Bernard Raffaut – Account Director at AusGarage
Anyone who knows me knows I’m all about collaboration. What a group of like-minded people can do together to achieve a common goal, produce a desired outcome or make a positive impact is what interests me most when I work with commercial and community organisations.
If you’ve ever worked with me, you know I always seek opportunities to bring teams, businesses, organisations and the like together based on the ideas of:
• Creating efficiencies (time and costs)
• Forging long-term partnerships
• Identifying opportunities
• Maximising project success
One of my passions (and I have many) is uniting like-minded individuals in an environment where they can not only achieve what they need to achieve in terms of goals, project outcomes and all that, but also learn, grow, prosper, be inspired and be entertained.
What does the photo heading this article do for you? Does it inspire you? Are you flummoxed? Maybe it’s a little disturbing. For me, it gets me thinking about some of the businesses I deal with and the ones I’ve dealt with in the past. I think if only they had a little more muscle to add to their hustle, they could really unlock some of the amazing potential hidden in their business.
One of the challenges in business is that as owner/manager/master of your own destiny, you feel like you’re doing EVERYTHING. Am I right?
I bet I’m also right in saying that you’ve come to accept “that’s just how being in business rolls”. Well, I’m here to say it doesn’t have to!
By leveraging the power of collaborative partnerships, outsourcing, contracting or bringing in the experts, you can free up a great deal of your time (not to mention reduce your stress levels and blood pressure) so you can give more focus and attention to the things in the business you’re great at and actually want to work on.
A few common areas businesses bring in the experts are:
• Finance – Accountant
• Computer Set-up – IT Specialist
• Web Design – Website Designer
Building or growing your business with the assistance from external experts can lease to increased efficiencies and economies of scale. It is far more efficient to outsource aspects of your business that are essential (such as marketing) than for you to deal with them personally.
So let’s talk marketing. While lying at the very heart of business success, it is often one aspect in business where most feel a little out of their depth. A comment from one of my clients sums it up beautifully – “Bernie, we’re manufacturers, not marketers.”
Well, if you’re great at manufacturing, building, selling, creating and the like, then that’s what you should do. It’s what you know. It’s what you feel comfortable doing. It’s where you like to dance.
So how can you get more muscle to add to your marketing hustle so you can be more efficient in playing the marketing game? Most business would answer with “hire a Marketing Manager” which I’m not totally against. I think having a point of contact within the business who can handle all things marketing, advertising, social media, content creation, PPC, electronic direct mail, PR and the list goes on, is a great idea. Only thing is, for some businesses, this can be a little cost prohibitive. It is far easier (not to mention cost effective) to bring in a team to handle all that for you.
What team you ask? My advice is engage a creative agency, ad agency or content marketing agency who will work with you every step of the way. They can be the coach (tell you what you should do with regards to strategy) as well as do the heavy lifting (implement the strategy, create the campaigns, film the videos etc).
“Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does.” -Steuart Henderson Britt
Think of it in terms of the below scenario:
Bob has a car dealership. February sales are a little light on compared to the same time last year. He knows he needs to get the word out about his business but doesn’t know where to start. He’s heard Facebook is good but so too is Google Adwords, but he also wonders if he should do some traditional advertising like in the newspaper and on radio.
Coupled with the other important duties he needs to do like buying stock, managing staff, paying bills, talking to the accountant, doing payroll, taking care of HR-related issues etc, he starts to feel a little overwhelmed and decides he needs to bring on a Marketing Manager to help.
He logs onto Glassdoor to see what the going rate is these days for a Marketing Manager and quickly realises, based on his current cashflow dilemma, he can’t afford a Marketing Manager as salaries range from $74k to $176k p.a. He also realises that in addition to the salary, he will also need to have budget available to run Facebook ad campaigns, Google AdWords, content creation, traditional advertising etc.
Based on this scenario, Bob has an alternative. To engage an agency to assist him with everything from marketing strategy right through to implementation and ongoing management.
Cost-wise, he has one option of spending $60k + GST for the year. That’s just $5k+ per month and includes budget for distribution on Facebook and Google AdWords as well as video production, graphic design, electronic direct mail campaigns, website updates and more. For a little extra, he can even have them offer some PR services to help get him in front of the media.
Time-wise, Bob can now rely on a team of experts in their field from the agency to market his business, increase website traffic and brand awareness while he gets back to helping his team sell more and give great customer service.
It makes total sense to engage marketing experts who understand the marketing landscape…especially the digital marketing landscape. With Google changing algorithms more often than you change underwear and Facebook adding new and different functionalities all the time, it is difficult for any business to effectively and efficiently market their business to the masses online in their industry.
The sure fire way in gaining new customers and building deeper relationships with existing ones in 2017 is to engage the people who understand how to do it so you can sit back and reap the rewards of their labour.
About the Author | Bernard helps businesses leverage the power of consumer-focused multi-platform marketing strategies and collaborative workflow practices. In particular, he provides strategic marketing advice to automotive/marine/travel/tourism/RV industries. He assists them in promoting their product/s, brand or region via various digital marketing platforms and content marketing initiatives – while also providing consultation on content driven advertising campaigns, bespoke content creation, video production and so much more.