We’ve seen many small-mid sized business owners struggle with marketing, and even a few large corporations. Why? Because marketing is deceptively easy to understand on the surface.
Marketing is easy, right?
There is a plethora of information made available by the media. Everyone has an opinion or prediction about digital marketing and where it’s heading.
So pro-active and eager owners read a few articles touting great marketing stats and the benefits of various marketing options. They’re all jazzed about growing the business. They’re on Facebook and Twitter, I mean, how hard can this be? They try a few things out, and come to 3 conclusions:
Revelation #1: This marketing stuff is more complicated once you actually start doing it.
Reading one article on how to advertising on Facebook is great. Reading another article on the effectiveness of call campaigns is awesome. You get a pretty good idea of how marketing can work for you…but then you realize there’s more. There are articles about LinkedIn Showcase pages, and classic mail packages, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO), video marketing, written blogs, why you need to be on Instagram, how big data will transform your business, and let’s not get started with CRM.
The big picture starts to become clear – there are many different ways to advertise, but which ways are the right ones for your business?
Revelation #2: This marketing stuff is time-consuming.
So after taking all that time to read and research about what kind of marketing you want to do, you now have to figure out how to do it. You need to buy software…hmmm…lots of choices. You need to pick topics and write content for various platforms. You need to write a script for your video and find a videographer…and get it up on your site. And you need to post how many times per day to Twitter and Facebook? You may have even ventured onto Google Analytics to see how your website is doing. You can see your traffic statistics, views, form completions – which is great, but how do you use this information now to improve visits and conversions?
Soon you find that you’re spending hours trying to get your marketing going. While this marketing stuff is kind of interesting, you would much rather be out there selling, overseeing operations and running your business.
Revelation #3: Wouldn’t be great if someone else did this marketing stuff for me?
This is where the right marketing partner can come to the rescue. Your marketing partner can do it all…but hopefully not all at once. Be careful. This revelation sometimes leads to yet another problem – hiring too many marketing partners. Often owners will have a “web guy”, “social media gal”, someone who does video, another person for press. These vendors are all running off to get what they deem are the right results, but there is no overarching strategy to make sure they’re all heading in the same direction, their efforts layer for exponential effect, all results are put together in a comprehensive fashion to measure the effect. The ideal partner will get to know your business and put together a flexible plan to help you reach your business goals. Here are some things to look out for:
- Your partner should build a marketing plan that outlines the most impactful channels that best match your business needs, target audience, budget and revenue goals.
- While you can have multiple marketing partners, one should be in charge of the overall strategy and how they will all work together.
- There should be schedule outlining when each option will be in the market. Marketing does take an investment, but not necessarily in everything – at once – right off the bat. The goal should be to implement powerful communication strategies successfully with your target audience – prospects, customers and even internal clients that move them to action.
- A before and after snapshot of results. Your marketing partner should measure where your performance is at before a campaign, and where your numbers are at after a campaign. These reports should ideally contain more than marketing statistics – clicks, views, and visits. Those are nice, but you should really care about prospects, pitches, conversions, ROI and retention. If you didn’t measure the effort, it might have well had never happened.