THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG WITH MODERN MARKETING.
Something’s wrong with modern marketing. Some Marketers may think that this statement is an absolute fallacy considering that even the most standard modern marketing practices allow us to reach more people, engage them in more compelling ways and analyse the impact of our efforts to a higher degree than ever before.
From the vantage point of a Marketer, this is true as we find ourselves with better tools year on year thanks to the rapid pace of technological change our industry enjoys.
However, if you look at modern marketing from the viewpoint of the majority of business leaders, that is the 96% who lead businesses which are considered Micro, Small and Medium sized enterprises, then marketing is a highly problematic activity due to the ever-increasing financial and intellectual costs involved in undertaking even the most basic standard of marketing activity.
THE OVERWHELMING SENTIMENT COMING FROM LEADERS OF SMEs IS THAT THEY HAVE A GENERAL LACK OF CONFIDENCE IN THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THEIR MARKETING.
This has resulted in an overwhelming sentiment coming from the leaders of SMEs that they have a general lack of confidence in the effectiveness of their marketing activity. This is because they are forced to make increasingly uncomfortable compromises when it comes to trying to market themselves.
This is the fundamental problem with modern marketing. Each year the intellectual and financial barriers to undertaking even the most standard of marketing activity grow and stifle more and more businesses.
Furthermore, this problem is compounded by the way the marketing industry has decided to delineate itself.
Most marketers talk about working on either Client-side or Agency-side of the industry and as a result, marketing agencies have siloed themselves and established their own working norms, culture and practices which are very alien to most of their clients.
The hard truth is that clients don’t like the standard agency experience which is typified by a lack of immediacy, rigid service parameters and functional solutions. This is proven by more of those businesses which can afford it, choosing not to work with agencies and instead taking more of their marketing functions in-house. This is a luxury only larger businesses can typically afford; everyone else still needs access to these specialist skills sets, so they have to put up with the typical agency experience.
Additionally, the full-service agency model, where one agency provides many marketing functions, has been fractured. This has been replaced by many smaller agencies which specialise in a single function of marketing, with the theoretical advantage of businesses being able to access a concentrated pool of specialist skills.
This works for larger businesses whose extensive in-house teams can coordinate many outsourced specialists, but smaller companies can end-up incorrectly employing one marketing specialism without the requisite complementary functions to profit from it.
Overall, the unintended consequence of how the marketing industry currently services clients is that expertise has become standard and value has become rare.
Agencies often see the "value" they add for clients as providing them with the skill sets they don't have in-house but clients see this as just a "given" benefit. They actually have totally different expectations about the "value" they want to get from working with an agency.
From the client’s point of view, the value comes from the agency taking the lead in understanding the specific problem the client is trying to solve and using their expertise to offer a solution that will drive real results. In practice many agencies rely on clients to drive activity and clients often receive standardised functional solutions which are conceived to drive profit for the agency instead of value for the client.
SMEs NEED BETTER SUPPORT FROM THE MARKETING INDUSTRY.
Now is the time to have a rethink. Now is the time to develop marketing services which really empower SME businesses. Now is the time to refocus on what delivering value means for them. Now is the time to confine budget as the sole determinant of marketing success to the past.
Also, as we all know, we are entering a period where businesses will be looking to maintain or grow their marketing activity but they will be forced to do this with smaller marketing budgets. As an industry, Marketing must react to this and find ways to better to help our clients meet these challenges.
To us the solution is obvious, it comes down to giving smaller businesses the ability and confidence to market themselves as effectively as businesses with a fully skilled in-house marketing team. This can be achieved by giving them the right strategic, creative and technical skills on-tap so they can undertake broader and better marketing activities to levels only previously achievable by larger businesses.
THE STANDARD CLIENT AGENCY WORKING RELATIONSHIP
If you work with a Content Agency they will create content, if you work with a Digital Agency they will create digital advertising, if you work with a Web Agency they will build a website (I could go on). The point is marketing is not a series of isolated actions, it is a series of moving parts which need to work in unison in order to be effective.
The modern marketing industry works on premise that their clients plan and coordinate their marketing activity but in reality many SMEs lack the skills internally to do so and they end up with disjointed and ineffective marketing activity.
Diagram 1: the standard client and agency working relationship
A BETTER WAY OF WORKING
Our marketing POD teams provide exactly this. A marketing POD coordinates, structures and delivers any blend of marketing activity inline with the tailored marketing requirements of a business. Fundamentally they bring rigour and structure to previously piece-meal activities through a marketing function akin to having a fully skilled in-house team.
Diagram 2: Working with a POD marketing team
PODs offer businesses proven marketing structures which effectively drive marketing activity, but they are not rigid in what they do. They deliver highly bespoke marketing activity as nuanced as the businesses they work with.
The modern marketing industry is not set up to service or deliver value to SMEs in way which caters to their needs. Marketing as business function is increasingly becoming characterised by those who "can" and those who "cannot" market themselves effectively. This needs to change.
As such we have launched our marketing POD service which is designed specifically to make first-class marketing services available to all businesses not just those with the deepest pockets.