Friday, 29 July 2011

Marketing - a necessary evil?

I'd like to point out that the views in this post are entirely my own and do not represent that of u-ni-k gifts or Anna Matthews. So all grief to, OK?!

Marketing, it's just adding a strap line and colouring in big words making sure to stay in the lines right?! I have a hate-hate relationship with Marketing. A hang up from my project management days, as we'd keep the Marketing team cc'd in on all our project updates, invite them to join in our new system training sessions, and organise regular meet ups to walk them through the new functionality so that they would be informed and knowledgeable come the roll out and accompanying marketing campaign. So invariably they would ignore the updates, send 'underlings' to the training and meet up sessions (these 'underlings' would sit there bored drawing doodles on a pad thinking IT were sad boring geeks who weren't very important) and then go off and make up their marketing campaign based upon what their friends in 'sales' told them.

Not surprisingly this would end with me, the responsible 'buck stops here' project manager seeing something in the national press that proudly proclaimed my new project had warped into something I didn't recognise and with additional bells and whistles. So when the big boss or 'project sponsor' asked to see and play with the bells and whistles, I was in the enviable position of letting aforementioned boss know that there were not any bells and whistles. I can't count the times I've had the following conversation:

Big Boss: "Why aren't there any bells and whistles, it says here there are some bells and whistles? What release are the bells and whistles in?"

Overworked Project Manager: "We've not planned to have any bells and whistles, they weren't in the spec (you signed off mumble mumble). No one told us they wanted bells and whistles, so there isn't any. Look at all this other great stuff it does, look it will clean your house and cook you a 3 course meal..."

Big Boss:"I don't care about that stuff, I want bells and whistles."

Overworked Project Manager:"OK, we can deliver bells and whistles, just let me go away and do some due diligence to let you know how long it's going to take and how much is going to cost"

Big Boss:"I don't want to hear about that, use your current budget and deliver it next week".

And you wonder why nothing ever works when a big company rolls something out and the call centre staff say to you the customer. "Our computers are down again. It's our IT department, they're rubbish". No they're not, it's all Marketing's fault.

So imagine my horror when Anna and I started a conversation about advertising. Should we? What publication would we choose? How much are we willing to spend? Do we hire a professional to help us?
My initial thoughts of - What with colouring in and staying in within the lines and making up stuff as you go along?! Pay money for that? come from the old me, and I'm trying very hard to be a mumpreneur - a new me.

Anna is being very patient with me, she knows that I'll eventually come round and we'll have a lovely tasteful advert letting our 'target audience' know that we are there as the best source of children's gifts. I may even link to it from the website to let you all see how I've grown into a mumpreneur!

In the meantime, we can be found on UK Handmade's directory, Business Mum's Directory, Surrey Business Mum's Directory etc.

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

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