What Digital & Social Media Marketers Can Learn from Business Consultants [Opinion]

In the last five years I have heard some wild claims about who makes the best marketer – those claims have ranged from PR professionals, who ‘should be the only people to do it’, to Social Media, to ‘it takes a Sales Professional to provide the best internet marketing.’

I’d like you to think of Digital Assets in the form of a building:

  • The windows are Social Media – transparency of course
  • The walls are the advertising efforts – the place to display and show
  • The doors are the PR – as media attention helps get people to walk through the door
  • The shelves, displays and racks are the event planners – presentation and onsite execution
  • The Roof is the website – it covers everything else

However, the missing element is the foundation or the business itself. The digital and social media industry has gotten a lot of bad heat on not being effective and I would argue that has happened because the keystone has been missing, the Business Consultant.

I warn almost everyone that I interact with to look for the red flags when meeting a PR, Web, SEO, Social Media, Event Professional, etc. The best way to know if that have any clue what they are talking about will come with the first interaction. Do they start talking to you about their business and products, or do they ask you about yours?

The world is filled with overnight talent and businesses that offer these services and I say talent because most are very good at their niche, unfortunately it seems to end there. Think of it like a great marksman sent off to war to be a sniper without any military training. The ability to hit a target does not translate to being an effect solider, especially in terms of the bigger picture.

The transformed business consultants that are working as project managers and on the rare occasion can provide Web Development, SEO, Social Media and more are carrying with them the greatest lesson the marketing industry can learn, success goes beyond the view, comment and call!

Traditional marketing and advertising was all about visibility and the connection point, the advertising was a success when the consumer connected with your name, product or service.( i.e. someone visited the website, opened the email, opened the text message or called your phone, that is marketing success in the traditional context). The ability to convert that experience into a sale was the business owners problem. This is the reason businesses fail continuously and why corporate leadership is completely in the dark with the digital environment.

How Can We do Better or Demand Better?

Take the Business Consultant approach, inquire about the business model, the products or services, why the target market is the target market. Take the campaign backwards, go from the conversion or sale to the campaigns and tools to reach consumers. Build the model on the business and remember the best in any industry become the best from exploring. Sometimes it’s easier to create new then fix broken.

Why “NO” is so important to the Profession of Digital & Social Media Marketing [Opinion]

The overnight rush of Web developers lead to overnight SEO providers and then the flood of Social Media Marketers. Which in turn lead to every PR, advertising and marketing agency claiming to offer services they knew nothing about to save their revenue streams. The industry changed so fast that quantity quickly overtook quality.

“NO” is crucial to not just the digital and social industry but the recovery of our economy! I was sitting in a session at BlogWorld, it was about monetization, each of the three presenters had the same story the “advertisers found us” and “I spent nothing on advertising”.

I had to go to the mic, this is such a common carless comment that I had an ethical obligation to set straight.

The question: “You said that advertisers found you and that you spent nothing on advertising, but I want you to think of what the cost was… you might not have purchased advertising but clearly you spent time and money to build your…”

All three faces quickly had a look that you couldn’t quite place, perhaps it was horror? Then Lou Mongello of Walt Disney World Radio jumped to answer, “Oh it was so expensive, it cost me time, I had to sell my house and I spent money on all sorts of things”.

Lou Mongello then went on to explain that part of his success came from having his families support and the understanding of sacrifice to accomplish the long term goal.

Don’t Go In Unprepared

Here is the crucial point of this article, because so many enter into digital and social media services unprepared with misrepresentation of their own business model, they are ill equipped to help their clients with the same problem. In the need to create profits they become like AOL, they leap into every adventure without any thought of their clients business model or worse their own long term business model.

Learning to say “NO” allows you to take on clients that will be successful with your talent or service, it garnishes long term revenue for your business and a reputation for growth. It’s not easy being picky in the beginning, or when times are tough, but it is successful! Even more importantly, it keeps others from wasting their life savings on an idea or business that they are underfunded, underequipped or worse ignorant about from losing their time and money. It also prevents the overwhelming false, false from becoming the digital and social media industry. The Social Media Marketer did not intentionally fail you, the web developer did not build a crappy website or fail to generate valuable SEO, the business was flawed and directed to fail from the beginning and the digital and social industry should not take the blame for that.

Pick your clients carefully, for the benefit of them, yourself and our industry.

Author:

@BasilPuglisi is the Executive Director and Publisher for Digital Brand Marketing Education (dbmei.com). Basil C. Puglisi is also the President of Puglisi Consulting Group, Inc. A Digital Brand Marketing Consultancy that manages professional and personal branding for Fortune 500 CEOs, Hedge Fund Managers and Small Business Owners.

Sources:

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Comments

  1. I love the reference to thinking of digital assets like a building. Nice way of putting it and overall interesting social media article. Cheers Basil.

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