One question we hear often from entrepreneurs and business owners is “should I do my own marketing?” Our response is very simply: “It depends.”
Every business is different, with different needs, resources, personnel, and circumstances. Each of these plays an important role in whether or not a business should be doing their own marketing, or if they should be seeking outside help. To help you make this decision, let’s start by considering the below questions:
- Do you or anyone on your team have experience with marketing?
- Have you or anyone else done any marketing for your business? If so, what has been successful, and what hasn’t?
- What does your marketing plan look like? When’s the last time you reviewed or updated it?
- What are your marketing goals, strategies, and tactics?
- Do you or your team have time to dedicate to marketing research, content creation, competitor analysis, and monitoring?
- Who are your target audiences?
- What communications channels are you using to connect with current and potential customers and clients?
How you answered these questions can help you determine whether or not you should be doing your own marketing. If you have the experience, knowledge, skills, time, and desire to marketing your business yourself, there’s little reason to seek outside help.
However, if you found these questions confusing or daunting, you should probably consider working with an expert to meet your marketing needs.
Can I Just Learn It As I Go?
As a business owner there are some things you can pick up as you go through experience or training, and it can be tempting to do this with your marketing. However, in order for your marketing to be successful, there are a number of things you need to do well from the beginning. This includes in-depth market research, effective competitor analysis, a strong understanding of communications channels, high-quality messaging development, and an ability to evaluate the success of your marketing efforts.
Doing each of these well takes years of training and experience, even for those who do it full time. Plus, with seemingly daily changes in the world of social media, search engine optimization, and online marketing, it can be hard to keep track of everything you should be doing.
It is possible to learn as you go, but it will be extremely difficult and your business may suffer because of it. Instead, you may want to consider working with an agency.
But I Don’t Have the Money to Pay for an Agency
We work with a lot of companies that don’t feel they have a lot of capital available for marketing. It’s perfectly fine to start small and expand as you go. You don’t necessarily have to hit the ground running with an exhaustive marketing plan that includes online advertising, social media, public relations, blogging, etc. Instead, start with the most important activities and add more along the way.
The key here is knowing which marketing tactics will best help your business now, and which can wait. When deciding where to start, we recommend connecting with a marketing professional – someone who’s familiar with current marketing practices and opportunities – who can guide you along a path to success.
Find the Best Solution For Your Business
Your business is unique, so the decision you make about your marketing should be centered on your current situation, expertise, resources, and time. Ultimately, we recommend one of three routes:
- Do the marketing yourself or assign to a member of your team – this path works best if you are confident in your knowledge and skills about marketing your business, and if you can dedicate the necessary time. We would caution not to choose this option based on ease, as it can end up hurting your business in the long run.
- Hire an agency to help you do your marketing – working with an agency can greatly benefit your marketing efforts, but only if the agency you choose has the experience, knowledge, skills, and resources to help you achieve your goals. One of the biggest benefits to working with an agency is having access to multiple people with various skills, from social media, to design, to web development.
- Hire an in-house marketing expert – if you feel your needs would be best served having a marketing person on staff, this may be your best choice. Having someone in the office can be a big benefit, as long as they have the skills, talent, and knowledge to help your business grow.
If you have any questions about your marketing, or would like help knowing which route to choose to meet your marketing needs, we’re happy to help. Feel free to contact Britt Loyd or Boston Blake at 501-372-0393.