Why managing your marketing is just as important as doing it

Has it ever seemed like your varied marketing efforts have been fruitless? This can feel particularly true for engineering businesses, which operate in a scientific and physical environment. Businesses like these sometimes struggle to leverage marketing communications and brand building for “soft” benefits like service excellence, increased customer satisfaction and a more respected reputation in the market. 

If you’ve ever been tempted to write off the entire function of marketing as “not worth the effort,” your sentiment would be understandable – but the premise is untrue.

It’s not that marketing itself is ineffective: as Peter Drucker said, “Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two – and only two – basic functions: marketing and innovation.” Rather, the culprit may just lie in a lack of alignment and coordination between your many, complex marketing components.

Simply put: maybe things aren’t gelling because they aren’t being well managed. And while most engineering businesses know that they must do marketing to grow, they often don’t know what exactly to expect from marketers inside the business, how to manage them, and how to rate their performance.

The truth is, anything worth doing is worth doing right. And that’s where good marketing management comes into play.

What is marketing management?

To make your investment in marketing count, it must be implemented well. While this sounds obvious, in our 20 years of industry experience, we’ve found that many engineering businesses concentrate so much on the communication aspect of marketing that they overlook the management required to maximise their endeavours.

Good marketing management ensures just that: assembling, orchestrating, and optimizing the most suitable resources for each task. Here are three things you can expect from a marketing manager worth their salt.

Three functions a skilled marketing manager masters

Bringing out the best in your suppliers

Marketing suppliers – be they agencies, in-house contractors or a team of freelancers – must excel in their work; otherwise, the outcomes will consistently fall short.

A marketing manager’s role in a business is to ensure that suppliers perform to standard. This starts with carefully selecting providers within budget and according to their strengths, followed by clear instructions, timelines, and detailed feedback.  

Coincidentally, this is a process that most engineers are familiar with, as it’s all about basic project management skills. It turns out that good marketing and good engineering require many of the same management principles!

Too many marketing managers don’t know how to bring out the best in their suppliers, which results in poor outputs. The solution here is to invest in your marketers ability to manage projects successfully. Take the time and effort to have them trained well, and then only work with trusted professional suppliers who deliver high-quality work.

Using software to boost efficiency

It’s common to think of marketing as “digital”, but this perception mostly applies to producing content (or output) on platforms like LinkedIn and YouTube. But there’s another digital side to marketing: the input. In other words – the software that helps marketers do a better job and track marketing performance on a dashboard.

More than ever, marketing is now a field that many “quants” can better appreciate, because its data-driven nature can to a better degree be seen. Digital Marketing lends itself particularly to this, and digital tools and apps abound to make your marketer’s work simpler, faster, more professional and easier to measure.

For example, is your marketing team proficient at using AI tools like ChatGPT and Grammarly for help with brainstorming or drafting copy? Can they use Canva for basic design elements, Microsoft Planner, Asana, or Monday.com for project management, and BI tools like PowerBi or Looker Studio to visualise and interpret trends?

An informed marketing manager knows what’s available on the market and where these tools can plug into your business to enhance your marketing efforts.

Streamlining key processes

It’s a mistake to associate marketing with fluffy, unquantifiable ‘sentiment’ when in fact there is a strong procedural, methodical, analytical side to it. Once recognised, you can leverage this side to successfully integrate marketing as a business function.

Ultimately, effective marketing management boils down to a set of finely-tuned processes. Examples of such processes include providing thorough, written briefs to suppliers (instead of verbal “orders and opinions”), maintaining project timelines, tracking marketing expenses, reporting on progress and providing detailed reviews on outcomes and their implications to the leadership team.

Consistently following tried and trusted processes like these turns the marketing function into an engine room that can deliver and improve with each iteration, boosting your brand awareness and the efficacy of your sales efforts.

Bridge the gap between marketing expectation and reality

When engineering businesses hear the word “marketing,” many immediately associate it with creative advertising. But this represents just the tip of the iceberg. Effective marketing is fundamentally a management endeavour.

In fact, marketing and engineering have more in common than you might think. Engineering involves creating physical assets, while marketing focuses on building reputational assets in the minds of clients and prospective clients.

Engineering businesses that effectively incorporate marketing into their business have an edge over others that struggle to appreciate the value of that function. And in today’s competitive environment, what company can afford not have a well-known and respected brand?

The gist is this: getting marketing “right” is actually a simple win over the competition. And by aligning the right resources – including suppliers, software, and well-defined processes – engineering businesses can bridge the gap between hoping for successful marketing – and actually delivering it.

Visit Firejuice.co.za and let us show you how.


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