I’m fairly confident in stating that none of us would ever claim to know everything. For that reason we bring in experts, people who can advise us when we need support. I think you’d also agree that if you bring in a specialist they would most likely have either been recommended to you by a trusted contact who has used their services or else you would have asked for evidence they can perform as they claim. Sounds obvious, doesn’t it?
A couple of weeks ago I presented a marketing strategy to a fairly large business that had never even employed a marketing professional. I detailed how they would need to take advantage of a wide-range marketing mix if they were to guarantee a successful campaign targeted at such an eclectic audience. I highlighted how the campaign would need to be broken down, and the messaging and tools changed for each sector. I explained the Commercial Mosaic and how different personalities have preferred methods of receiving information.
Imagine my shock, and disappointment, when I was informed that although my plan was strategically superior to everything else presented to them, the organisations board had decided the way forward was to throw all their eggs into the social media basket. Bear in mind I had explained the major part of their target audience neither utilised nor engaged with people through social media.
I had one of those moments when you are about to witness a car crash. You hear ringing in your ears and everything moves in slow motion.
My nature is to run towards the impending accident shouting and waving my arms in the hope that someone takes notice and a catastrophe is averted. However, there are those so convinced they have made the right decision they either won’t listen or else don’t wish to be wrapped in a blanket and helped to safety. In those cases standing on the kerb witnessing the horror unfolding knowing you were able to prevent carnage is painful beyond words. You just have to turn around and walk away as the emergency services arrive and try to salvage the shattered pieces.
It makes me so sad that those with sufficient influence or conviction will lead vulnerable businesses down a path of inevitable failure and sadder still they are followed. It wastes a huge amount of time, resources, money, and the credibility of all those involved is damaged.
Although it may seem to be common sense, if you are seeking specialist help don’t become another roadside casualty. Ask for proven cases where their advice has resulted in measurable success, ask for references and follow them up, ask to see their work and make sure it’s not something they have passed off as their own, ask for evidence, and let’s try to avoid any more pile-ups.