I have just read with interest a blog about the optimism bias by David Gault, a contact of mine who specialises in psychology in the workplace. This is the tendency to be over optimistic about the upside opportunities and to under estimate risk or danger.
We see this so often in marketing. The biggest secret that the industry wants to keep is that, statistically, most marketing fails – that is if you class success in terms of a tangible return. The optimistic marketing manager will use e-shots, newsletters, ad campaigns and numerous other ways of reaching the target market without giving much thought to return on investment. They tend to think that if the business is making enough noise, there will be a response.
When recruiting for a marketing role the business owner needs to decide whether or not the person they employ will not only cover the cost of employing them but also bring in a multiple of that figure as a contribution to the business. This is obvious of course but we have seen the optimism bias time and again in this situation where the feel-good factor of having someone sitting at a desk allows the business owner to turn a blind eye to less than glowing results. It can be tempting to let people get on with their jobs without any real accountability.
One answer to this is outsourcing. A few years ago we ran a campaign called the £15k package. For the cost of employing a junior member of staff, companies could have our whole team on call. The package included a strategy, a 12 month plan and all the activity with benchmarks. We provided a pre-defined service level and any external costs such as printing or media space were provided at our discounted trade rates. The transparency and affordability of this package made it very attractive and it was the start of many of the longstanding relationships we still have today.
The £15k plan was also ideal for starter businesses – controlled costs and an experienced team to guide and support them.
So – next time you feel that optimism bias coming on, think laterally. By using an outsourced service you could reduce fixed costs and achieve better results.
The £15k package is still available. We also offer higher tiers for larger companies that need greater input or more extensive activity. Call me to discuss on 07801 251767.