Problems with marketing

Since the beginning of 2013 we’ve worked with hundreds of businesses from small businesses to large businesses, in many different sectors.

In doing all of this we continually come across major problems that businesses have that prevents them from getting started with marketing.

In an effort to help make sure that you don’t suffer from these same frustrations and challenges, we have pulled together the 5 biggest problems, barriers and resistance to marketing in businesses today.

5 reasons why business owners struggle with marketing

1. Time

No matter which organisation we’re working with, we always come up against this.

When we ask people why they can’t get started with marketing and why they’re not focusing on marketing, the biggest reason is that they just don’t make the time for it.

When someone says to me “we don’t have the time” what they are actually saying is that they don’t value marketing.

In most cases in most organisations, marketing lies at the bottom of the to-do list, it’s not a priority and it’s the last thing to get done if they ever get to it.

This is a big problem.

Marketing is the single most important aspect in any business. You can have the best product in the world, but if you don’t tell anyone about it and don’t market effectively, you’re not going to get the results that you’re looking for.

Marketing is getting harder, and it’s very noisy.

The best entrepreneurs in the world are great marketers, and as a business owner you need to be a great marketer for your business.

2. Human Resource

If you were to put marketing as a priority in your business, you would naturally have to put someone onto that job to make that happen, and it’s really important that you do so.

Most businesses don’t get started with marketing because they don’t have someone to do the job or it becomes part of someone else’s job. Tagging marketing onto someone else job doesn’t work.

Marketing needs to be someone’s baby – someone who is going to get the work done and own it!

3. Money

People think they need a lot of money, but surprisingly enough it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to market your business.

We’ve worked with businesses with a lot of money, and they waste a lot of it because they think that throwing money at something is the solution.

It’s about picking the right place to put your time, effort, money and resource into. Money isn’t the solution, it’s about being smart.

There are many ways to market your business for free, or for very little cash.

4. Instant gratification

Business owners want to see instant results from their marketing, but it very rarely works in that way. Yes, you can get results quickly, but the best results come in time.

When business owners see that a marketing effort appears to not be working after a very short time, it gets sacked and they moved on to the next thing.

One of the biggest challenges in marketing today is consistency. Consistently developing, improving and maturing your marketing. This comes through learning and development, which comes through trying new things.

Yes, some things won’t work and some marketing won’t be as effective as you want it to be, but that’s just reality.

It really is about trying different things, learning what works and what doesn’t, and getting your team involved.

5.  Not knowing where to start

There are 100s of ways to market your business, so no wonder business owners struggle to figure out where to start. Not only that, it’s difficult to know what works and what doesn’t.

This is a massive problem.

For business owners this is a case of picking up a few books, reading some blogs, following some people that know what they’re doing and learning from them.

You need to learn how to become a marketer for your business. We’ve already mentioned that marketing is getting harder, so you have to get your head around how to effectively market your business.

Are you ready to become a marketer?

I don’t want you to suffer from these five challenges, so as a business owner it’s a case of grabbing the bull by the horns and learning what’s effective and working today.

You will have to allocate some of your budget, your human resource and your time into making this happen.

Marketing is an important job that needs doing and if you do nothing it’s going to become harder for people to find you and to understand what you do.

I hope you that from today you make marketing a priority and get everyone involved.

Don’t forget to be awesome!


Since starting our business in Fife in 2013 we have worked with businesses in many different sectors from all over Scotland, and quite a number of our projects have been based in Fife.

As a marketing consultancy it’s not uncommon to have people ask as if we can suggest other marketing agencies and consultants in the Fife area. There are few legitimate reasons why this happens.

Firstly, people like to compare and receive more than one quote for the work that needs to be carried out, which is completely expected, especially if you are considering investing a significant amount of money.

Secondly, sometimes we have to recommend other marketing consultancies due to a conflict of interest. For example, an IT Service Provider may make an enquiry to work with us, and if we are already working with an IT Service Provider, there would be a clear conflict of interest and we would therefore suggest another marketing company to work with in Fife.

