As a Strategic Marketer I’ve come across quite a few Marketing ‘Gurus’. Sometimes I meet them online, over Twitter or through a Blog, and sometimes at a networking event. They preach about having a solution to your Brand Positioning issues. That if you follow there advice the world will smell like roses…all the time….even when you sleep.
What a load of crazy talk!
I suppose in a way, I do the same. Call me a hypocrite, if you like, but let me explain before you close down this window and curse my name.
Your Brand Positioning issue are specific to YOU. You cannot pre determine or second guess what will help. Just because Twitter helped your rival, doesn’t mean it will help you. Search for answers that will help YOU. This, in my experience, is something most Gurus don’t do.
Why Death Is Knocking
The thing I find most Gurus have in common, is how they know what will fix your Brand Positioning woes before you even meet. The conversation often goes like this:
Hey, Twitter will solve your problems
Hey, PR will solve your problems
Hey, SEO will solve your problems
They may even get more general, such as:
Hey, Social Media will solve your problems
I’m sorry, but it’s not that simple. In my Free Ebook, What Is Strategic Marketing: The Ultimate Balancing Act, I tell a brief story about a conversation I had with my Cousin.
We basically began talking about his Brand Positioning, and how several Marketing people he met up with told him Twitter would help. He asked my opinion, so I said “Well, I think Twitter could be good for your business.”
The keywords in that sentence are think & could. For me, this isn’t good enough, and this is usually what these Gurus offer. It’s for this reason I became a Strategic Marketing Consultant, because I feel I hold an upper hand over most.
For you see, I don’t enter a conversation with pre-determined ideas. All this ever offers is think & could. This isn’t how I intend to earn my money, because let’s face it, who wants to buy something that might work?
Brand Positioning The Right Way
This is why being a Guru doesn’t work, because for the most part you specialise in a specific area. There isn’t anything wrong with this, in fact, it’s a really good position to be in. Mastering your niche, after all, is what we all hope to achieve.
However, to say your speciality can help everyone is wrong, and in general, this is what I find Gurus do. I’m not saying everyone does, in fact I’ve met some great folk who have a similar outlook to me. What I will say, Mr Business Owner, is be weary.
If someone comes in with pre determined ideas, send them packing. They don’t know your business and they don’t care about you. Instead, seek people who will learn what you’re about. This is the alternative, and in my book, the results are far greater.
The simple fact is, Twitter may or may not work for you. The same applies for PR and Print Ads and SEO and fill in the blank…
Until you do the groundwork, the answer WILL NOT present itself. Let’s look at my my cousin, again. If I was to go through the whole process there would come a point where I could replace the words think & could with know & will.
This is what you should be striving for!
Set Your Standards High
This isn’t an advert for my services, because like I say, there are many great marketers out there offering great advice. Just be careful when you see the words ‘Marketing Guru’. It may sound good, but what does it really prove?
They may have some great examples and case studies about improving Brand Positioning, but they haven’t helped your business. And guess what…your business is different to every other one out there.
Challenge them! Ask them to delve deep and find out what will and will not help. If they’re unable to do this, well, all you’ve found is an old school Marketing Guru. Search for a 21st Century one instead, because the modern marketer goes in with an open mind, looks to find out who you are, and gives you advice that’s specific to YOU.
Don’t accept anything else.
Turndog Millionaire – @turndog_million
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