We can talk about it all we want, but at some point the results from investments you make in your business have to become evident. Investments like social marketing are the trickiest to assess for business owners and directors who have gotten on board, yet rely fully on stats and numbers they don”t understand.

Seth Godin wrote a  post recently that talks about the very real issue faced by businesses today looking to do marketing.  He called it, “More people are doing marketing badly” – there is no truer statement today.

The concept that it takes time for social marketing efforts to become evident, buys time for poor marketers to coast on cushy jobs. Business owners see numbers of likes soaring and think this is a measure of success. For many, simply having someone in a marketing position feels like an accomplishment.

It’s a sad state of affairs – one that I personally work hard on correcting through sharing on this blog, or through public speaking and community involvement.

How do you ensure you aren’t being taken advantage of by poor marketing?

Hard Work.
Yes, it’s that simple – but you need to set your mind to it and realize there is strongest value for your business if you yourself get involved and understand.

This is what you have to do as a business owner:

Decide that learning social media networking on a personal level and understanding what people are doing on-line and how to interact with them as a participant is a top priority for your business to remain competitive.

Yes, you can delegate this to others – or you can hire someone to do it for you, but there is a major problem there: How will you know if you are being taken advantage of?


Think about what you are doing in your day to day life when you make a basic purchase, such as a vacation, for example. Or if you are thinking of checking out a new restaurant. You are checking references and reviews on-line. Aren’t you?

So, let’s say you are planning to spend $3000 on a vacation – it’s worth your time to invest in a little research right?

Investment $3000
Research to Protect Investment: 1-4 hours (The math: At 4 hours, you’re willing to spend 1 hour of research time for every $750 of your cost)
Risk of not researching investment: A less that perfect week. Disappointment. Perhaps an illness that lasts a week? …
Long term loss: Usually nothing.

Let’s try this again with your marketing  plans,

Investment: $10,000 +++

Research to protect investment: ?

Risk of not researching investment: (This is where it gets interesting) Loss of Reputation Online, Lost Sales, Lost Time, the list goes on… Yet, for many the concept that they don’t “get” social media and don’t have “time” for it are reasonable?

Long Term Loss: Thousands of dollars, maybe hundreds of thousands. Possibly the future of the company.

Smart Business People Are Not Exempt From Marketing.

You take pride in being a smart business person, maybe even a leader – and that’s why you delegated and hired someone else to take charge of your marketing, because you’re too busy to look into it yourself…

“There’s no standards manual, no easy way to check your work. Without a rule book, it’s hard to follow the rules.” ~ Seth Godin

How do you really expect to manage the results, make reasonable demands, know when you’re being taken advantage of?

You need to make the rule book, or at least have the wherewithal to inform yourself to cut through the BS of the current marketing conditions.

Is this you?

“I hired a marketing person to do this, I trust that decision, I don’t have time to get involved…”

So if you don’t check this out for yourself and make this a priority, would it be fair to say you are willing to make a $10,000 to $75,000 investment in a marketing agency or in- house marketer, and are comfortable going in blind? Just because someone tells you the person is good? How do they know, do they know your business?

Is this what it has come to?

Going in Blind – No Rule Book = Marketing Decisions
Research and Fully review analysis = Dinner and Vacations

Overall: You are Crazy.

You will research where you are going to have dinner and invest hours of time reading other peoples reviews of vacation spots to protect a minimal investment, yet for your business, for the future of your company, for the success of the name you have built, you “just can’t wrap your mind around social”…

That’s a lot of money you leave on the table and a huge huge risk. If you’re okay with that, I guess it’s what it is.

If you’re not, if you care, if you’re getting in the game, then you need to beLearning about social media is crucial to your business informed and it’s time to put that hard work in and start understanding the vary basics of what needs to happen. Business owners who take an interest and do some consulting with verified sources – do a little reading, do a little research – these are the leaders and business people who will start seeing profits. You need to get involved. Period.

If I can leave you with one more thought on this, it’s that the environment right now is so competitive, and is so new, that there are few people in the mass of “marketers” out there who truly understand how to market properly. They are learning too. So what is happening is that even they are throwing numbers and results out based on analytics that they do not even understand. They take basic buzz words and attribute numbers to them based on one article they read, or hear one case study and think that this is the way to go. Every business is different. Every approach must be tailored, and the only way to be outstanding in this field right now is to be always learning, active and creative…knowledge seeking and most importantly questioning. Most don’t even know how off the mark they are.

Recommended reading for some straight talk and digestible logic & insight: Mitch Joel’s CTRL ALT Delete

What do you think? Are you crazy, or is it acceptable to just delegate and hope that everyone involved knows what’s going on?

When was the last time you got a stat or number and questioned the parameters to fully understand what it really meant? It’s time to invest in your business, and that is going to take some of your time.

Who do you turn to for help? Do you see this as an issue? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. 

It’s not “just marketing”, it’s the future of your business, your reputation, essentially, your life. Are you really going to hand over all the control, or will you be as resourceful as possible to make sure that at the end of the game, you’ve won?