Delegate, but don’t abdicate

For those, like me who are suffering EU Referendum fatigue, please don’t panic, while the theme of this week’s blog is about taking control, I’m talking about your business and specifically your marketing, nothing to do with the 23rd June!
In a desire to follow one of the most quoted pieces of advice from the e-myth book “Work on your business, not in your business”, we generally try to delegate some of our “in the business” workload. Sometimes this will be to employees, other work may be outsourced. I regularly see both in the way small and medium-sized businesses go about their marketing and I’m very happy with either approach.
In my experience, few business owners have a marketing background and whilst accepting the potential that good marketing could deliver, most don’t want to spend much of their time on it. Again, I don’t have a problem with this, much of the marketing workload can be effectively dealt with by other people in the business or external marketing experts.
Where I do have concerns is when delegation and/or outsourcing becomes abdication. It’s OK to delegate the work, but defining what we want marketing to deliver, agreeing the direction, investment strategy and tracking implementation and results is critical to the success of the business and that can’t be delegated.
Too often I meet businesses who have “someone looking after our marketing for us”, but when I dig beneath the surface, this is less about finding the best way to run an effective marketing programme and more about getting rid of a problem. A member of staff who has displayed a bit of enthusiasm for marketing or an agency with a slick sales patter promising transformational results can be a convenient opportunity for the business owner to convince him or herself that “we’ve got marketing sorted now” and turn their focus elsewhere.
Very often this ‘abdication’ ends in disappointment for all parties; the agencies get frustrated with the lack of direction and interest from the top of the business, the in-house marketer feels unsupported, lacks mentoring and development and the business owner doesn’t get the return (i.e. enough quality sales leads) on their marketing spend that they need. The focus of marketing activity generally spirals downward to switching tactics, trying to find a magic formula with an inconsistent level of investment.
For most SMEs, with the right choice of in-house and external resources, as little as 2 structured hours a month of the business owner’s time can make the difference between ineffective marketing that wastes your money and a programme that delivers a high return on investment and the long term business goals.
If taking back control of your marketing to get better results sounds interesting, give us a call today.