David Maister provides good advice for the new in-house marketer asked to speak to the firm about what he or she can and cannot do to help the firm's professionals with their marketing efforts.
While seasoned marketers are more equipped to do some of the things David suggests this fictitious marketer would not, a rookie marketer (new, at least, to professional service firms) is well advised to take this realistic approach.
These are certainly truths that will come to be apparent over time no matter what the original expectation. Hopefully, this approach will be apparent to the marketer's boss in the interviews, though, or at least in advance of the meeting! For the boss to learn/hear this the first time in the first big pow-wow might not be such a good move...
Here are some snippets (I have consolidated some):
- As your new marketing director, my job is to support YOUR efforts to attract, win and retain clients. I cannot do that for you; I can only help you do it better.
- It's not my job to tell you to get involved in business development. -- If you are energized and motivated to want to get involved in developing your practice, I will be available to offer advice customized to your practice, your personal situation and your ambitions.
- I can offer advice and execution assistance on a wide variety of marketing activities...However, I will not give blanket recommendations about which of these tactics to use, nor how each of them can best be used. In all cases, the best technique will be one that both fits you and will appeal to your clients. We will discover what these specifics are through personal discussions, or not at all.
- Part of my job will be to help you understand what it will take to accomplish the goals you say you want to achieve. -- Occasionally, this will mean that me pointing out that you are aiming for unreachable goals, or that the amount of effort and resources you are willing to dedicate will not get you where you say you want to go. While I will do my best to help you achieve your goals, I will not encourage you to launch half-measures if I don't think they will work.
- In order to serve you well, I will need the privilege of giving my opinion and sharing my knowledge about what works. I will be your advisor, dedicated to your success. I will not just do what you tell me to do if I think you will be wasting your time.
Visit David's blog for the whole post: The New Marketing Director Speech.