Should I sack the marketing ‘girl’ or my stylish wife?

Dear Aunty B,

We have just taken on a junior marketing manager who has reported to us that our marketing/design/branding “sucks”.

She thinks we should have single “theme” running through all our communication from our website to what’s written on our business cards.

That makes sense, but we are an amalgamation of three different companies and what she is suggesting would take a complete rethink and money at a time when quite frankly we have other priorities.

Also while this girl is qualified, she doesn’t have real life experience and I am concerned about taking her advice.

I have another problem – the new marketing manager reports to my business partner who is also head of marketing and branding.

My business partner is not qualified in marketing but she’s just very stylish (she’s my wife).

Any suggestions?



Dear ER,

Look, where do I start? Marketing. branding and design are crucial. We live in a far more visual world where everyone has the attention span of a gnat. Every message must be simple to grasp yet arresting and must consistently run through everything from your values to your website to your sales propositions.

Yet you decide to appoint a head of marketing and branding whose only qualifications seem to be that she is stylish and married to you.

Your “girl” is absolutely right. If you have absorbed three different companies then you need someone more qualified than a stylist running your marketing, unless you are in hairdressing of course.

It looks like, from one of your companies, that you are in the digital space. (Your logo looks awful.)

Here is what you must do.

First, bring in a marketing and brand consultant to look over your business.

Tell the consultant you are not going to pay them thousands of dollars to tell you that you need a new strategy. You know that.

What they need to do is come up with the company’s point of difference, value proposition, opportunities in the market and then look at how the marketing, branding and design changes that they suggest will bring you in a lot more money.

Have the “girl” included throughout as she obviously knows what she is talking about. (Hopefully she is not so annoyed with you by now, she is planning to leave!)

Where is the money coming from for the consultant?

Well, it’s time to take your wife out to dinner and offer to help start her new business as her talent is being wasted! Yes, it’s time to sack her.

Either that or hire a good divorce lawyer.

Good luck!

Your Aunty B.


Aunty B - Your problems answered by SmartCompany's business bitch

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