What happens if your solo marketer gets hit by a bus?

by John Cloonan | Feb 15, 2022 | New Ideas, ROI

How many marketing initiatives is your company executing right now?  

Chances are you don’t know. It’s not really your job to know. You’re probably aware you have an SEO initiative, some digital marketing, content marketing, maybe website updates, or an email campaign. You don’t know how many other things your solo marketer is working on as well.  

What if your solo marketer gets hit by a bus?  

If you’re truthful to yourself, you’ll admit your marketing is sunk, at least for a while. Even if the campaign strategy is well documented and the tactical activities are in a project management system somewhere, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to continue executing, and that’s on the initiatives you know about. Do you know the user credentials for the systems in the marketing tech stack? Do you have other people who know how to navigate within those systems? Hell, do you even know all the systems in place?  

How about assets? Even with a well-documented self-serve document management system, your marketer is likely asked where to find the company logo in some form or another at least weekly. Don’t even think about boilerplate copy and stock photography. 

Then there’s the dirty secrets of the solo marketer – the hacks. Every solo marketer has hacks. They might use some free online software for project management or quick copy editing. There might be a secret stash of photos or a freelance editor they pay under the table. Maybe they know a manual workaround to a limitation in your tech stack. They may have developed a friendly IT person that pushes their tickets to the front of the line when a campaign is at risk. You simply can’t know everything about how they execute.  

Another factor is organizational knowledge. Every person in your organization carries a piece, and each loss has an impact. Your solo marketer has more than you realize. They’re intimately involved with the brand every day, and their initiatives interface with the customer. Of course, we’re a little biased, but we believe marketing represents the heart and soul of your company. Having all that knowledge wrapped up in a single person is dangerous.  

How do you avoid this? 

The first thing a financial advisor will tell you is to diversify your investments to reduce your risk. The safety of your marketing initiatives is similar. You need to increase the number of people who can execute your programs to reduce the risk of marketing failure if your solo marketer goes dark. A cost-effective way to do that is to hire an agency to support that solo marketer. You’re creating a safety net by having an entire organization behind that marketer who can continue to execute your programs. That’s in addition to the cost savings and quality improvements you’ll gain, as well as potentially retaining that solo marketer a little longer.  

Marketing Guy & Strategic Polymath | Website | + posts

John’s the founder of Audacity Marketing. When he’s not racing motorcycles, he’s building marketing strategies for Audacity clients and anyone else who’ll listen.

John’s worn all the marketing hats, from consultant to agency owner to executive to university professor. He’s held leadership roles in industries from staffing to behavioral health to capital-C consulting. He’s branded or rebranded over 100 companies.

John buttresses 25+ years in marketing with an MBA from Georgia State University.

John lives with his girlfriend Suzanne, his dog Seamus, and his daughter Annie when she shows up from college.