Today marks the day the NFL Officials get reinstated and professional football games won’t look like they are fixed moving forward (we hope).  It is every fan’s hope that a repeat of the Monday Night “Inaccurate Interception” between Green Bay and Seattle is a humorous footnote instead of something that costs a good team a playoff birth.

Once the dust settled, it was clear the replacement refs didn’t fully understand and apply the rule differences between the NFL and their “regular” gig. They were confused and couldn’t adapt to the speed of the game. All of this got me to thinking about business and how this debacle might relate to you from a strategic marketing perspective.

How the NFL Referee Debacle Relates to Your Business

A few years ago, I met with a chicken wing franchisee that opened up shop nearby.  The owner (who I like and consider a friend) and I discussed different sales growth ideas on several occasions. A few proposals were exchanged yet nothing came of them because she believed she needed someone with “experience growing a restaurant.” Never mind the fact my family ran a privately held restaurant for over 120 years. ;) Ultimately, she decided to bring in a guy who previously ran a restaurant and supposedly “understood marketing.”

Replacement Marketer … the Results

Two weeks ago, that chicken wing franchisee folded up shop. The guy who “understood marketing” apparently led the business down the same path as his own restaurant … into the toilet. Ultimately, why did the business fold? Just like so many businesses, a lack of sales did them in. What causes a lack of sales most times? Ineffective marketing!

Now, this isn’t meant to be a sour grapes or an “I told you so” post, rather one to help fellow business owners learn from reality.

Industry Experience Does NOT Equal Qualifications or Skill

Much like the replacement officials, bringing in someone who “understands marketingversus a professional marketer threatens the stability and longevity of your business. If you need evidence of the potential differences, look no further than the replacement refs.  Yes, the refs had experience refereeing football games at lower levels. That doesn’t mean they are qualified to be “professional” referees.

Just because someone has “experience” with marketing in your industry does not mean they are good at it or will produce the desired results like someone who lives, breathes and eats the stuff daily.

The Biggest Difference Between Pro and “Replacement” Marketers

The best thing about a “professional marketer” is they can apply proven strategies and concepts to almost every industry. Contrast that with someone who merely has experience in an industry who can only apply things specific to that industry. Stale thinking produces stale results. It’s as simple as that.

A professional marketer can adapt proven strategies to fit your business whereas the so-called “experienced” marketer will attempt to adapt your processes to fit their one trick pony strategy.  HUGE difference.

How to Protect Yourself

Don’t settle for cheaper replacements just to save a buck or two … you could end up like the chicken wing franchisee. Doesn’t your business deserve the best? Talk to a professional marketer today … your bottom line will thank you later.

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