How To Pick The Best Marketing Consultant and KNOW He Will Deliver on His Promises

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One of the biggest obstacles you need to overcome before hiring a marketer, or for that matter making any purchase decision is figuring out how to know if something works without trying it. That’s one of the big problems with claiming you are the best in your marketing, while this might be what your customers want, and it might be true, there is no way for your customer to know that you are the best until they try your product. When it comes to hiring a marketer or other specialized skill, you have an even bigger challenge because once they start talking about something you don’t quite understand, you have no choice but to defer to their judgement and take their word it. This of course means that you need to know you can truly trust a marketer before hiring them.

The Secret To Hiring A Marketer is To Realize That You Need to Risk A Little Money In Order to Make A lot of Money With Certainty. 

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What this means is that you can ask yourself a simple question to determine if you should take a risk with a marketer. “Will This Small Amount of Money Bring Certainty To Me About Spending More Money?” If your marketing isn’t structured in a way to identify opportunities to make a ton more with certainty, there is something wrong. Probably the biggest mistake you can make when hiring a marketer is not making sure that not only are tracking everything accurately, but that you recognize that the goal is to Identify opportunities to make lots of money WITH CERTAINTY. This is actually why I named my marketing company Tenfold Traffic, because the goal is to find scalable marketing opportunities. The goal is to spend a little to find the opportunities to scale your marketing tenfold. 

I have made this mistake in the past, and it only leads to confusion and what I call becoming a slave to your marketing mix. If you are turning a profit but don’t know what is working and what isn’t, you are stuck wasting money for no reason. There are basically three reasons why someone might not track their advertising and marketing spend. The first is an amateur who simply doesn’t know any better. This is someone you should probably avoid. The second is a scam artist, or media company that has no interest in you making money and just wants to take all your money. So they try to pitch you spending as much as possible without realizing that your goal as a marketer should be.”To Test An Opportunity as Quickly and Cheaply as Possible.”  The third type of person is someone who insist that the exposure is branding and will help grow your brand. This third type is the most dangerous and when someone says that to you, you Should Run AS FAST AS POSSIBLE In THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION. This isn’t to say that branding doesn’t work, it most certainly does, but anyone who believes that spending money without accountability doesn’t understand how brands are built in the first place. Here is a simple test to figure out if you should trust a marketer who claims to do branding, “Do You Do Anything Else Besides Branding?” If the answer is Yes, than you need to think twice about trusting them. Why? Because a fundamental principle of branding is very focused messaging, and if you offer other services, they clearly aren’t focusing their own messaging. Would you really trust a branding expert who fails to follow basic fundamentals with his own brand?

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One of my biggest pet peeves is marketers and designers who claim to offer branding as a service. The problem is, many of them don’t understand what branding really is. Branding is not a clever name and a pretty logo. It is not a creative slogan or a business card colors that match your website. Those are all little screws in the branding machine, but Branding is MUCH MUCH MORE THAN THAT.

What really shocks me is that branding is actually common sense. You just need to know how to think about it. Let’s start with the goal and work backwards. The Goal of building a brand is so that someone can remember you, trust you and associate your brand with the category you are trying to own. The goal is for them to say, “Just Google It, or Make a Xerox, or Pass me a Kleenex, or can I have a Coke.” Branding is about winning a category… IN PEOPLES MINDS. Do you really think having a business card matching your website colors will make someone associate your brand with whatever you do? Of course not, all it will do is make sure when they think about you, everything is consistent and focused.

Branding is about the battle for peoples perceptions and minds. It is all about understanding and influencing human perception. So, lets take a look at how people think and perceive things. I have a question for you. Have you ever tried to change someones mind about politics, sports or religion? Doubtful. Why? Because the human mind is like wet cement. Once you associate a brand name with a category it is almost impossible to change that perception. So, even if you are a better product than your competitors, claiming you are better wont help because they won’t trust what you say about youself, they only trust third parties about your brand. If someone told you a volvo was a safe car or a camry and accord are the best value for your money, you will probably trust them. If those brands made the same claims, it would fall of deaf ears.

So, Brands are built by what other people say about you. Brands are built when they don’t try to conflict with preconceived perceptions. Brands are built in new categories, by PR for the most part. If your category already exists, you need to acknowledge the category winners brand, and position yourself opposite them. Like pepsi targets the new generation, while coke is classic, the original, and the real thing. Avis is number two but they try harder.

The only way to learn branding is to study thousands of brands that both succeeded and failed and understand how to position your brand to win a category in peoples minds. This can only be done with deep knowledge and experience. Deep understanding of all existing messaging and brands in your market, and a very clear, focused, and deliberate message.

Even the top branding companies, like Ries and Ries, don’t call themselves branding companies. They call themselves “Focusing Consultants.”

So if a marketer wants you to spend money without the goal of identifying a certainty of scalable opportunity, run far far away.

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About David Melamed

David Melamed is the Founder of Tenfold Traffic, a search and content marketing agency with over $15,000,000 of paid search experience and battle tested results in content development, premium content promotion and distribution, Link Profile Analysis, Multinational/Multilingual PPC and SEO, and Direct Response Copywriting.

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  1. […] Hiring a marketer. This post is obviously a sell post but it does bring up some great points to think through if you’re hiring a marketing consultant or agency. […]

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