Question: Our B2B doesn’t do a lot of marketing but we know we need to. We have a person on staff that is pretty good at marketing stuff. What do you think about having him/her handle our digital marketing?
Last month I had a similar question come across my desk only it was about the potential of using an intern to run social media and content. This time you are asking about the viability of using a seasoned employee to move from another position into a marketing role.
First of all, it is great to hear that your organization is ready to invest further into your marketing efforts. With more and more sales moving from face to face to online, it is critical that companies don’t shy away from investing in their marketing efforts both online and off.
Having said that, let me just say that I find it somewhat concerning that companies are taking the “We gotta guy for that” approach to filling their marketing needs. Not only is it an insult to the entire profession of marketing, but it is really a sign of indifference about your business.
When I discussed the risks of an intern running your social media and marketing I talked about putting your brand in the hands of someone who doesn’t fully understand the power they are wielding. Of course with time and energy that person can be developed to be more than proficient, but to be thrown into the role is not a great plan. This is similarly true with an experienced person that has worked in admin, operations or sales. With the rapidly changing environment of marketing, you can’t just read a few books and take over the marketing department and expect good things to happen.
Between digital and traditional marketing there is so much to know and with social, content and community evolving at breakneck speed, there is simply too much to know and too much at stake to just throw someone int the role. I asked this before and will ask it again, would you take a hard working sales person who likes accounting and make them your controller? Because this is more or less the same as taking someone and just making them your marketer. Especially considering marketing may touch more people than any other position and may have a more lasting impression on your clients and potential clients than any other item you invest in.
Much like the example of the intern, when it comes to throwing a person into marketing, it is important that you don’t just assume that their talent in something else will make them an effective marketer. More times than not, that just isn’t the case. But it doesn’t mean they can’t learn in time with the right mentorship and education. Just make sure you respect your brand and your business enough to not just let anybody control your brand message.
Ask yourself this: Who are we allowing to drive the strategy and execution behind our brand?
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