Marketing Monday Q&A: Entrepreneurs and brand mascots

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This week’s Marketing Monday Q&A includes tips for entrepreneurs, insight on generalist vs. specialist marketing and a bonus question thrown in.

Check out the full video here:

Question 1: What is the most common mistake you see first time entrepreneurs making?

CMay: They think they have to do everything themselves.

The truth is that you probably shouldn’t do everything yourself, because a lot of us are specialists, rather than generalists. This means that there are certain areas where we have talent and experience and others where we should hire someone else who has the right strengths. For example, it may not be a great idea to try to be your own accountant or lawyer if you don’t have experience or a degree in those fields. This could actually get you into financial and legal trouble if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Of course, it depends on what situation your company is in, like if you’re just starting out, but once you are able to hire someone to do what you’re not great at, you should make that investment. If you continue trying to do it yourself, you may have problems later on.

There’s something to be said about DIY, but sometimes you just shouldn’t do it all.

Question 2: What marketing functions are important, but overlooked?

CMay: The unglamorous parts.

The marketing field has been glamorized in society, but the truth is that the majority of real marketing isn’t pretty. Some marketers may focus on how something looks, rather than what its value is and how it performs. They don’t go past topical values because the process usually isn’t easy or automatic.

The hard work, research and data are usually overlooked, even though these are some of the most important aspects of marketing. Sometimes people don’t want to dig into the numbers, but these are what drive the bottom line at the end of the day.

Question 3: Do you really need to be an expert in the industry you're marketing?

CMay: Yes.

Otherwise, how are you going to market it? In order to be absolutely successful in your field, you have to know your industry.

The difference in success in someone who just knows marketing and who actually knows the industry is tremendous. Don’t get us wrong, you may be able to have some measure of success knowing about different areas, but it will be limited if you don’t have experience or knowledge of your specific industry, its ins and outs, its customers and their pain points.

Here’s an example; If you know that in your industry, KPIs shouldn’t include salary, but all the reports you receive include salary metrics, then all your marketing KPIs are going to be wrong. If you realize this at the beginning, you’ll be able to fix the problem early on before it becomes an issue, but if you don’t know about the specifics of KPIs in your industry, your reporting will be completely off.

Again, there can be successes from being a generalist, and we all start out as one, but at the end of the day you need to know what you’re doing in your specific market. Your experience and knowledge in the field will help your marketing efforts considerably.

Bonus Question: What brand mascot should I be for Halloween?

CMay: Here are just a few suggestions:
  • Tony the Tiger
  • The Starbucks logo
  • That guy that leads the Chevy focus groups
  • The Human Internet from the GoDaddy commercials
  • The Most Interesting Man in the World
  • Peyton Manning carrying a chicken parm

If you enjoyed this week’s edition of Marketing Monday, follow us on Facebook, subscribe to our Youtube channel, and comment with your questions for the next #MarketingMondayQ&A.

Catch each episode on Mondays at 6 pm, live on Facebook.

Stay tuned for a very special edition of Illumine8 After Hours, happening on location at McClintock Distillery on Wednesday, November 8.

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