From telemarketing to SEO, delivering furniture to investment, everyone wants a guarantee these days. As I like to keep my customers satisfied, I decided to look into it and started with a definition. I found three:
- A formal assurance (typically in writing) that certain conditions will be fulfilled, especially that a product will be repaired or replaced if not of a specified quality.
- Provide a formal assurance, especially that certain conditions will be fulfilled relating to a product, service, or transaction.
- Promise with certainty.
I think you can already see where I am going with this. Whilst I can understand how one can guarantee a delivery time or food quality, I cannot see how anyone can guarantee marketing results in advance with certainty. Clever as most marketers are, they cannot predict the future and whilst experience might help their estimation, you don’t really know until you start.
‘Why is that’? I hear you cry…. Well, unfortunately, you can only make a future guarantee to a process you completely control within your actions. As we started with a definition, the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) defines marketing as ’the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably’. Notice the order, first you have to identify then anticipate before you can satisfy requirements profitably, making a future promise hard to make. Marketing is also a two way process, designed to elicit a response from your audience: one you cannot guarantee or predict, making a future based promise even less likely.
So what do you do as a business owner looking to grow your business? Here are the options as I see them:
- You walk away from any form of marketing, leaving your business to the mercy of clients’ referral and organic growth (or no growth)…
- You find a marketing company that is prepared to offer you a guarantee, you spend money with them for three months only to discover that marketing results guarantee is a difficult matter…
- You find a marketing company that will guarantee to offer quality in terms of strategy and delivery, one you feel you can work closely with and develop a long term working relationship with…
It is entirely up to you what you choose to do regarding this. In my latest Blog covering instant success I have already made it clear that I believe that an investment in any marketing strategy should be long term and include a number of tactics in order to see results. That is not to say that you should not expect or measure results, of course you should. It also helps to have specific goals in place to help focus the mind but looking for a guarantee puts unnecessary pressure on the whole process thus working against it.
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