October 2021 marks the 150th anniversary of the great Chicago fire – indeed, one of the great tragic events of the late 1800’s. Due to this upcoming anniversary (aren’t anniversaries typically associated with something happy?) there have been several articles about the fire making the news headlines, and most of them are excellent, packed with insight and historical knowledge.
A short history lesson
As you read about the history of the United States – and most countries for that matter – the role that fire played in the shaping of towns, cities, and culture is quite significant. It seems that everything burnt to the ground at one time or another – at least until emergency response systems were refined and, well, daily life itself simply involved less fire. As fun and comforting as fire can be, it’s great to not have to rely on open flame in most areas of modern society on a daily basis.
In reading about the Chicago fire, I discovered that one of the key contributors to the destructive event was the overabundance of wooden buildings in Chicago, opposed to the more common brick-built structures of the time. Even though brick was a common building material, wood was not only cheaper to build with, but it was faster too – a desirable quality due to the rapid rate at which the new city was growing. To keep up with the massive influx of people moving to the area, wood simply allowed Chicagoans to meet demand – essentially creating an entire society of ‘quantity over quality’. This wasn’t a bad thing at the time, as this prioritization was necessary, but it turned into a bad thing during the extraordinarily dry summer and autumn of 1871. Drought conditions mixed with a large, densely-packed urban environment and paired with an ill-placed fire created one of the largest destructive events in US history. A true tragedy indeed.
Our own ‘Chicago’
Now – at the risk of sounding like I’m downplaying the significance of the event (I’m really hoping it doesn’t come across this way), how similar is this to the way in which we grow our companies and businesses – especially in the early days of our companies? Maybe there’s just one individual – a founder, perhaps – wearing 100 hats. Or maybe there’s two people wearing 50 hats. Or… you get the idea.
At this early point, there is a marked requirement of quantity over quality regarding responsibilities – there is just simply too much to do. Akin to building with wood instead of brick, time is of the essence! I mean, there’ll be time in the future to do it more thoroughly, right?… right?
The fact that there are too many things to be done by too few people is a hallmark of any business in infancy – and often the workload doesn’t scale appropriately with an increase in employees. Production of product or service is paramount, and the many tasks of the overburdened are slowly left to tarnish over time, if not properly delegated. And in the busy world of manufacturing, marketing – often handled by the individuals that start the company – is frequently put on the back burner.
There is power in numbers
It’s at this point that partnering with an external team becomes worth considering. Instead of building an in-house marketing department and dealing with the required overhead, forming a relationship with a team of marketing professionals may be just what the doctor ordered.
A partnership like this allows you to offload your tasks to people experienced in marketing, who can create a plan for your company based on your specific business objectives and execute the plan in the manner best suited for your particular niche. If you’re able to work with a marketing team familiar with your industry, the partnership may prove to deliver more value due to knowledge of the industry, media outlets, publications, and key personnel. Marketing in general is a specialized skillset, and marketing within a particular industry requires even more specialization.
With an external marketing team in place, you’ll re-gain the bandwidth to pay more attention to your company and focus on the end-result of the marketing – not the minutia of the many tasks involved in creating a program worthy of your company’s budget allocation.
Marketing in general is a specialized skillset, and marketing within a particular industry requires even more specialization.
As your company grows, an external team can position your organization for an eventual internal department, helping build a platform to leverage in the future. Or maybe the relationship with the external team is such that it maintains for years – the key word is relationship, and mutually beneficial business relationships have been known to last decades.
We’re here to help
If you’re working in the RF and electronics manufacturing space – areas like test equipment, lighting, software, and components, to name a few – we’d love for you to reach out to us at LHM & Co. The majority of our team’s core marketing expertise comes from years of working in the RF (and related) industry. With a global professional network and business relationships with the industry’s leading publications and media outlets, our team’s ability to create a program that builds visibility and recognition of your brand is something in which we’re confident. But it’s not just the experience in the industry – each of us loves our particular area of specialization. Writing, design, project management, web development – we’re working in these areas because we enjoy what we do!
Feeling like you’re spread too thin? If you’ve been thinking of offloading some marketing tasks, trimming your job to a more manageable number of responsibilities – one where you’re able to increase the quality of your output, let us know. We’d love to have a conversation.
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