understanding where the challenges come from and where the opportunities might be. It’s understanding why a certain customer segment tends to be more fickle, or when the market tends to slow and what can be done to keep the business correctly tracked during those periods.
  1. Is your marketing partner bringing you ideas that stretch you, but that will also result in achieving positive-profitability outcomes for your business?
  • As marketers we love the big idea. We love looking for it and we love bringing it to our clients. But sometimes marketers tend to be more focused on what the big idea is and what it can do than they are on what the big idea will accomplish as it relates to increasing profitability….again a marketer that gets it, understands that any idea they bring, (no matter how “big”) is only as good as it is in helping your business ultimately increase its profit position.
  • Bearing this in mind however, a marketer that gets it will also bring you ideas that stretch or challenge you. As your marketing partner works to continually understand your business, their questions (and questioning), research and critical thinking should help you better understand and see your business in ways you never did before as well.
  • Part and parcel that indicates this happening will be the big ideas that your marketing partners brings you that stretch you, but are, once your hair is no longer on fire, ideas that you are able to understand will help your business increase profitability on a sustainable basis.

At Black Rhino Marketing Group, we get it. We prove we get it everyday, and the day we stop proving it is the day we no longer deserve our client’s business.