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Q: How do I market our PR services to cynical marketing managers?

Marketing Manager
PR Company

A: Great question this one, and one that many people (I hope) will be interested in.

The first thing to distinguish is selling to marketing managers and selling to marketing directors

Marketing managers and marketing directors buy for different reasons whether you’re selling PR or any other product.

Here’s a short profile of the two types. Obviously there’ll be a lot of overlap, but it should help clarify some major differences in the required approaches

The Marketing Manager Profile

A marketing manager is usually tasked to complete certain objectives within the confines of a fairly tight budget.

It follows that:

> A new service that a marketing manager does not ordinarily buy (eg PR!) is outside of the manager’s brief. To go ahead with the buying, they’ll have to refer to their director, who will then become involved in the buying process – if they’re interested.

> A marketing manager will always be interested in the cost of things. They’re tasked with finding better value, so they’ll want to know how you deliver more for less

> If a marketing manager is busy, and already has their budget allocated for the year, they’re not necessarily likely to be interested in buying-in a new concept. They may be interested for next year, and like what your proposition, but since they’re busy and their budget is allocated it’ll quite probably be a case of call me in 6 months

The Marketing Director Profile

> The Marketing Director is tasked with growing the company. This means that a director has to be an opportunist, ready to quickly spot an idea that will evolve the company faster than what they’re already doing.

> The Marketing Director has to the power to raise a budget at any time (within reason!) if they think a proposition will grow the company

> The director usually has a bonus package linked to company growth, so they’ll be interested in ideas that will increase their bonus

Obviously the above two profiles are simplifications, but they hold true as rules of thumb

> The manager is looking for best value for existing services rather than new ideas

> The director is looking to find new ways to grow the company and take them to the next level

The obvious inference is that if you want to introduce a new marketing idea to a company then it’ll pay to go to the top, ie, the marketing director. And you’ll only go through the marketing manager as a stepping stone to the director.

But also note that this is intended as a broad guide. There are many marketing managers with initiative and ambition who’ll champion a good idea for you if they believe it’ll grow their company.

Marketing Your Services

However you market your PR services, whether through telesales, direct mail, email or advertising (or PR!), you need to spell out the big benefits, the USPs.

USPs are the hot reasons why people buy.

But these USPs will be delivered differently to marketing managers, than to marketing directors.

For example, a PR pitch to a marketing director might be:

> If everybody who matters has heard of you, then your company will grow – maybe astonishingly!

While to a marketing manager, it might run:

> PR will deliver new contacts and customers, where advertising, telesales or direct mail cannot reach – and it will do it cheaper!

See the difference?

Obviously there are a lot more subtleties than the simple banners above, but you get the idea?

Overcoming Cynicism

The word for this is proof – proof of your claims.

Testimonials, brief case studies, key facts and figures will overcome the cynic.

How to Test these Ideas Out

Rework your existing powerpoints into two separate powerpoints, one for directors and one for managers.

Try it see.

If you need something better than powerpoint than take a look at our multimedia presentation gallery. Our multimedia presentations are known for making a big impact, especially when it comes to winning major accounts.

Meanwhile, good luck in marketing to marketing managers and marketing directors

2016 Guide to Digital Marketing

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