I’m sure you have been there before. Someone comes to you and asks you to create or manage something they think you can get done quickly. Hey, it should be easy to do…right? Take marketing plans for example. Every company wants one, but most do not have them and many do not see the value in paying for one…we will get Bob in engineering to write one…he has a degree, right? Creating a marketing plan is hard and takes time, and creating a great marketing plan is even harder and takes more time. But did you know that creating a marketing plan after your company has hired a firm to build your new website without thought to your overall marketing strategy is downright stupid?
Sorry to offend you, I thought you already knew.
At Fat Atom, we start all retainer client engagements with our analysis process. Why do we do this? A few reasons. First, it makes the client admit they need help.
“Hi, I’m Steve and I don’t have a marketing strategy for my business.”
And everyone at Fat Atom says, “Hi Steve.”
Another reason is that the client believes we can help them by providing them a great strategy. This is also why we charge for our strategy…if it were free it would have no perceived value.
Advice is a great example of this thought process.
Me – “I need help on my corporate taxes.”
Who do I trust most?
Free advice from my friend Ted, part-time bookkeeper and Xbox aficionado – “ What you need to do Todd, is not pay taxes.”
Paid advice from my accountant, at $185/hr – “Todd, you need to pay us to do your tax planning, which in turn will save you money, time and keep you out of jail.”
Exactly. Paid advice is almost always better. And by clients paying us for a marketing strategy, they are saying….we trust you.
And I get this sometimes, “What is the ROI of a marketing strategy?” Love this one. I always ask, what is the ROI of a buy-sell agreement? What is the ROI of title insurance? And I could go on and on.
So let me tell you, the ROI on a plan is exponential. How much do you value your time? How much do you value alignment in your organization? How much do you value your marketing budget working optimally for you?
Lastly, you always get the person who says “…but why?” And to that I say…
You don’t build a house without a blueprint
You don’t play a football game without a game plan
You don’t go to war without a strategy
You don’t spend money without a budget
You don’t travel without a map
You don’t have surgery without a diagnosis
You don’t get married before you date