How to do “more” Marketing with fewer people

“I wish I had more time and more money” – this is something we eternally hear entrepreneurs and business heads saying a lot! If you are one of these people, be assured that help is at hand. Read on to know how to get more hands and brains to work for your business, allowing you to do and get more done.

With reference to marketing initiatives, many businesses still shy away from taking the first step. Some of the successful businesses say they have got thus far on the engine of great sales, so why waste precious time on Marketing. Some others definitely want to get their marketing function working better but are intimidated by the idea of hiring, managing and directing a team of marketers. Some others still are simply daunted by the thought of increased investment in marketing, without knowing when or how it will start paying back some ROI.

We have numerous instances of clients who have held back from rolling out even basic, cost-effective marketing initiatives  - such as email newsletters or social media presence. Why? Simply because they don’t know how to get started or how to sustain the effort, when it completely depends on their own time/availability.

We, at Inception, do understand this hesitation. We understand that when you build a brand and business with painstaking effort, you don’t want sporadic attempts at your marketing effort to confuse your target audience. If one had unlimited resources and expandable managerial bandwidth, perhaps it is possible to hire the best marketing talent and also put in required time to get things moving the way one wants. But buckling under resources constraints, we see businesses that let the status quo remain.

Hear it from us here - why you don’t have to let it go at that!

The comforting truth is that today, given the spurt in new ways of collaboration and interesting ways to outsource work, you don’t need huge budgets or a fancy marketing team to get your marketing initiatives see the light of day.

Freelancer, ODesk and Elance are some places where you can find efficient and effective freelancers to take over many parts of your marketing execution. Just be mindful and  pick someone who has a credible track record of completed work on the portal and also who understands/belongs to a similar diaspora as your business or target market.

Another relatively recent trend is to hire an entire marketing team on an outsourced basis. At IBS, we offer growing businesses an option to hire us as their marketing teams. We take on multiple marketing projects or even very specific marketing activities to help diffuse the bandwidth clogging faced by business owners. We bring not just specific individuals who will think, plan and execute a client’s marketing function but a team of enthusiastic marketers to back them up and handle the every day nuts and bolts work that goes into marketing.

Talking to us at Inception will get you not just an “agency” but a Marketing Ally - who works with you to set your marketing goals, helps you figure out what kind of email marketing would work for you, how your social media pages could be used better and not just that – what is your overall budget for getting everything done. Early on, we figured that growing businesses have a limited pocket and whether they are paying our fees, the email marketing software cost or FB ads  - the money all needs to come from the same place. Which is why, we come to every client with a CMO mindset. Our first job is to translate what you say you need from Marketing into specific areas of work that are best likely to deliver those results. And then see what are the best ways to do so within your overall budget.

Are you still finding excuses to not spend time on your marketing? Start somewhere simple - like email marketing or blog & content or social media. Now you know, where to find the right kind of help :-)
           

About the Author:  
Pavithra is Founder & Partner at Inception Business Services. A Marketing & Management professional with a keen interest in people and passion for ideas, Pavithra moved from being a Banker & Wealth Management professional to entrepreneur. Working with start ups, Brand management, Customer engagement, Content creation and Coaching/Training are areas of work that most excite her. She is a multi-tasking entrepreneur, mother of a 4 year old and wife of a businessman. Mail her at pavithra at inception.net.in
Author – Team Inception

Categories: Inception Business Services, Marketing, Work, Customer Service, Importance of Marketing, innovation, Marketing with fewer people, Outsourced Marketing, Strategising

