Many, many small and medium size businesses believe that they cannot afford to work with a marketing agent or agency – choosing rather to manage their marketing and advertising initiatives on their own. This may be a great solution for a few companies (those managers with extensive marketing backgrounds) but for the majority, consideration should be made to what the potential costs of such self-management are.
- Inconsistent messaging, directly or indirectly. Directly – not enough repetition within outlets to saturate audience and achieve response. Indirectly – messages lack the same look, feel and wording throughout all customer touch-points.
- Ineffective market outreach – big bucks spent on ads or outreach that doesn’t speak to your target audiences.
- Misunderstanding of customer drivers – you think you know what drives your customers, but do you have the facts to prove it? Do you know how to attain the facts?
- Improper measuring – do you have tracking in place to measure the results of every marketing piece? Do you know your ROI for the various initiatives you execute?
- Management’s time used inefficiently – it takes time to investigate the basics of marketing tactics available and to weigh the pros and cons. If the decision is made to execute a new tactic, there is a learning curve to it set-up and monitor.
- Unpolished/unprofessional look – potentially cutting yourself short in the long-run. If the brand feels “cheap”, how will you get customers to pay a premium later on? If customers can’t take you seriously on certain things, they may not think of you for other relevant opportunities.
- Missed appropriate/perfectly targeted opportunities.
As the old adage states “you don’t know what you don’t know”, how can you possibly? Your main focus area should be becoming the expert in your particular industry – not marketing. A marketing professional focuses on learning the most about the latest marketing trends, tactics and measurement techniques because that is their area of expertise.
Just as you would hire an accountant or legal professional for financial and contractual areas of your business, why wouldn’t you hire a marketing agent for their insight on your strategy and message? Whether you bring on an agent for only a couple hours to consult with you on direction, or you can afford to bring them on entirely as your marketing arm – it is an investment that you can’t afford not to consider.