This post was originally published on LinkedIn.
I once had a prospective client approach me and inform me that he will only secure my services if I could increase his site visits by an additional 2,000 people per month. After some back and forth, I was compelled to inform him that without knowing how many visits he currently had, where he was getting them from, and how much he was willing to spend to increase that number, I couldn't make that promise. He decided to go with someone else who agreed to his request.
While marketing is a fantastic way to increase business by way of strategic exposure, marketing isn't the equivalent to a rabbit being pulled out of a hat soliciting awe from all who are fortunate enough to witness the "magic". Marketing is not magic. Marketing is strategic planning, and implementation of strategies to enhance business growth. The success of a campaign is only proven by numbers. Marketers love numbers. We measure our progress almost to the point of obsession. We analyze data until we are generating new data based on the data we just analyzed! Metrics tell a story. Marketing assists us in steering toward the ending we desire.
Should you run into someone who claims that they can enhance your business through marketing without first taking a look at your current marketing plan, you may want to employ some apprehension before securing their services. Marketing is a broad field that is constantly changing. Similar to IT, Marketers have to compose campaign strategies that are unique to the business they are attempting to market.
So how do you choose a marketing professional you can trust? Check out their portfolio. Are the businesses they have worked for similar to your own? What have they done to enhance these businesses? Are they willing to provide references? Can their credentials be supported with hard numbers? Remember, numbers never lie... people do.