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Question by J B: How to get REAL marketing help?
I have a small technology consulting business with about 30 people. I have a tough time valuing Marketing help but I know we need it. I've read articles about some independent Marketing folks that work remotely to develop Marketing programs.
I've seen too many cases where colleagues have spent tens of thousands of dollars only to get NOTHING in return but a fluffy marketing document. I need to implement something that produces results effectively.
So, how do I find someone GOOD that can help us?
How do I determine their effectiveness before hiring them?
Is there a place on the web to go to to find the right type of Marketing firm/person?
Answer by LongSnapper
Unfortunately, the thing with marketing, as if you don't know this, is that you never know what kind of return on your dollar you will get.
I would suggest another strategy.
Regardless of how qualified, reputable, or whatever else, you still won't know what your return will be. The only thing you can control is your outlay.
When I was a marketing Senior in college, I was involved in a project through a small business marketing class. Myself and another student received a project through a school program.
Unfortunately, I don't remember what the program is called, but it's where local small business can submit "problems," as projects to either college senoirs or MBA seniors.
My project, along with another class member, was to work out a marketing strategy for a company that makes drum heaters, as in 500 gallon drums for things like adhesives, or at that time, the material used in rust proofing automobiles. I knew nothing about this business, but I had at my disposal my own marketing education, an entire university's library of reference material, and any former professor I had. And through this process, in my research, I actually developed a customer for this company!
You can contact a local 4-year accredited university, and ask about this small business program. Once again, I can't guarantee the sucess of whatever it is they may come up with, but I can guarantee the charge. It's free to you!
Also, there is another program called SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives), and this is through the small business administration. For the most part this is similar to a think tank made up of retired business executives who lend their expertise to small business.
I believe their service is also free.
My background is more in advertising-sales, and the one thing I can tell you is that there are no guarantees. I think there are more success stores found by accident, than by carefully planned execution, or at least it seems so!
One of the best beer campaign tag lines was originated by a five-year old! The one line that caused the greatest increase in shampoo sales was anonymously placed in a company suggestion drop box!
Oh and by the way, the first one was Stroh's "Stroh a party" which was actually how one of the company's Vp's 5-year old son said, "Throw a party." And the shampoo line was "rinse and repeat..."
So you see, you never know what you will get for your money. So my suggestion is concern yourself less with the credentials of whom you hire, because they all have dingers, you just don't know if you will be the dinger or the success story.
But rather, control your costs. From the two programs I mentioned previously, you will be getting very capable sources who will definitely put their time in.
And it won't cost you anything!
Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!