Are You Getting Bad Advice From Leading Marketers?

Selling Marketing

Maybe I’ve been in the marketing game too long. It seems that the more time that I spend in this industry, the fewer people I respect or listen to. That’s not to say I don’t have those folks that I respect, it’s just that I’m becoming disillusioned with so many who hold the spotlight.

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. Matt. 7:15

There are a few reasons…

Great Speaking and Great Marketing Are Mutually Exclusive Talents

I love public speaking and I try to get out a couple times a month to speak. I charge a nominal speaking fee to cover my time away from work, but nothing ridiculous. Over the years, I’ve put more time into that craft and really try to hit it out of the park every time I get in front of folks.

Interestingly enough, while I market myself for public speaking opportunities, my actual speaking skills don’t have anything to do with my marketing skills. Being a great public speaker doesn’t make you a great marketer. Being a great marketer doesn’t make you a great public speaker (although it may get you more opportunities to speak).

Unfortunately, I’ve had several clients who have hired great speakers to help with their marketing – then been sorely disappointed with the results. Why? Well, because the public speaker is selling their speaking, traveling all over the country (or globe), and everything they’re doing is for the goal of getting more speeches. Speeches are what pay their bills, not marketing for clients.

Speeches are what pay their bills, not marketing for clients. Including alarming warnings, silver bullet finds, or applying untested theories sells the next speaking opportunity – but could drive your marketing into the ground.

Writing About Marketing Does Not Mean You’re a Marketer

I can’t wait to crack the next marketing book that comes out. Quiet time spent with a great marketing book expands my ideation and thought process. I often find myself drifting into client ideas and other thoughts while I read, paging backward to see what I missed and writing notes on a pad next to my reading chair.

That said, a marketing book is often anecdotal evidence provided by the author to… well… sell books. Sure, saying you’re an author opens doors for marketing, consulting, and speaking opportunities. And, as an author myself, I can assure you that being a great marketer will absolutely help in selling books. However, it’s still about selling books and not necessarily doing great marketing.

There are many exceptions, of course! Many marketers like writing and sharing their findings through books.

Leading Marketers May Not Take Care of Companies Like Yours

I’ve had some incredible clients over the years including Salesforce, GoDaddy, Webtrends, Chase, and – most recently – Dell. I can absolutely assure you that the challenges that those large organizations have are incredibly different from the small and medium-sized businesses that we work with. While a large company may take months to

A large enterprise may take months to determine the voice and tone of initiatives, coordinating internal resources, and navigating legal or other approval processes. If we worked at that speed and agility with our startups, they’d be out of business. Too many of the companies that we’ve worked with have dumped large budgets on leaders in our space only to be disappointed in the results.

How To Find the Right Marketer You Can Trust

I’m not, in any way, pointing to speakers, authors, and leading marketers and stating they don’t provide their audiences, readers, or clients any value. I’m certain they do… it’s just that they may not provide you value. Businesses are not all the same and each navigates through their own marketing journey..

Layout the goals, resources, and timelines available to your company and seek out marketers who have worked in similar industries or with similarly challenged companies. You may be surprised that the greatest asset to your marketing efforts may not be keynoting the next conference, selling the next book, or starring in social media.

By the way… as an author, a speaker, and a marketer… I am not excluding myself from this article. I may not be the right fit for your company, either!

What do you think?

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