Hi, I’m Stuart Cray. I’m the consultant behind Fulcrum Lever Marketing Strategy.

 

With more and more people claiming to be marketing experts these days, I thought a ‘What makes me different’ page might be useful to explain exactly why so many marketing professionals encourage their clients to speak to me, and why what I do is so much more effective.

To really understand what makes me different you first need to understand how and why the majority of small business owners and marketing professionals alike, get marketing so wrong. In short, this is due to what I refer to simply as ‘the problem with marketing’.

The problem with marketing.

By far the biggest problem I see with small and medium sized businesses is that marketing is almost universally misunderstood.

With the majority of businesses and their advisers absolutely convinced that marketing is all about flashy websites, social media, clever gimmicks, working out where to advertise and how to get to position 1 in the Google rankings, it’s easy to see why marketing is so often misunderstood. Yes, all of the above have their uses (apart from the gimmicks), but to use them without first thinking about your strategy, is to simply waste your money and limit any potential benefits.

Those who do try to formulate a strategy tend to either concentrate on the wrong things, or simply don’t understand the type of things one should consider in order to create a really strong strategy.

Why is marketing so often misunderstood?

It is my belief that the general confusion around marketing is caused by the function of the ‘marketing department’ in a business large enough to have one.

Marketing departments in large organisations don’t actually deal with the marketing, and they certainly wont be making many strategic marketing decisions. In larger organisations the marketing department simply deals with advertising and promotional activity (a very small part of what marketing actually is), leaving the board to make all the strategic decisions. This works well in these organisations, but when these employees leave these marketing departments and seek to advise small businesses as consultants, they further add to the confusion. Marketing, as a marketing department manager would think of it, is about as far removed from small business marketing as you can get. This is, in my opinion, where the confusion and general misunderstanding of marketing comes from.

If small businesses think of marketing in terms of what a marketing department does, with no board to make the strategic decisions, they leave a huge hole in their marketing strategy. This is why so many small business owners don’t really properly understand the actual difference between advertising and marketing, or between market and marketing research.

So, how am I different?

I often refer to what I do as ‘the bit before, what most people think of as marketing’, which sums it up quite well. A lot of people tend to see advertising and promotional activity as ‘how they do marketing’. What they don’t realise is they are falling into the trap of doing what a marketing department does.

“What I concentrate on first is the strategy. Only after that do we work on what the marketing department would do”

My work revolves around finding or engineering advantages we can use to reduce marketing spend whilst dramatically improving results. Once we have these advantages in place, I then provide the skills and knowledge required to leverage these advantages in order to provide long term revenue streams from them.

Marketing isn’t rocket science, but you do need to know what to do, and how to do it. Fortunately (contrary to popular belief) a large proportion of what you need to know is just logic and common sense.

If you want to know exactly what I do, or how I do it, get in touch.

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Another useful analogy I use is what I call my ‘Jigsaw principle’.

Many people assume that marketing should be part of their ‘business jigsaw’. I disagree and suggest that marketing should be thought of not as a jigsaw (or piece of a jigsaw), but as the desk upon which you build your business jigsaw. This really seems to get people thinking along the right lines and I hope you find it useful.