There is a common marketing secret that Interim Agencies use to offer their specialist in marketing that burns your money more than a Casino in Las Vegas. With this «secret», they offer you an impressive result showing you graphs with peaks higher than the most important tower in the world but are only images. If you ask their real result the most higher peak they gained is the step to enter your company.
Interim Agencies and the perfect storm in your business
I would like to talk to you about the perfect storm in your business. Do you know what I mean? I’m talking about relying on professionals or rather presumed such, who offer their services at a high price, promising you caviar, without being specialised in what they do.
If I put my company in the hands of an expert, I want, indeed I expect him/her to offer me a marketing service worthy of the name. You can say that again. Do you know that the false promises of interim agencies or marketing specialists will not allow you to get out of the crisis of your company and revive its fortunes? Besides, they now offer too many marketing services in addition to their thousand services. Quantity is certainly not synonymous with quality.
I’ll explain better. I talk about the professionalism that is the basis of one’s work. In business, there are no half measures: either offer an interim marketing service worthy of the name or sell smoke. Either you are specialised and able to bring about concrete results, or you are not.
I get right to the point, without going around it. Too many today boast professionalism and expertise, but end up offering you approximate market analysis and reports, sold at a high price, neglecting quality. It’s like selling you a car on paper new and beautiful and delivering home a wreck that barely starts up. You would feel cheated, correct? You would have every right.
How do the self-styled specialists who want to sell you their service at a price of gold, passing it off as the best on the marketplace?
What is the marketing of Interim Agencies?
I tell you how they move. They start with a scouting action, an exploration that they describe to you as entering the Amazon rainforest, but which has more to do with a search of the grove behind the house. They send a person on-site, at your company, a facade presentation.
What’s the point? They take care to visit you at your home, in the beating heart of your business, to say we are here and we are working for you. Too bad that they remain on the surface, without analysing all the aspects that concern the market analysis, which must be done before building any marketing strategy.
It is a bit like going to the Pole and thinking of surviving without the right clothing (the usual flip flops, so to speak); you pack a suitcase, but it’s not the right one for the place you’re going, because you don’t have the tools to cope with the situation you’re facing. Do you know what? It is deeply irresponsible and completely stupid.
This is what those who offer you a rough marketing service do. The money invested in vain is yours, not theirs. So much so that you don’t go to sleep peacefully at night, afraid of the fate of your company, certainly not them. So much so that you risk closing tomorrow if you can’t get up, they will find someone else to pluck like the capon for Christmas dinner when they can’t do it with you anymore.
I’ll tell you more. The specialisation is missing. If I have a fruit and vegetable shop, I will not sell meat, and if I decide to do so, I will not be as prepared as butchers who have years of experience behind them. Similarly, if I sell communication services, for example, I can also offer hyper-specialised marketing services (like ad interim), but will I be able to achieve the same results as a professional who has the expertise gained over time? The answer is absolute no.
Put this in mind: they make you believe that they can offer you stuff similar to interim services for the administration part, the production manager part, and so on. But is not so.
Marketing ad Interim for specific companies
I throw more meat on the fire, which, going forward at this rate, will be that of a whole ox.
Quite often the figures of the interim marketing managers who work in competing companies focus on large or even very large realities; for this reason, they are led to think about approaches in which the company’s brand is a well-known multinational in the sector.
What does this entail? I’ll explain it to you right away. Companies of this caliber have the advantage of having a privileged and much stronger access channel: their brand. Not my cup of tea. They have chosen and I took my choise when I decided which companies I want to work with.
Yes, because my case is very different: I choose to enter companies where the typical size is between 3 and 10 million €.
Do you know what the difference is? The challenge. Once in a blue moon, if the company is large, there are problems, while if it is small, there could be many more. In fact, and this happens above all in old Europe, companies that desperately need the figure of the interim marketing manager, like fish with water, have grown up as subcontractors for someone. You will say: what’s wrong with that? Nothing, except that at a certain point, suddenly, these same companies decide that the time has come to go directly to the market. And they do it either out of necessity, due to the loss of the partnership, or for the generational change, or for other reasons that I am not here to list.
The devil is in the details. In this case, knocking on very big companies exposes them to total devastation: a minefield in which nothing remains.
Their name is not known on the market but the assigned marketing manager does not take this aspect into account, minimising it. This produces only and exclusively a waste of economic resources that risk sending the company upside down.
Interim marketing manager: when you need his work
In addition to this, some see the interim marketing manager as a replacement for figures who, for one reason or another, have had to change direction or be absent from the company. It is useless to make it easy: in these cases the scenario that presents itself is that of the worst of conditions, or rather of the two worst conditions.
The first? What happens when someone suddenly leaves the helm of a company, is that those who find themselves in charge often make bad calculations, especially related to the time it takes to get things right. This means planning an interim marketing intervention that lasts at least 12 months in a much shorter time, believing that it can be solved in just 6 months (half), without considering that the turnover between people implies the cessation of old habits in favour of new habits.
The even more delicate issue is that, in general, there is a certain reticence in leaving old habits. This alone should make it clear that 6 months are not enough to revive the fortunes of a company; in fact, on average it takes 27 days to establish a new habit and it takes up to 90 days to undermine one.
The second scenario is even more shocking, so hold on tight.
Yes, because in general the company had a figure within it who was the MKTG, but he was nothing more than a mere executor of the creative charms of the property or management. A sort of yes-man, who rather than saying that MKTG was the least of the company’s problems, in fact preferred to hide the dirt under the carpet and directed the various creatives (from social media, to website management, for an external graphic designer), as if that were the solution to the company’s problems. Result? Realised a fair number of bullshit that the management asked him, but without increasing the turnover by a cent, on the contrary. The results were always aligned downwards. But in the meantime this person was holding onto his seat tightly, that chair to which he held on with his nails and teeth.
It is not enough to enter one of these two realities showing peaks and results: this is misleading. First it is essential to approach with an ANAMNESIS process. This is a process as delicate as it is indispensable, through which the Marketing Interim Manager analyses the business situation for at least 30 days – not one less – to the point that the REPORT ZERO is produced, the real starting point, which is certainly not a cheap and impromptu marketing.
Samuele Barrili is the founder of Marketing Interim Managers and Marketing4Waste. After his degree in Toxicological Chemistry focused on Environmental Pollution he started working in the industrial field as a salesman and later as a marketing manager. For over 10 years he worked with the owners of small and big technical companies. Now Samuele is helping waste management companies to create a marketing strategy that saves the planet by increasing their revenue without wasting time.