We pride ourselves on being open and transparent as much as possible, and in doing so we have listed here 4 of the best marketing consultants in Fife.

1. Robertson Collaborate

Established in 2009 with years of business-to-consumer and business-to-business experience, Robertson Collaborate is an independent strategic marketing and digital commerce consultancy based in Scotland that helps clients grow their business.

Robertson Collaborate provides marketing and digital commerce strategy and support for growth businesses throughout Dundee, Edinburgh, Fife, Perthshire and Angus. They help you identify the right marketing mix to increase sales through customer acquisition and retention. They create plans and help deliver them too, often using our network of trusted partners.

2. ICT Advisor

Brian Mathers runs this Web Marketing Company and Web Design Company in Glenrothes Fife. ICT help your business plan, build and design your website and then assist with the marketing so your website wins races against your competitors.

Even, if you already have an ecommerce or brochure website, ICT will come and improve your websites performance.

3. Alpha Tango

Alpha Tango are a WordPress, Woocommerce, and PHP based development house with a focus on delivering great websites and offering support, services and advice for people that want to succeed online.

4. K2 Marketing

The philosophy behind K2 has always been to provide high level strategic marketing support together with market leading creative communications without paying the rates of city based agencies.

K2 have a highly skilled team of consultants, graphic designers and web developers that can rival any in Scotland.

Headed by Managing Director, Sean Kennedy, and supported by Creative Director Iain Cummings, K2 Marketing offers clients a fresh new way of doing business.


There you have it, 4 other marketing companies in Fife that we would suggest for you to consider if you are looking for additional quotes, or if you require additional advice or direction.

I hope that whatever you do, you find the best marketing company and consultant to work with that you trust and can really connect with.

Don’t forget to be awesome!


The Content Marketing Academy 2015 has been a massive hit, so much so that we are already thinking about next year! For those of you who couldn’t make it along to the conference this time round, we thought we would write a blog article summarising the speakers and what’s been happening, so you don’t feel left out…

The first day of the conference, which was the workshop with Marcus Sheridan, was a once in a lifetime opportunity for business owners to interact with Marcus on his first and only UK visit this year. Marcus was on firing form and gave a fantastic presentation interacting with the delegates and got the crowd worked up to start using content marketing to make the most of their business. Look out for our blog exclusively on the one day workshop with Marcus you are sure to learn something important you can add to your business.

Continue reading →

Inspirential is a TCMA2015 Silver Partner
Written by Laura Lucas

What am I talking about? We all need more clients, they’re the life blood of our business. That’s why you’re working so hard to get them, right? It’s exhausting isn’t it?! But what if there was another way? A better way….?

Good news! There IS a better way. Think about your best client. Someone you love to work with, they’re always up for trying your most exciting products and services, they value your work, pay on time and even refer you to new clients.

What if every single one of your clients was like that guy / gal?!

They can be and here’s how…

Continue reading →

  • Are you looking for solid content marketing book recommendations?
  • Are you keen to increase you knowledge and understanding of content marketing?
  • Are you ready to become the marketer you need to be for your business?

A good friend recently emailed me and asked “Chris, can you recommend some business/marketing books that I can read whilst I’m on holiday?” – no problem, I’m more than happy to take time out to signpost you to great content marketing books.

Every week someone will ask me for recommendations for content marketing books that they could be reading to develop their knowledge and skills.

I love it when people ask about books, it’s a very positive sign.

Over the past 5 years I can safely say that the knowledge I have gained is single handedly down to a good reading habit.

In this article I have included my most frequently and highly recommended books specifically for developing your content marketing knowledge and skills.

If you are serious about changing the way you communicate with your audience and you want to embrace content marketing, this is a great place to start your journey.

10 highly recommended content marketing books for small business owners

One – Epic Content Marketing, Joe Pulizzi 

Joe Pullizzi

For me, this is top of the list.

