Let's face it; you don't call a strategic marketing consultant unless you have a gun against your business brain.
Problems typically show up in various ways, but it all comes down to sales. We want it now (and we're tired of trying). Understandably, I typically get these problems when it's terminal.
My approach to dealing with these marketing emergencies have evolved over the years to tackle them more aggressively - more up-front - like the emergencies they are. Less general practitioner (come and sit on the bed; take a deep breath) and more paramedic (surgical gloves and cardiac massages).
In short, I jump in and check vitals.
Is there a clear value proposition - the equivalent of a marketing pulse? Are marketing materials attractive, or does it look bland - like a shallow, fading breath? What marketing tools are being used, and are they sharply aimed at a particular objective or spilling attention like a bleeding wound?
I don't treat marketing jobs with kid gloves, but with surgical gloves.
Once the patient is stabilised, I move onto less urgent issues, like how often to post to social media.
The reason many marketing agencies struggle to work with owner-managed companies is that they approach the job with too much care. To slow; too scared to challenge the owner; too focused on costs instead of adding value.
At my business, Firejuice, we act as a marketing ER room. We immediately jab you with a steroid of no-nonsense feedback. We quickly identify the key issues and rapidly sort them into not-urgent and critical categories. We aim our attention to where the most significant short-term impact will be. We deliberately don't sweat the small stuff and intentionally stay away from pursuing perfection.
It's partly why Firejuice is called Firejuice. We genuinely aim to make an outsized impact quickly.
When companies are small; in a high-growth phase, or up against strong competitors, there's no time to fiddle around. Every second counts!