Amateur Marketing Expert?

I’ve worked out that I have several peculiar personality traits – all, save one, of which I won’t go into any detail here – but the one I’d like to talk about here is that I’m a “fiddler”

The fiddler is, by definition, the one that will wait for as long as possible until calling for help, they will seek a solution (usually Googling the problem and trying the first option that appears) to a problem, and sadly in many cases break more than they fix.

It is natural to fiddle. So don’t be upset if you fall into that category, especially as a small business there is a natural reticence to call in the experts early.  In larger corporates, certainly in IT, there usually exists an entire internal support structure to help, and whilst problems can be wildly varied it’s generally regarded that’s what they’re there for.

How does this fit in with marketing? Well that’s the thing – as my business is young and therefore not entirely financially able to support the cost of a marketing expert I find myself in the unenviable position of having to become my own marketing department – something I really don’t want to do, but simply can’t avoid.

I’ve been lucky, had some help from various government funded groups and spoken to a few professionals but the one thing that’s standing out is that there just isn’t a clear path to follow and the whole thing is very subjective – is that by accident or design?

It’s not a completely inexhaustibly researched point of view, I’ve only met with most of these people once or twice, but ultimately it’s been enough research for me to form a considered opinion, or rather get confused as hell about the direction I need to go in!

And so due to the cost involved it’s not an investment we are able to make at this time, the hope and expectation is that as soon as a practical budget is available we will look to engage the services of a really good professional, but for now it’s just the spit, lolly sticks and sellotape approach.

I have become a Marketing Fiddler (TM)

At the core of the problem is our offering and the sector.  We have an extensive range of skills in the IT industry that are transmutable across many sectors and a service that is very generic in it’s nature, and so the temptation is to offer “general IT services” to all. That is something that the majority of the professionals have agreed on, so how to, as an amateur, get over that particular hump?

When you are a generalist is it such a bad thing?

After much thought, brain hurt and consternation a plan has been hatched, a plan to provide a “Managed Service” wait….what do you mean too generic?

A lot of previous work with clients and in the private sector has meant much in the way of troubleshooting but also negotiating, lots of messy stuff, lots of awkward stuff, in some cases having to evolve a really thick skin and be very bull-headed/strong-willed just to get things done. But I wholeheartedly believe that’s yielded a unique skill set.

Like a wind up kids toy, set the destination, put us down and let us go.

Isn’t that a valuable skill to market? Please please do drop me a line and tell me either way? To hell with the sales – this is more about the time spent on this and getting it right.

The service I’d like to sell is that of an outsourced managed service, a direct contact for all technical issues. One that is smart on the detail and that keeps you looped in, if you want it, but just gets on with it if you don’t. Making things work, work better, faster and cheaper (there I’ve said it, we can save you money blah blah!).

But each and every attempt at putting it in words just feels like a cheap sales brochure!

Your personal IT something or other (they jury’s still out on Guru @johnharvey !) or your Virtual IT Manager / Department, your Bespoke IT Expert Fiddler Pasty arrrgggghhhhhH!!

And so I sit at my desk gibbering like a madman – I WILL win! Eventually!

Footnote

After another day of wrangling (I’d rather be working) this delightful tweet comes in from Mike Truscott ( @michaeltruscot1 )

And, well, lets just say it makes the effort, and writing really does take an effort honestly it’s not all bashed out (rarely at all!), worth while – but potentially saved me from another time-costing round of more corrections, mad typing and consternation – on the right track then? Thank you again Mike!

If nothing else it must demonstrate the determination I have, and ultimately my company does, to get things done, and done right?

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