Making marketing a priority
Why company leaders must get involved and stay involved in campaigns
Successful business owners I’ve worked with closely have spilled some beans to me about their business challenges, sometimes personal challenges. Beyond the important conversations concerning their markets, we often get into the internal aspects of the company that deal with employees, contractors and vendors. We share personal stories.
While I’m certainly no coach or counselor, I appreciate it whenever clients trust me enough to open up and tell me what’s really on their minds. I’m happy to listen in confidence and respond in kind. These deeper conversations can be crucial to strong brand development and better marketing executions.
Every business has some nuanced or even bold advantage that helps it differentiate value from its competition. Those unique attributes need to be understood by the market, or the brand loses equity to those competitors that communicate better.
Do you know what clearly differentiates your product and service quality from your competition? Have you driven those points home to your marketing director or agency partners, and do they know how to execute in your particular market?
Availability, openness and transparency with your marketing advisors clear a pathway to full understanding of your value proposition and how to craft your messages to attract new business. A trusted confidant who gets to know the company’s leadership personally, and thereby fully understands the firm’s culture, can do a better job as your marketing partner. They’ll know how to differentiate your singular distinction to attract the kind of customers you can best serve.
And if you’re really serious about achieving positive results from your campaigns, there is one crucial thing for you to do: Risk being a pain in the butt.
Does a laissez-faire attitude cut it when overseeing the most critical functions of sustaining and growing your business? A true leader leads the single most important function in the company: marketing! Why? Because marketing makes up your products and services, prices, distribution and promotion efforts. And promotion includes advertising, public relations and personal selling. Quite a lot to marketing, isn’t there?
As owner and CEO, you must get involved and stay involved in your campaigns. It’s your responsibility to keep marketing and sales at the top of your business priority list. How do you do this? In short, by communicating more. Here’s what that looks like:
- Clearly articulate your cultural values and your firm’s USP (unique selling proposition).
- Lead or attend marketing meetings on a regular schedule.
- Attend every meeting that includes campaign pitches.
- Do not delegate your leadership. Provide your knowledge and ideas directly!
- Provide key insights and feedback from your industry.
- Freely give of your specialized expertise.
- Provide resources for photography, video and other crucial assets as needed.
- Hold yourself and your team accountable for following through.
Over the years, I’ve repeatedly observed successful sales and marketing campaigns yield sustained business growth. I’ve also seen great ideas and creative energy come to nothing because of lackluster leadership and effort. The common factor in most successful campaigns has been the CEO’s time, leadership, commitment and support freely given.
Every team needs a head coach. A team needs its head coach down on the field with them if they expect to win.
Your team will only perform to the level they perceive you expect. And guess what? They’re human. You need to remind them of your expectations and provide guidance regularly or inertia will set in and cause efforts to go stale.
Your sustained enthusiasm for building your brand and growing your business is the energy that’s needed to fuel your campaigns. And when your team feels your energy and support behind them, they’ll be moved to perform. Let them show you and the market their best stuff!
Chuck Sink is owner of Chuck Sink Link, a marketing agency in Sunapee. He can be reached through chucksink.com.