Marketing With No Intention

Marketing For The Sake or Marketing Never Works

Social media is great. Everybody is doing it. So we should be doing it too, right?

Our competitors hire top photographers and videographers. We should be doing that too, no?

In an ideal world, we all have unlimited time and unlimited money. We would be able to hire the top talent and create incredible work day after day, after day.

We've never met anybody that fits the bill, we would bet good money that we won't ever meet them either.

With budget and restrictions come tough decisions.

Marketing isn't just about what you do, it's also about what you don't do (and deciding what not to do is more important than you think).

Good marketers don't go off and do everything - they work with intention (and of course strategy). When they decide on what needs work, they do it properly. They don't spread themselves too thin.

Working on everything usually means not seeing results from anything. Working on just a few things and putting all your effort into it? Chances of seeing results are MUCH higher.

Marketing works ONLY when you do it right.

The Difference Between Working Hard and Working Long

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There is a huge difference between working hard and working long - but in Hong Kong, people don't always understand the difference.

Working long means clocking in 15+ hours every single day or working 80 hour weeks. For some people, it means just staying in the office until the boss/manager leaves (regardless if they have work to do or not).

Working long means that you're aware of the amount of time you're spending on your job. It is, after all, just a job.

Working hard means something else entirely. Working hard means that you're doing something different, something that hasn't been done before. If you're lucky, you'll end up with a positive result. There is some sort of risk involved.

You can fail at working hard, you just have to show up if you're working long.

The two aren’t exactly mutually exclusive, and working long might end up resulting in working hard (if you show up and work efficiently, you’ll likely end up in the position of attempting hard work).

Working hard takes a leap of faith. No matter how hard you try, working long won’t reap the same benefits.

When selecting a marketing agency or partner, are you looking for one that does the basics or one that is going to work with you and take some risk? Do you want similar ideas you see in the market, or ideas that make you stop and think?

Amateurs and 'do-it-all' agencies tend to be cheaper, but they also tend to just to the basics. On the other hand, the agencies that work hard are the ones that will come up with new, exciting ideas. One type can only do one thing (work long), the other can do both (work hard and long).

If you're looking to use marketing to stand out from the crowd and differentiate, then you need to look for an agency that works hard (not long).

What to ask a social media agency/consultant?

Photo by  Nathan Dumlao  on  Unsplash

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

If you haven't spent time working in digital marketing or social media in the past couple of years, it's going to very difficult for you to tell the difference between agencies that are mediocre, good or even great. If you've decided to put some money into getting support in the social media space, you don't want to be throwing money away. We've put together a couple questions (and things to watch out for) that should help you decide among all the technical jargon.


What does your agency specialise in?

What to look out for: There are a lot of agencies out there, and most will say that they can do anything — social media, SEO, SEM/PPC, Influencer, web design, UX/UI, content creation, etc. — stay away from these! It’s impossible to specialise in everything (as much as they try), and even harder for these agencies to have the right people working on the right things. If you’re looking for help in social media, look for social media experts — don’t for example ask for help from a PR agency, because they just aren’t equipped (and up to date) to properly manage social media.

Who will be working on the account?

What to look out for: You want to make sure that your account is being taken care of. There are cases that agencies will send their best business development people to the pitch meetings, and these people will disappear once the account is won (and you’re left with clueless junior staff). In general, you want to have a account director/manager who will be your key day to day and depending on your project, have experts in creative, management, analytics that help out as needed (whether it’s managed in-house or external). The key here is to make sure that they have a plan for making sure you account is handled as agreed (and they’re not stealing your money!).

What’s the social media strategy going to be?

What to look out for: If they answer right away without learning about your business, run away! The social media agency you work with needs to understand your business problems and needs — where are you struggling? What has been done in the past? Where do you need help? What needs to be addressed first? What is the competition doing? How much money do you have available? These are just some of the basic questions that need to be addressed. Blanket approaches won’t work, and you need to work with people that can help you where you need help the most.

What are the latest social media trends? Who’s doing social media well?

What to look out for: Social media is a changing landscape, and you want to make sure that the people you work with 1) know what’s happening and 2) have an opinion on where things are going to go. By asking this question, you should be able to see whether the agency is able to think independently and help drive your business forward. There should be a clear differentiation here, otherwise you might as well just hire a fresh grad instead. You want to be told what to do, rather than have to tell the agency what to do (they are after all the expert).

What social media platforms should we be on?

