Leara Gabay, PR and Marketing at Fathom Consulting, shares their thoughts on the value of mentoring for her marketing strategy. Fathom Consulting wanted to evolve their in-house marketing and support Leara, as a one-person marketing department, in doing so. Tanya Estrella, Founder and CEO of EV, mentored Leara throughout the strategic marketing process, providing valuable insight and guidance based on her decades of experience in the sector.
Drawing on marketing expertise
Evolution and learning go hand-in-hand with successful marketing. Not only do industry landscapes change rapidly, but the art of marketing is always developing. Finding the time and tools to build your knowledge is difficult, but an absolutely essential practice for any marketer. This is something we believe in as an organisation and a standard to which we hold ourselves.
Tanya worked collaboratively with Leara, guiding her through market positioning, defining the audience, creating a value proposition and building a complete marketing infrastructure.
“Having a one-to-one relationship with Tanya was really great. She provided so much value – I could just drink up her experience and I got the opportunity to better my own skills as well as the company’s. I would highly recommend mentoring to anyone in marketing,” Leara says.
“It was also really valuable to have the rest of the EV team on hand, especially because I was working alone. Where other agencies or marketing departments have a whole team, I got to experience these relationships in a really intuitive way.”
Creating a single, aligned strategic vision
Working together, we primarily wanted to achieve a cohesive strategy. The hopes were this would tie all activity and staff together with a clear vision.
“We started with an internal audit and it became glaringly obvious that we all had different perspectives about the company and different focuses,” Leara recalls. “So even though we’re an SME with only around 30 people, there were still clear siloes between people and departments. Now everyone is on the same page.”
This is a common issue which can lead to a disjointed brand. Without a strategy, or with one that isn’t aligned, important actions can quickly fall through the cracks. It can also fuel the perception of a brand that isn’t authentic, authoritative, or capable.
Think about the potential customer journey – if you (a customer) see a compelling message on social media, then you visit the website only to see an inconsistent proposition or design, it doesn’t convey trustworthiness. It’s unlikely you’ll keep on interacting with the brand. Maybe they lost some credibility because of misaligned branding, or maybe because their messaging wasn’t clear, they weren’t that memorable.
Read this article to see why aligning your brand and marketing strategy is so important
Overall, the impact of your work is going to be much larger – both longer lasting and more inciting – if your marketing activities are pulling in the same direction; towards the same goal.
Seeing the bigger picture
Pulling everything together under one, unified strategy is easier said than done – especially when you have little marketing resource. Not only is it difficult to find the time for ‘big picture’ thinking, but it’s near impossible to be completely objective. Working on strategy as a small internal team may create a narrow view that is detrimental to your potential for growth.
Leara tells us how “it can be a bit of an echo chamber working in-house, so it takes an outsider or someone who really knows the market to come in and change that.”
Mentoring provides a valuable external voice. They can be the fresh perspective that challenges your thinking and processes.
“Working with Tanya gave me the chance to take a big step back. It can get very insular as a single person in marketing. You get caught up focusing on the work or playing whack-a-mole with everyone’s requests. Being able to look at the big picture – at how everything tied together – was a luxury only an outsider can really provide.”
Without being able to see the wider objectives, marketing can become very reactive. Instead of responding to whoever shouts the loudest, taking a strategic view enables marketers to stay aligned with a clear commercial, brand, and marketing strategy.
Working with a scalable strategy
When we asked Leara what her biggest takeaways from the experience were, she highlighted the longevity of the outcomes.
“All the work we did was implemented and absorbed into the company. We got the benefit of it over a long period of time as Tanya and I’s process became how I worked in the company. There were a lot of baby steps – but now, with Tanya’s influence, we’ve got a complete marketing strategy, social media strategy, and all the core elements of marketing in place,” Leara concludes.
This is the power of a full marketing strategy. Not only does it give you a repeatable and manageable structure for marketing, but it multiplies the effect. It represents the impact of many connected actions – designed with a shared purpose – versus a few isolated ones.
Equally, this is why marketing can never sit still. Whether it’s in the context of marketers’ skills, or the marketing strategy itself, continuous evolution provides the best outcomes. As the marketplace changes around us, it’s our job to teach ourselves and share our knowledge with others in order to keep pace with it.
Read another of our guest series for more marketing stories and insights.