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Never underestimate the importance of you in your marketing strategy.

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 10/22/12 8:03 AM

If you have seen my LinkedIn profile, you have likely read the part that says, "Inefficiency drives me crazy, continuous and sustainable improvement is always my goal." It used to be angry, not crazy, but I've learned a few things.

Recently I was reminded about this and a post that was written last April which questioned whether or not some entrepreneurs lived in fantasy world; expecting that they didn't need to be involved in their marketing strategy or in the daily, weekly, or monthly implementation of that strategy.

Has your marketing consultant asked you this?

The first thing that reminded me of it was a relatively new client. After creating the first version of their buyer persona modes and the subsequent first draft of their sales and marketing alignment strategy, we started discussing how much time they were going to commit to in order to start implementing their strategy. (I am a firm believer in the saying, "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he will eat for the rest of his life.")

Can you imagine how delighted I was when the response to; "How much time are you willing to commit to being involved in learning how to do (some of) this yourself?" was "We changed our office hours in order to allow for the time to do this on a regular basis." !?!

I was delighted because I knew that this commitment was what would ultimately propel them to success. I was thrilled because that meant that they really did make aligning sales and marketing together and developing trust with their target customer a priority. I was relieved because that those two things meant we were going to be able to be really efficient and not have a lot of major do-overs. Together we would be able to move in near real-time with their customers. (They drive, I steer and check the map as we move 200 feet at time.)

Why go lean start-up style in your experiential marketing strategy and program?

Many entreprenuers secretely loathe the idea of taking the time to write a business plan or marketing plan. Who has the time to do all that boring work? Especially since once you are done it, it's probably only half relevant, built on a lot of assumptions, and sits on a shelf never to be looked at or used again. Waste of time. Very inefficient. Drives me crazy.

Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs struggle with ADHD (no really) and that brings with it many challenges. Sometimes things that require our attention on a regular basis get pushed aside for the latest deal we need to close, the product that needs to go out, or the client that needs our immediate attention. As a result, inefficiencies are bound to happen with a stop and go habit.

And so, alternatively, those same entrepreneurs run after the next big social network, fret over what their competition is doing, and never seem to accomplish the things that they dreamed about when they became entrepreneurs.

The lean startup concept is one coined by Eric Reis and is commonly applied to manufacturing and software development. The idea is; 'don't waste a lot of effort building something no one wants'. Instead build a minimally viable product (MVP) and get customer feedback using a validated learning process (scientific process) as to how they want it built. Build what they want, not what your HIPPO wants (highest paid person in office. that might be you!). Save time, make more money and connect with your customers on their terms, according to what they want.

To create marketing that people love, and share, and that grows your business so that you can change the world- be involved. From the creation of your buyer persona all the way down to what blog posts you write.

Like dating, you can hire someone to help you find the right match, but you can't hire someone to go to the dates and expect that there will be a wedding. Not when you have outsourced the entire courtship. Your involvement is critical to successly engaging with your customers.

Oh, and if you want to learn how to fish? Or need someone to help steer? Maybe you are looking for your perfect matches? Start here.

Topics: marketing strategy, marketing consultant, experiential marketing