Doing the Marketing Hokey Pokey

The Guest Point of View is a courtesy of Tracy L. Edwards, PMP. Tracy is an independent marketing consultant specializing in senior living with over 27 years of experience in market research, marketing strategy, public relations, social media and project management.  Based on that experience, she brings a very compelling and insightful perspective to senior living marketing.  Tracy is a purpose-driven speaker, certified life coach and author who inspires people to reach beyond the “I can’t” and achieve the “what-if.” 

I’ve been involved in different aspects of marketing and public relations for more years than I’d care to admit. Over the course of my career, though, I’ve discovered the key to confidently executing what I like to call the “marketing strategy hokey pokey.” You know that dance, “put your right foot in, put your right foot out, put your right foot in, then shake it all about.”  In business, the dance goes something like this, “put outsourcing in, put outsourcing out, put outsourcing in, then shake it all about.”

As marketing professionals, we make decisions based on the ebb and flow of our organization’s business strategy and economic position. A key managerial skill is the ability to identify the degree that workload is conducted in-house or outsourced at any given time—and adjusting accordingly to optimize efficiency.

Obviously, a cost analysis is at the top of the things to do before making a decision list. That said, having the right resources readily available is the best way to operate, and it makes the transitions of the dance flow more smoothly.

In It for the Long Haul. I approach every meeting with potential resources with these questions in mind: Do they enhance my strengths/balance my weaknesses? Does their company culture fit mine? Will they be a good fit a year from now? What is their growth strategy? Do they view me as a sales quota or are they looking for a partner who is also in it for the long haul?

Honesty Is Still the Best Policy. I am as open as possible with those I partner with without betraying the confidentiality of my company. So when I know I’m entering the ‘outsourcing is out’ part of the dance, I let them know. They also have a business to run and need to adjust to a change in their cash flow. I expect those I partner with to look out for my well-being. Therefore, I should do the same for them.

Trust, but Verify. I’m all for organizations making a reasonable profit off the business I provide them. However, my primary responsibility is the success of my organization. Therefore, I always do periodic spot checks to ensure quality and costs are in line with expectations. Resources who are in it for the long haul allow awkward conversations to not be so awkward when things get out of alignment.

Relationships Are Key. For a marketing professional, trustworthy relationships with those who provide services are essential. Cultivating and maintaining the right ones provide the assurance that you are more than able to put the right foot in at the right time, and you’ll confidently execute through the shaking all about.

The team at my PR agency has taken the time to not only get to know my business, but me. I have every confidence that regardless of the level of business I provide, they’ll be there for me. That goes a long way in my book. Why? Because I believe strong relationships are the key for everyone to great success when it comes to doing the Marketing Hokey Pokey.

Tracy L. Edwards, PMP

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