- Vanessa Rowley-Matthew
Can A Marketer Guarantee Results?
After speaking to a frustrated small business owner, I wrote this article. She couldn’t understand why a marketer could quote a price but not guarantee results for her marketing investment. I had to tell her that any marketer who guarantees a return is lying.
No marketer can guarantee results because marketing is an art and science with educated guesses grounded in primary or secondary research. So the question isn’t, do you guarantee a particular outcome? But rather:
If I invest $20,000 into creating a marketing plan, will I make $60,000 this year?
Will I double my clients if I send out ten new emails this month?
If we create a month of social media posts, will my followers grow by 200%?
The question should be, will you continue to help me position my business strategically and with a level of professionalism that will help me reach my business goals as long as I pay you your worth? Asking a marketer about ROI in marketing actually lets most marketers know two things:
You don’t know how marketing works, or you would never ask the question.
You’re operating your business without confidence. Either because your service is not that great, or you don’t believe in yourself or your business 100%.
So, what CAN a marketer do for you?
Think about it this way. If you have a child, you’re responsible for feeding your child and taking care of it. And one day, you send that child off to college. You or someone pays for that child to receive a great education that will pave the way for that child’s future.
Professors teach your child what they need to know for a career at school, but there’s no guarantee that your child will be a millionaire when they graduate.
Your business is the child, and you are its parent. Marketers are the teachers you send your child to with hopes of them picking a great career path with a high earning potential. Although it is a process-based discipline, it will always have inherent risks because PEOPLE are unpredictable. Your consumers are not predictable, and neither are you.
Hard Questions to Answer
Like you, your customers are looking for more than flashy marketing images and nice language. If you can’t deliver on your brand promise, there’s no point in investing money in marketing. So, what you have to ask yourself before you engage a marketer should be:
Are you wasting everybody’s time because your business is rocky in more ways than one?
Are your services competitive?
Are you wowing those who do business with you with your services?
Do people like you?
Because if you are not likable or your service delivery is trash, marketing will do nothing for you. Marketing isn’t a magic wand.
Marketers are Like Scientists
Better yet, think of marketing as a science experiment. The more trained the scientist, the more likely you will get desired results.
Marketers lean on data, experience, education, and best practices like scientists. We use all of the above to find the best possible solution. But, like any science experiment, or even a survey, there is always a margin of error to be expected.
Does this mean you then put, let’s say, a cure for a new disease in the hands of someone who knows nothing about science? No, you trust the scientists because they’ve studied long enough to have a fighting chance of figuring things out. So treat educated, seasoned marketers like scientists.
If you don’t know this, marketing is called “an art and a science,” and solid marketers are here to give you THE BEST SHOT at achieving the level of business success you want.
Other Things You Take Risk On
Let me give you more examples of things you spend money on without an ROI.
You spend money on trips with no guarantee of a good time.
You spend money on a car with no guarantee that it will always work.
You spend money on movies with no guarantee that you will like them.
You spend money on a home with no guarantee that the roof won’t leak.
You spend money on rent with no guarantee that you will have peace and quiet.
You go to a doctor without a guarantee that you will feel better after seeing them.
You spend money eating out with no guarantee you won’t get sick.
You are brought into this world, and there’s no guarantee that you will live to 100 years old.
For many of us, life is just the process of trusting those who know more than us to do their best to do right by us.
We trust the concierge has been at the hotel long enough to tell us the best places to go.
We trust the car dealer to get the best car on the lot.
We trust the roofer that he sealed the roof well for no leaks.
Yet, life happens. Better yet, do you go back to your doctor asking for your deductible when the doctor said you should feel well in a week, but it took two weeks?
Did the doctor not give you the best possible medical options given their expertise?
Do they not deserve to get paid if what worked for others happened not to work for you?
What You Should Look for in a Marketer
I am not saying you’re to spend your money on marketing blindly. Rather, do your due diligence to determine if the marketer you’re interested in working with knows marketing. Then, find out if they have helped anyone achieve any business growth.
What a marketer can and should speak to are the results they’ve achieved for others. This could be from their past jobs or as a freelancer or business owner. You can only look at their past performance to trust that the marketer will likely give you a similar return on your investment.
But an ROI cannot be predicted or guaranteed when it comes to marketing, especially since every company is different on some level. And how they connect to an audience will not be the same as another. A marketer should also:
Garner your trust
Help you make an informed buying decision
Educate you on their process
Provide you with testimonials/social proof
Let you talk to other clients about their experience
And deliver excellent customer service from the very beginning
The marketer you want to work with should also be honest with integrity. You want someone who won’t make false promises. Instead, work with someone not afraid to set realistic expectations for your marketing. You want transparency, and that is what VCM Strategies promises, along with promises to:
Be a partner to a healthy business relationship
Gain an understanding of your business and audience to make informed marketing decisions
Test and measure marketing efforts and pivot quickly when necessary
Bring ideas to the table informed by consumer insights
Keep you “in the know” about marketing progress
What to do if a marketer makes a guarantee?
If a marketer tells you that they can guarantee any ROI, you need to run or get ready for many disappointments.