LOOKING IN AT CULTURE – MY YARDSTICKS

Most organizations boast of having a culture. And no one is wrong when they do so, because every organization does have a unique identity and a way its employees perceive that identity. Organizational Culture, as defined on businessdictionary.com, is “the values and behaviors that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization”.
Removing all the jargon from this definition, what it really boils down to are some basic questions. What does the organization believe in? How does it react to employees who may not share the same beliefs? Do the employees feel proud and happy to work for the organization? Or is it one long dreary engagement between two unlikely entities?
So much has been written on organizational culture and matching the employee and the organization and so on and so forth, yet we find a high number of dissatisfied, disgruntled and positively unhappy employees around us in this corporate world. So here are some of my yardsticks to evaluate or understand an organization’s culture – looking in from the outside. Starting from the first job these yardsticks are valid and have value in every transition made.
1.       The Start
There was once an interview I attended where the interviewer questioned me for about 45 minutes. When I stepped out I felt like I had just committed a felony and had been interrogated instead of being tested for my knowledge on the relevant subjects.
Many companies approach the interviewee with the idea of stressing them out, purportedly to understand the individual’s capability. However, my view on this has always been that jobs in the corporate are not ‘life-endangering’ and ‘constantly under stress’. Compare a job in marketing or finance to one in a hospital- as a surgeon or a nurse. People quite literally perform under stressful conditions there! However in business you have time to evaluate your options to approach a problem in the best way possible, especially jobs at entry and mid-level. So the concept of stress interviews never has made sense to me.
2.      The People
When you walk in through the door, you notice a lot of small little things- the décor of the office, the arrangement of cubicles, a professional air around the place and so on. Yet, to me, the most important and palpable vibe comes from the people. When you sit down and the interviewer asks you if you’d like a glass of water, you know they think a little beyond themselves. Trivial and obvious as it may sound, there are many places where the interviewer may dispense with this or other cursory politeness. This for me is a no-go. The demonstration of care begins from minute one. Because culture is not something that begins when you join or stop when you leave – it is the cumulative effect of many such small behaviors.
3.      Scope to Learn
Unless you are at the point of retirement, every job will have a learning curve. The biggest challenge for most organizations is to keep this curve steep for as long as possible. When evaluating a job, I believe, figuring out the organization’s attitude towards encouraging learning is critical.
If you choose to pursue a course to improve yourself, would the organization support the move? Would the job give you enough time at work to read up and research the latest in your field of work? Would it be viewed as something one should do on one’s own time? Answers to these questions would help in assessing the organization’s attitude towards enhancing your learning experience. And this is for me an integral part of the work culture.
4.      Your Peers
Our experiences at our workspace are largely defined by our peers. How your colleague responds to you will essentially make up how you are going to behave in the organization. When your peers guide you, encourage you, and help you learn the ropes you know you have the right support system. Additionally if you can use them as sounding boards for great ideas and they respond to you, you know you have struck gold! What is important here is the fact that the organization is an eco-system comprising of you as well as others. The better you vibe, the better your experiences in the organization.
5.      Your Boss(es)
This seems like a no-brainer in the organizational culture context. Statistics say that amongst the most common reasons people are looking to quit their jobs is the fact that they are dissatisfied with their bosses. They associate a plethora of problems linked to poor leadership. You can read some instances here. So what is seemingly obvious is for some reason not so obvious. When you join a organization you look for leadership and direction but on a more personal level, you look for challenging tasks, fulfilling work allocations and appreciation- all of which the boss will hand out. So often, organizations invest in building a culture and then fail in maintaining it because of a few bosses who believe otherwise! Culture is as great or weak as it is in the hands of your managers.
To some the above points may seem like the makings of an ideal and perhaps unrealistic work culture. But truly, culture-wise, there are many organizations today that are consciously investing in giving their employees the best they have to offer. Some offer work-life balance, while others offer a great work atmosphere, while still others offer great learning opportunities. When you see the right mix of some of these aspects; you can be sure that the organization has taken efforts to build its culture with great care.  
If you lead an organization, you may want to relook at some of these points to take a reality check on what prospective colleagues read about your culture when they meet you.
Write in to us with your thoughts on building or evaluating culture, especially in start-ups and growing businesses. We think it is a very important aspect of building a sustainable organization. Which is why some of this will be discussed in our People panel on Inception Day on 1 st June 2013. Read more about that here. For Event details click here:  http://tinyurl.com/adktfmz and for Registration click here:  event.ayojak.com/event/inception-day-2013
About the Author:  
Madhumita Ganapathy  - Associate Consultant at Inception Busi ness Services
Madhumita is a brand marketer known for her exuberance and zeal for getting things done. An MBA grad, Madhu started her marketing career at ITC and has been with IBS since mid-2012. She has contributed immensely to shaping  some of our young client brands. She now supports us in her new role as Associate Consultant based in Connecticut, USA. Apart from her passion for brands & marketing, Madhu loves classical Indian dance, travel and writing.
Connect  Madhu on LinkedIn.
or
Connect with her via email at  [email protected]
Author – Team Inception

Categories: Office Culture, Organization, Peers, Work, Boss, Colleagues, Culture, Employees, Learning

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