Marketing Your Business: Beware the Fake Marketer
Once I attended a networking function where someone whose job title was ‘Client Attraction Specialist’ claimed to be a professional marketer. After some querying, I realised this person had very little marketing experience and no certainly no marketing qualifications. Meeting this individual and many others at that same function opened my eyes to just how many fake marketers were out there. Have you been to a networking function like this before?
The more I thought about, the more I concerned I became.
Why does this matter?
This is obviously something that, as a professional marketer, leaves me irate but why should it matter to you?
As a business owner, marketing is the tool (or piece of the puzzle) that brings your product and your consumer together. It is a vital part of business and one that can make or break your first few years.
Of course you don’t know exactly what marketing entails; it’s not your job. There’s no way you can understand the inner workings of a marketer without experience and qualifications. That is why you look for a professional.
The problem lies in that so many people seem to think marketing is something anyone can do. Or they confuse it with advertising or graphic design or even sales. Because you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, it’s easy to fall into one of the traps of the fake marketer.
More than often this results in having to hire another marketer down the track. This is simply a waste of money, especially for small business owners to whom money is of utmost importance.
How to avoid the fake marketer?
Think about the things you want to achieve from your marketing and the ways a professional can help you achieve your goal. It’s impossible to hire the right person for a job without knowing what that job is, so make sure you have a clear idea of what you are hiring your marketing consultant for. Remember, research is the key to unlocking the mysteries of the marketer.
I’ve seen too many businesses pulled down by messy marketing so I wanted to make you aware of what marketers really do and how to spot the fakes.
I can’t stress how important it is to shop around and find someone you really trust and who will work wonders for your business.
Next time you’re shopping around for a real marketer to help you with your business, run over this checklist to see if they stand the test.
- They have a brand
- You believe their branding is effective
- Their brand is registered
- There is an obvious business mindedness about them
- They have discussed social networking as a marketing tool
- They offer constructive criticism on your marketing plans
- You have not been asked to pay 100% up front
- The price seems realistic
If you can’t tick each of the items on this list, reconsider your choice and start shopping around again
What to do if you’ve hired a fake
If you’ve hired a fake marketer, don’t be afraid to catch them out!
My advice is to get rid of them and find a new marketer before you waste any more time or money.
If you’ve paid upfront (a huge no-no) be firm and tell them that their service isn’t good enough. A partial refund and new marketer will still see you losing less of your valuable time and money.
This time around, do your research and be better informed.