A little lesson I learned a long time ago is that if you are in command, then you need to command, and this absolutely applies to both marketing and advertising. As President of Frontline, I am in charge of everything. Following the advice of my mentors, I learned I should never delegate decision-making involving these two important aspects of business. Now the actual responsibilities of performing needed legwork can and should be given to a person who is a true expert, or a consultant who is hired on a piecemeal basis. Past experience has taught me that if you delegate the responsibility, chances are very high that they’re going to get it wrong. An exception to this would be if the person given the responsibility really knows the focus of your business.
Targeting Markets within My Own Industry
Frontline’s target market is, of course, the Federal government. This includes the V.A., the Army and the Air Force, mainly because of their proximity. There are specific rules that must be adhered to simply because it involves the government and a proper approach must be handled delicately. If I went out on a limb and hired an advertising and marketing agency to handle advertising to these entities, it’s likely that agency might not have any idea what the rules are, or realize the need for careful handling when dealing with contracting officers and representatives of these agencies. Of course, there’s the legal aspect involved, but if things go wrong on any level, it’s going to be difficult to undo the damage created by improper handling.
Granted I’m not a marketer by any means, but I have a full understanding of the ethics and legalities involved in my business; so whether we’re talking about a simple flyer that advertises a specific skillset, or something more involved such as a full blown T.V. or radio commercial, it all needs to be carried out in a correct and legal fashion.
Affordability of Advertising
Advertising is most definitely a costly endeavor and it’s important to budget carefully in order to maximize ROI on the limited dollars you may have to spend. I fall within this bracket because I have limited advertising dollars to spend, so it is even more important that I hire the right person for the job. Again, I’m not delegating the decisions here, just the actual physical piece, and it’s important to distinguish the difference. I place trust in the people I hire to perform these tasks, but they still must run it by me. If I have a problem with it, they need to be able to explain to me why they feel it will work.
This method of operation extends to the sales side of our business as well. If you have a “rock star” sales person who goes out and sells a million dollars’ worth of work too cheaply, you can’t recognize a profit, yet we’re still obligated to perform the work. This is a prime reason why you need to have a hands-on approach with anything that obligates your company. If you are in charge of your company, stay in charge and stay in touch with all aspects of your business. Let the experts do the physical legwork, which is then approved by you before it goes out the door.
As always, if anyone wants to discuss this further, I welcome you to contact me.