Dear CMO:

Do you work for a highly specialized marketing services company that has created a defensible niche in a highly profitable market? Can you do things that other companies just can’t do – maybe you’re faster, or more thorough, or more efficient? Can I ask you a question? Can anyone find you?

If I Google you, will you show up? Will I see your website, your press releases, your blog, a brief bio of your key executives, and a dozen different ways to contact your company?
Seriously. In this day and age, is it hard to be found? Not if you want to be found. And if you”re a marketer, aren’t you pretty much in the business of being found? If you can’t market yourself, you’ve got to wonder how effective you’re going to be managing my budget.
In the past week, I’ve tried to locate two highly specialized marketing services companies with tremendous expertise in very narrow fields. I’m not sure I’ve succeeded yet, unfortunately. Finding their websites alone was practically unlocking the Da Vinci Code. Once there, the links are broken.
Another wonderfully awful vignette took place when talking to a national network of marketing executives. Want to kick the tires? Maybe talk to a few members prior to joining? No. No, you can’t. You fill out form 3525, submit it with a current resume and we’ll get back to you in 10 business days. At which time, we’ll interview you. And then, we can give you access to one member. Honestly, my driver’s license didn’t expire — I just had some questions about your organization.
What happens when you want to contact a marketing services company — touting its contact center capabilities, no less — and they can’t be easily contacted?
What does one think when confronted by a Soviet-flavored network of “marketing” executives?
Can I offer some thoughts?
. If you’re a marketing company, market yourself like a professional. Be extremely reachable, informative, and respectful. Always.
. If you’re a marketing organization, embody the best practices in customer service to the point that customer service executives look to you for inspiration. After all, marketing executive are your customers.
. If you’re a marketing executive, be active on LinkedIn, because if you’re not, I’m going to wonder where you’ve been all these years. Sure, it’s limited. But it’s focused on the business market, has tremendous credibility, and is the best of what’s out there. Whether you blog is up to you.
Actions usually speak louder than words. As Ben Cohen (the Ben in Ben & Jerry’s) once said, “never trust a skinny ice cream man.”