What to look out for: Building on the last point, the agency you work with needs to be the expert. Understanding the landscape they should be able to tell you which platforms make the most sense (can help convert) rather than just what’s the most popular (far too many recommend the basics — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter because that’s where everyone is, and not explaining how they can help the business).

What are we going to do with data/analytics?

What to look out for: Agencies should be able to talk about how to use data, and just as importantly when to use data. While there is a huge allure as to what data can do, in many cases companies aren’t able to take advantage of data simple because they don’t have a lot of data to play with (they’re way too small). Look for a social media agency that can use data to inform decisions, but doesn’t blindly follow the numbers (difference between causation and correlation isn’t addressed enough).

Where should we spend our money?

What to look out for: Find a company that can smartly look at a landscape and portion money as needed. You want to stay away from companies that are just looking to maximise their billings, and work with agencies that understand that digital isn’t always necessarily the best way to go (depending on the industry, many can still see a lot of benefit from events or CRM).

Who are your competitors?

What to look out for: Honesty. There are hundreds of competing digital agencies and consultants out there. This is a test to see if they’re honest people and whether they will be easy to work with. You want to work with a team that isn’t afraid to talk about the hard truth, and not just people that are good at kissing your butt.


These are just some of the questions that you should be asking when deciding on a social media agency. There are obviously many other questions you should be asking, but with all things being equal, the answers to these questions should help you put one agency over another.

Should you be paying for Marketing Services?

https://www.fuandg.com/resources/

https://www.fuandg.com/resources/

Short answer - NO.

People are busy, and any are often looking for shortcuts. In the world of marketing, you can pay for help in literally anything you can think of - but that doesn't mean that you should!

There are a plethora of free tools that you can use to improve the marketing that you're doing. From SEO, to social media automation to reporting - as long as you're willing to look and learn, you can find tools that fit your needs. There are tools that you can buy to help you automate things, but using them doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to get better results.

A lot of people use tools because it gives off the appearance that they're doing something useful. It's honestly a lazy way for people to feel like they have accomplished something. In reality, most people never fully utilise the basic tools that are available for free (e.g. Facebook Insights).

Using tools are fine, but don't use them as a substitute for learning. I've gathered a plethora of free tools and resources you can use today right here.

Diving into Digital Marketing

Photo by  Nadine Shaabana  on  Unsplash

You've been tasked to manage all the digital marketing - where do you begin? (here) And do you have to spend money? (NO)

While it might seem like an impossible task (digital marketing covers all things digital after all), taking a systematic approach at least makes it seem less daunting.

All the glory and attention in digital marketing is put on SEM/PPC/Display ads, and for good reason - they're relatively cheap, scalable and measurable. However, it's important to not fall into the trap of thinking that paid digital marketing is all there is to do, there are many FREE (or earned) things to get started on first.

Beyond the basics (understanding the audience, finding your USP and being present on the right channels), creating your own content is where you should be spending the bulk of your time. Creating your own content for social media (or your website) doesn't have to be difficult or expensive (but it usually does take time). However, it's key to think about the type of content and the quality of the story - you need to make sure that it caters to the exact audience you're looking to attract, because if they don't care, what was the point? This is the mistake most marketers make with content - they believe that if they build it, people will come. They couldn't be further from the truth.

Apart from content, you should also consider PR - it still works! Understanding that journalists and bloggers are starving for good content as well, and working with them to craft interesting storylines can go a long way. You might not have a strong audience/community, but they certainly do.

Finally, look towards your 1,000 true fans for help. They are going to guide you towards where you need to be more present and how best to expand your inner circle of fans. This could be community events you should be present in, ideas on cross-collaborations with other brands or branded opportunities you didn't know otherwise existed. It's better to ask and find out than wonder what could have been.

Digital Marketing Agency - when to hire one

Biased? Yes. Honest look? Also yes.

There are many things you have to consider when hiring a digital marketing agency. If you're a small company, it's a massive step (you have to spend money, and likely more than you want to), but the potential for your business when using a good agency is massive.

Digital marketing allows your company to reach a much larger audience than you ever could (everyone understands the value of social media, but not everyone knows how to maximise its effectiveness). Even better, you can measure everything you do. If something doesn't work, you can stop it immediately (unlike lease agreements which can last multiple years, or employee contracts. Hello Hong Kong!). And if something is going well, you can double down and further increase your profits.

The first thing you should consider is to hire external help (you can try to do it all yourself, but it's going to be a lot of work, and more often than not, you should be concentrating on your business instead). Consider all the different reason here. Deciding between hiring an agency or full-time staff? Read more here.