One of the major weaknesses for most content marketing efforts is the lack of a plan or strategy.

Joe Pulizzi’s Epic Content Marketing is essentially a template for creating and developing your content strategy.

If you start here you will be starting off on the right foot!

Click here to buy on Amazon UK

Two – Content Rules, Ann Handley

downloadAnn Handley is one of my favourite Authors and content marketers and she has written two best selling books on content marketing.

I read this book a few years ago and it’s still a book that I recommend frequently.

I recently revisited this book for a workshop we were delivering and if you are remotely interested in content marketing, and you don’t have this book in your library, then you really are missing out!

Click here to buy on Amazon UK

Three – YouTility, Jay Baer

download (1)“The difference between helping and selling is just two letters”

Back in 2014 this book changed how I think about marketing – a 180 flip!

It’s where I first learned about and started to understand the importance of the Zero Moment of Truth and why the best kind of marketing is the kind of marketing that people find truly useful.

Jay Baer has got to be one of the smartest people in marketing today and I highly recommend reading and studying Youtility. It will change the way you think about marketing.

Click here to buy on Amazon UK

Four – Crush It, Gary Vaynerchuk

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This book is responsible for the start of my journey into content marketing.

I read Crush It back in 2010 and it gave me the push that I needed to start my first blog and embrace social media.

Through blogging and sharing my knowledge I began to uncover my passion for marketing, social media, management and leadership.

Click here to buy on Amazon UK

Five – The Content Code, Mark Schaefer

download (9)The content that Mark discusses and shares in The Content Code feels refreshing, exciting and is unlike other content marketing books I’ve read over the past few years (and I’ve read a lot!).

I’m now even more focussed on understanding my Alpha Audience better and investing in the longer term of building a loyal community around my content.

Content marketing is evolving and my gut feeling is that The Content Code is going to play a big part of the future for content marketing.
Click here to buy on Amazon UK

 Six – Inbound Marketing, Halligan & Shah

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Inbound marketing is a fantastic place to start with inbound and content marketing.

It will ease you into the terminology, the concepts and get you think about how inbound marketing is entirely different than traditional marketing techniques.

Essentially the book is all about getting found online and pulling people in, instead of pushing your message out  through interuption marketing.

Click here to buy on Amazon UK

 Seven – The New Rules of Marketing and PR, David Meerman Scott

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David Meerman Scott is highly regarded in the marketing industry and has written the foreword for two other books on this list.

The New Rules goes into depth about how marketing has changed and provides you with a detailed review of all the new channels and platforms available. DMS also includes numerous case studies to bring in context.

Click here to buy on Amazon UK

Eight – Social Media Explained, Mark Schaefer 

download (7)Over the past few months I have had the pleasure of spending time on a few calls with Mark Schaefer.

He really knows his stuff about the culture of social and content within businesses and organisations and I urge you to buy the best selling Social Media Explained and dig in.

You won’t get a step by step guide to executing social media in your business, but what you will get is a much better understanding of HOW social media and content marketing fits within the larger culture of organisations, which is probably more important for business owners.

Click here to buy on Amazon UK

Nine – Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, Gary Vaynerchuk

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When JJJRH hit the shelves in 2013 everybody was talking about it.

The whole philosophy of the book makes so much sense about how to market our businesses in a noisy social world.

Make sure you buy the hardcopy as the book is full of images and visual case studies.

Click here to buy on Amazon UK

 Ten – Everybody Writes, Ann Handley

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I believe that writing is the most important skill for business owners and marketers. I’ve said this before on numerous occasions.

Ann Handley recognised that there was not a book on the market to help business people with writing, so she wrote a book to fill that gap.

If you are worried about your writing skills, this book will give you hope and help you improve and develop your writing skills.

Click here to buy on Amazon UK

Your Turn

  1. Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you learn?
  2. Do you have a recommendation to add to this list of content marketing books?

Let me know in the comments section below.

Don’t forget to be awesome!