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Written by Lisa Shepherd
on July 17, 2015

Before joining The Mezzanine Group as a Marketing Director, I was the Vice President of Marketing for a mid-sized financial services firm. In addition to various corporate duties, I was responsible for:

  • Marketing Strategy & Planning
  • Website content
  • Email campaigns
  • Direct Mail campaigns
  • Development of collateral
  • Monthly commentaries and weekly blog posts
  • Training sales on marketing initiatives
  • Webinars
  • Case Studies
  • Social media
  • Roadshows and events
  • And managing a small team of marketing staff

On any given day I could enter the office and have to draft a national email blast, review and edit a blog post, plan our next product campaign, or create a brochure. While in the midst of all this daily activity it was increasingly difficult to do strategic or long term marketing planning.

Who is steering the ship?

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I spent a great deal of my time trying to patch the holes in our boat and not enough time trying to navigate.

When I did have time to look up at the horizon and set a course I found that my planning revolved around the expertise that I had within my team. That is to say we spent lots of time creating more collateral to support sales and we continued tactics like email drip campaigns.

While it seemed somewhat logical to focus on our strengths, it’s easy to see that we weren’t necessarily developing the best plan for our business but rather making plans based on what we knew.

The Constraints of In-House Expertise

There are two major marketing issues I have come to realize are far too common for B2B businesses:

  1. Small and medium-sized businesses can typically only hire a small team of marketing staff who are tasked with being experts in far too many areas. This is a recipe for failure.
  2. Strategic marketing planning is being done based on in-house expertise rather than what the needs of the business are.

The Mezzanine Group, a B2B marketing strategy and execution company, has a lot of expertise in many areas and wide network of partners. I no longer have to struggle in attempting to be an expert in all things. My job is to build the right plan for my clients and employ the right tools and partners to execute that plan.

The Joys of Having a Full Crew

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When Mezzanine builds a strategic marketing plan for a B2B company, we are not constrained by in-house expertise. For example, in building a new website for a client recently I could bridge my understanding of my client with our partner’s deep knowledge of meta-data and search engine optimization (SEO). By tapping into my partner’s SEO-specific skills and leveraging, in this case, my understanding of my client’s robotic automation program, we set ourselves on a path to making their website content easy to find, which is half the battle when it comes to the new sales cycle.

In another instance, a colleague of mine was running a tradeshow event for a client and decided to tap the creativity of our company’s marketing professionals and their vast tradeshow experience. The result was a series of new ideas and some insight into what typically does not work at tradeshows. In-house marketers can often find themselves alone in the middle of an ocean of people with different priorities focused on different areas of the business and no one to turn to for consultation. 

Sometimes an in-house team is the right way to get effective marketing for small and mid-sized B2B companies.  But having been an in-house marketer myself for many years, I can see that what clients get when they tap into a marketing outsourcing company like Mezzanine is often better than what an in-house person can deliver.  Marketing companies have a wealth of resources and expertise which means they can plan the right strategies and apply full resources to execute them.  On a personal note, as a marketer, I’m finally able to navigate the boat and I have a powerful engine to get my clients where they need to go. 

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