Printing, Signs and Mailing - Lancaster, PA

How Many Marketers Does It Take to Plug In a Light Bulb?

By: Mary Kohler

Recently I have taken on a lot of my company’s marketing tasks. I thought it was going to be as easy as plugging in a light bulb. The joke’s on me. As I am coming to learn, marketing is a very difficult job.

First of all, why would I do it? I mean, why in the world would the president of a company take on marketing tasks? Two reasons. First, we wanted to grow our current marketing person into a different role. Second, I didn’t have a grasp on what kind of person or business I wanted to hire to do marketing. So I wanted to experience our marketing a little more in depth to determine what it entails. I wanted to understand how much time, energy, and experience doing marketing really took – because you know, marketing is “easy.”

So I jumped into this role, expecting a cakewalk. You know those cakewalks that the elementary schools put on during their annual carnival/fundraiser? I often baked cakes for my kids’ elementary school cakewalks and my kids would spend many (of my) dollars to bring home more cakes baked by some other parent. Ah, the days of being an elementary kid mom. Point is the cakewalk was an easy and fun way for the kids to get something sweet without a lot of effort.

Well, marketing ain’t no cakewalk. I have determined that marketing is a challenge, a rather large challenge at that. There is the project management side of marketing – juggling the many tasks that go with each project. There is the need to develop the concept of what to even do that is relevant to the audiences. The concepts need to be creative and unique enough to get people to look at the marketing piece. There is the creative aspect, one which I am so grateful to have creative graphic designers that I can leave that up to after the concept is hatched. There is the political side of marketing – keeping everyone happy when some people don’t like the design, concept or idea. There is the pressure to get all things done in a timely fashion. There is the need to measure the effectiveness of the promotion. Finally, there is the financial side of marketing – doing “marketing stuff” within budget.

Don’t get me wrong, marketing is a blast. I love it. But wow do I have a newfound respect for marketing people! Whatever you do, don’t let anyone tell you that marketing is as easy as plugging in a light bulb.

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