My boss doesn’t get the need to do marketing. How can I get through to him?

Hi Aunty B,

I work for a company in the electrical contracting game. We’re family owned, we’re very successful and it’s a terrific place to work.

But I can’t help feeling the business would perform much better if we could improve our marketing efforts.

Frankly, it’s a mess. Our branding is not consistent, we do little or no advertising, our marketing collateral looks awful and we don’t bother to get involved in any industry events.

If we just did a few of these things better, I know we’d see an uplift in sales and profit. But every time I raise it with the boss, he smiles and says “our financial results suggest we’re doing pretty well and there’s no need to waste money on that.”

It’s so short sighted. All they care about operations, but they cannot see what they are missing out on.

Help!

MM,

Brisbane

 

Dear MM,

Long-standing bosses can be very hard to shift, particularly when things are going well and they’ve always done things a certain way.

There are two ways you need to come at this problem.

Firstly, you need to think about what the purpose of this marketing would be.

It seems to me these guys have a pretty good brand in the marketplace. Yes, the actual logos might not look good, but what they stand for clearly resonates – and they might not actually be interested in a marketing campaign designed to grow sales and profits rapidly. They also might not want the challenges that come with that growth.

If that’s the case, you probably need to accept that your cries will fall on deaf ears and you need to focus on the low-hanging fruit, like standardising brands or making sure the collateral looks better. Advertising campaigns are probably off the table.

If they are looking for growth, then you need to show them what is possible. Perhaps secure a small budget for a pilot advertising campaign. Then make sure you present the cold, hard findings about sales generated and extra profit earned.

Speak their language and you’ll slowly win the argument.

Be smart,

Your Aunty B

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