Over the past few months, I’ve been attending a lot of networking events and also calling on a variety of potential clients, and one of the main trends I’ve noticed is that many businesses are attempting to take care of the marketing duties themselves rather than go with an outside firm or even a single consulting expert. While I definitely can understand the reasons behind why small businesses try this approach, ultimately it can actually backfire in the long run.
As the chief marketing officer at Persuasive Marketing Group said in an interview to Chicago’s Daily Herald newspaper, “Business owners assume they’re qualified to write copy or do websites, but they turn out to be their own worst enemy… I don’t work on my car, repair my watch or try to fix my computer. If you need a website, you should go to a web designer and say, ‘Make me a website.’ ”
I was quite intrigued by reading these words in an article on small business ownership that I found at Amsterdam’s Small Business News Center.
Quotes like this can be unsettling for small business owners who are struggling to make their business thrive. “Marketing” becomes another cost that many think they can’t afford. As the article notes, “Marketing channels such as social media and websites have been integral in making small business owners believe they can launch campaigns without any advice or assistance. However, having a personal Facebook account makes no one a social media expert.”
Implementing tactics like this without a clear plan or strategy can actually do more harm than good. And, particularly with social media, without the proper experience and tools to evaluate it, a self-executed social media campaign often becomes a guessing game as to whether or not it’s “working.”
Of course, times are tough right now, financially, for many companies. Cutting the marketing and advertising budget is usually the first step when businesses are directed to “save money.” It’s at times like this, however, when engaging outside expert help is extremely important, even though it seems counter-intuitive. The out-of-pocket cost you spend to hire the right expert will be minimal compared to the returns you can get from a well thought-out marketing and advertising plan.
The key to looking at a marketing plan for your business is not to think of it in terms of its costs, but rather in terms of its investment. When you approach it in this manner, it makes sense to hire an expert who has the experience and knowledge to put together a smart, creative, and strategic marketing plan for your business. Take your time and do your research to find a marketing and advertising consultant with whom you’re comfortable and who wants to partner with you to help your business grow. The fees that you pay your marketing expert will more than be returned to you in terms of the quality of the recommendations they prepare and execute for you, and the impact those plans have on your business.
Where can you find such experts who are willing to help you? Try attending some networking events that invite a wide variety of people in different fields, and you’re bound to encounter some marketing people that you can talk with face-to-face to see if you have any chemistry with them, and how passionate they are about helping you. Asking other associates in your line of work for recommendations is another good way to find a good marketing expert. You can also look or listen for ads that you particularly like and which, more importantly, you think would appeal to your potential customers, and then find out who created the ad, or which firm bought the media space where you saw or heard it.
Wherever and however you find your marketing expert, the really important thing is that you do look into it. If you had to appear in court, you would hire the best attorney you could afford to represent your interests. Your business, too, deserves that level of consideration to make sure that its interests are being represented.
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