Please excuse this little rant. It’s just that it saddens me deeply to see small business owners do the right thing and invest in better marketing their business only to find they have nothing to show for it except, perhaps, a pretty website and business card. They came to me for help with their sales and we end up having to sort out their marketing at the same time.

Do not get me wrong. I am happy to do this. Sorting out the marketing basics is part of the deal. Its hard work trying to sell something your target audience does not want. The process often requires some kind of repositioning within the market place.

No, its the fact that they have wasted all that money with someone who does not understand marketing fundamentals. In the most recent case we are talking £3,000+VAT but I have had clients who had blown £12,000+VAT or more on a ‘marketing consultant’ who, it seems, has not even read ‘Marketing for Dummies’.

In the old days, and I am talking 1989 when I graduated from the MBA programme of Cranfield School of Management, we were taught about the ‘Marketing Mix’ and the 4 P’s of marketing by Professor Malcolm McDonald who is now well known in the marketing world. Even though we went into marketing in great depth and I went on to study marketing of services, the 4 Ps under-pinned everything. For your benefit, the 4 Ps are:

Product
Price
Place
Promotion

Each P is important in it’s own right but the marketing only works if you have them all working together. The underlying aim is to determine the positioning within the market in which one is operating. And there lies the real problem. These so called marketing experts are focused on the promotional activities without understanding the market and the positioning of their clients within that market. It’s like trying to build a house without foundations: Cracks soon appear.

There are plenty of really great marketing consultants and I would be happy to make a personal recommendation if you send me a message. Before spending any money on marketing, however, please do first check the consultant’s methods of delivering what you are paying for. If the marketing consultant does not, at the very least, go through some form of market appraisal then run like mad!! Unless, of course, you have plenty of money to burn!