Saying that you want a career in marketing is the same as saying that you want a red car. What brand, what model, what price range, to drive where, how often, etc.? The same applies to marketing. There are so many aspects to it and it changes so rapidly, being a “marketer” really doesn’t mean anything specific. Businesses need customers; I know that’s shocking news. No matter what is decided, marketing MUST be a part of your budget. It could be that it’s very minimal. Maybe you’re having to spend a lot of effort just networking or cold calling so the cost is your personal time. Being in a local market like that of Nicholasville or Lexington, is vastly different than that of the national market. So if you are in business and need marketing, shouldn’t you just do it yourself or hire someone inside the company to do it? Here’s 3 reasons why that is almost never the correct choice for your brand management, digital marketing or overall digital identity.
People lie on resumes.
Just because someone says they know about something doesn’t mean they do. Marketing requires a complex set of skills that have to be constantly reviewed and updated to be effective. The picture for this post is from a 1969 World Book encyclopedia. What I find most impressive about the section about advertising is how the basics still remain the same. It talks about how planning campaigns requires knowledge of the market, understanding of buying habits of the people in it and creative analysis skills. We have met many people working for companies who say they are digital marketers only to not be able to answer simple questions about the services they supervise or perform. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t proficient in any area, it’s that they are proficient in ENOUGH areas. Spend a little time on LinkedIn and you will find what seems to be an endless amount of superstar employees. Interviewing processes are not long enough generally to have a clear understanding of what someone can do. The proof really is in the results, but do you have time to check on everything? An agency on the other-hand isn’t tied to one business or industry. If they don’t produce results, they don’t grow and if they get lucky, it won’t be forever. Marketing happens to be one of the areas where using a 3rd party can be more effective and cost efficient.
2. The scale is imbalanced.
Walmart was incorporated in 1969. Although the methods have changed in how they sell, the goal is still the same; low prices because of bulk purchases. You don’t have to buy a pallet of goods, take what you want, and find someone to sell the rest to in order to get costs down; they do it for you. The same applies for marketing. If you try and hire people in order to do everything marketing requires to be effective, you will do 1 of 2 things; either you will have a tremendous amount of overhead or you’ll expect someone to do too much. Either of these leaves you in a bad situation. I cannot count how many times we have been called in to evaluate the digital marketing of a business only to find thousands and thousands of dollars just being thrown away simply because no one had a clue what was going on. An agency on the other hand has multiple certified individuals in different areas so that they can be an EXPERT in everything needed. This way you can get everything you need without the fear of having to lay someone off if you want to change directions. You also don’t have to monitor new certifications and industry trends; you can just leave that to the agency.
3. It’s one less thing to worry about.
Look at this post on paychex.com about fears and hopes of business owners. The #1 hope is that they will be more independent and the #1 fear is that the business will fail. If you have hired someone internally to market for you; you have the overhead, supervision, ongoing training, data platforms, updating and ROI to worry about from that position. This equals not being more independent. Sure you can hire someone to supervise them, but that’s even more expense. One of the most common owner statements we get after we get a few months into a campaign is how much less stressed they feel in addition to feeling energized again. Besides helping you get and retain customers, one of the biggest goals is to help you relax and just enjoy running your business. What works one day might drastically change the next. Google has had 39 major updates since late 2012. That’s 39 major changes to how the search engine works. That’s 39 changes that whoever is marketing for you needs to know and Google is only 1 piece of the puzzle.
The #2 most common fear of business owners is that you won’t love the company you are creating. The more stress there is, the more likely that will be the case. We are in a unique position to have seen many types of businesses in all types of industries fail in their marketing. Let us use our knowledge of their failures to make sure that you don’t. In almost every circumstance, having a local agency will trump an internal department. You have nothing to lose by just getting an analysis. Worst case you validate what you are currently doing, best case you save yourself a ton of money and stress.