A lot of freelancers work with marketers – website designers, advertising pros, media specialists, data analysts, journalists, content writers, etc. If you are such a freelancer, you know that, just as in any profession, you will deal with all types. While this makes your job interesting, it can also be quite a challenge. Different marketing “types” means different personalities and different approaches to your part. You will
Marketing is a New “Ballgame”
The rise of the digital age has been a major disruption for marketers. Traditional “hard sell” advertising is a thing of the past. Internet users are savvy, do not want to be interrupted, and want relationships with the companies they do business with. This had had major implications for website design and content
The other disruption in this entire business of marketing is the rise of big data and data analytics. Many marketers are not prepared to conduct this kind of research and analysis.
In short, there is just a new marketing “order” now, and marketers of all types have to adjust. And so, they often use freelancers to perform the tasks that they still lack.
Here are five types of marketers and suggestions about how to work with them effectively and to help them more effectively into this digital age of marketing.
1. The “Cover Everything” Marketer
This is a marketer who has totally embraced digital marketing – absolutely every channel possible, no matter what its relevance. The problem is this: while they complain about their budgets, especially staff shortages, they are attempting to cover the entire digital universe with their marketing content, can’t possibly do it well, and so campaigns become too “watered down.”
Freelancers who are working on a contract basis with these types of marketers will need to provide lots of advice and counsel. They will need to work with marketers on mining the data that will give them very specific information about their target audience, where that audience hangs out online, and how best to reach them. All of this data will not only provide the channels to use but will reveal the types of content that the audience responds to best. The goal is to refine campaigns where they get the most “bang for the buck.”
2. Old School Diehards
It’s not that they ignore digital marketing. But they prefer channels that allow direct contact for a harder sell. They tend to use direct mail, email marketing, and sales call centers, as well as events and webinars or podcasts.
This group is heavily driven by numbers – the law of averages. If they make enough contact with enough consumers, they will make sales. They don’t spend a lot of time developing insight into the personas of their target customers and developing relationships.
The “Old Schoolers” probably understand that they will need to change but may resist those changes.
Working with the old schooler will require gentle persuasion and a gradual approach to more effective digital channels, especially content marketing. Introducing them to personal development and data gathering may be a bit easier, however, because they do like to see numbers. If they can see results from campaigns based upon data, they may become fans. But, they are not big on personal relationships – that may take some time.
3. The Risk-Taker
Here is the pioneer of all marketers – the one who will experiment with absolutely every new technology and every new fad out there. Because they want to be on the “cutting edge,” they can tend to be impulsive, and it may be a freelancer’s job to “rein” them in a bit, in order to analyze which of the new technologies will potentially be of value and which may not be appropriate.
For example, a marketer may have seized upon a virtual reality experience that she believes a young American audience will love and incorporates it into the company site content. Then, she hops online to Pick Writers, a site that provides information on the largest translation companies and finds a company that can localize that VR experience for the company website in Egypt. That experience may be totally inappropriate for an Egyptian audience, and the damage is done.
Enthusiasm is an admirable trait in marketers, but it can go too far.
4. The Budget Scrimper
This marketer truly wants to get the “biggest bang for the buck” and may look for all sorts of ways to cut corners in order to save money. But in cutting corners, campaigns can suffer. The marketer may not want to spend the money on the data science that is required to reach the right audiences at the right times, on the right channels, and with the right message. It is the job of a freelancer to get one point across: “Penny wise and pound foolish” is a real thing, and in the marketing business, it can mean the difference between a campaign that “rocks” and one that falls flat on its face.
5. The Big Spender
This is obviously the opposite of the Scrimper. Usually, this marketer will forego the cheaper, even free channels, like social media, to spend big on digital and other forms of advertising. their budgets are usually large because they work for large enterprises. They hire outside ad agencies; they pay premium prices for web design and content; they contract with data scientists who do not come cheap. And all of these things to help their marketing efforts. Companies like Coca-Cola spend millions on marketing efforts. But companies like Coca-Cola also use social media, because they know their audiences are there and “listening.”
As a freelance consultant in any capacity to a ‘big spender,” it may fall upon you to show the value of the cheaper and even free campaign strategies that will also get a “bang” – not necessarily because of the cost-effectiveness, but, rather, because of the results they get.
Dealing with Personality Types
Among all of these types of marketers, freelancers will find a myriad of personalities too. Marketers can be demanding; some may want to change the ‘rules” of a contract mid-stream; some engage in scope creep; others are unresponsive when you need answers; some want too much hand-holding and detailed reporting. And all of them want results from what you do. You must be a combination of negotiator, diplomat, and counselor, in addition to providing the expertise in your field.
Freelancing has amazing benefits. But with that territory comes the need for great flexibility, depending on the personality types you encounter.
Kristin Savage has graduated from Columbia University where she was majoring in Germanic Languages. Besides English as her mother tongue, she also speaks German and Dutch fluently. Currently, Kristin is studying Spanish and planning to obtain her Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics since she is interested in how to use her to some extent practical knowledge of language processes in everyday life.
Image Credit: Pixabay/Geralt