Three tips for entrepreneurs starting out in communication and marketing

It’s funny, but I still meet virgin entrepreneurs in this marketing and communication thing. Some are anxious, others are nervous and, for the most part, lost. Something completely normal. I think it is important for these newcomers to start from some premises, which will allow them to better approach the process they have ahead of them and also to obtain better results.

First of all, leadership is needed. The person in charge of marketing (or whoever covers that role in the company) is like the national football coach, the whole country knows more than… Well, it must be that, as marketing and communication impacts on the whole organisation, in one way or another, everyone feels in a position to have an opinion. However, no one can argue with an engineer about a project. Who would dare if they didn’t have the knowledge? In an assembly line there will be discussion when it comes to setting up the process, but once it is decided, nobody is able to continue to give an opinion. In the case of a financial director, they may more or less like the figures he is reporting, but it doesn’t provoke an open debate in the whole organization either, does it? Well, that’s not the case with marketing. The marketing manager can design (with or without help) a great campaign, but there will always be someone who questions it and gives his opinion, and even when it is already decided and implemented, says “I wouldn’t do it like that” and wants to change it.

Therefore, I dare to recommend to entrepreneurs who are taking their first steps in this field, to select a small group of people (3-5 at most) and ideally from different departments, even from outside the organization. You can ask and test, of course, always before making a decision. Once made and validated by the person in charge, no one else should “interfere”. In this we must be firm because it is not convenient to be constantly changing the direction.

In addition, you have to be patient because marketing is an investment that brings benefits in the medium and long term, in recognition and/or in sales. Therefore, you have to give time to the time and dimension the expectations to the budget.  A trusting and long-lasting relationship is not built overnight. There are no shortcuts, although a large budget helps to move forward on more tracks and sometimes faster. It is also not convenient to be constantly changing agencies because it does not give a good impression to third parties (this is like a guy or a girl who has several divorces, in the end we can think that the problem is his / her and not all their partners, right?)

One suggestion is that, before deciding to hire an agency, one of the questions you can ask yourself is in relation to the length of time your clients stay, to see if they have that loyalty, and that same commitment, should be reciprocal.

It is also necessary to identify what resources are available and for how long. Any supplier is helped by transparency and by knowing the criteria by which it will measure its continuity.

And, finally, there is the feeling. Possibly the one who best controls his sector is the entrepreneur, but in the same way we agencies know ours, and as professionals we try to do our best for each client. And we take care of it, because we want it to be a client for a long time. Even if internally you have a very good marketing person, you will need help to implement the strategies. You will also need external input to have a different vision. The time that is shared with the agency, as with other suppliers, is a lot. Therefore, you must also value how they work: for example, that they are nice people, proactive, that they put themselves in your shoes, … In short, choosing an agency is not only a matter of head and hands, but also of heart and guts. That’s why, once you’ve assessed the pros and cons of an agency, you have to ask your intuition as well.

By Beatriz de Andrés, CEO of Art Marketing

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