Have you ever noticed how true that statement is? The one eyed man is king in the world of blind men. Every day I see small business owners who are listening to “marketing experts” who, in reality, have no idea what they’re doing. These so called experts, however, go into business for themselves and start advising clients because, in relation to their clients, they are experts.
Don’t get me wrong, everyone starts somewhere, but as a small business owner, can you afford to pay for someone else’s education? When I first started in marketing, I was a 21 year old kid full of piss and vinegar who thought he knew everything. Now I had some people standing over me to smack me back in line when I strayed too far away from the pack, but, looking back, there were some times that I should’ve been smacked right out of the industry. Thankfully I obviously wasn’t, but back then, I would’ve been that one eyed man thinking he was walking amongst blind men and women as the only one who could see the way.
While that’s fine when you’re dealing with a new account executive that has someone looking over them, what about when you go outside of the box to find someone to do their marketing? This tends to happen a lot with small business marketing because these small businesses typically can’t afford, or don’t want to afford, to hire someone with a history of expertise in the field and small business owners don’t know how to market themselves.
I’ve always believed in making sure that you’re in the business of what you know. When I lived in Rochester, NY, I saw a massive influx of start up business because of all of the layoffs that were pummeling the area. Experts from Kodak, Xerox, Bausch and Lomb and many other companies were laying people off in droves and these people didn’t have anything to do so they started their own businesses. These talented men and women were experts in their fields, but were “blind” when it came to small business marketing, which is exactly how it should be. Before, they had about as much of a need to be experts in marketing as I had to be an expert in brick laying; it just wasn’t necessary. Unfortunately, there were a lot of “one-eyed men” out there to take advantage of the fact that they didn’t know what they were doing and stepped in as “kings” when it came to marketing their small businesses.
What’s my point to all this? When it comes down to it, if your marketing efforts are working, they’re working, and that’s all you really need to know. I will say this, though: beware the one eyed man. Is your consultant educated in all forms of marketing? Are they constantly learning and aware of the industry? Or do they only know their service offerings and nothing else? Make sure that whoever you decide to work with is seeing with both eyes because, when you’re marketing budget is small, you can’t afford to waste it.