Broadly speaking, there are two different ways to market your small business:
- In-house – Do it yourself
- Outsource – Get someone else to do it
The 4 possible problems you have with your marketing are probably
- I don’t know what to do
- I don’t know how to do it
- I don’t have the time
- I don’t have the budget
Anyone who works within the business, including the boss, has the same problem – the more you know the less time you have available. This happens because the more problems you can fix the bigger your to do list becomes. This creates a need to delegate tasks to others so you can focus on the tasks and decisions that no one else can make or do.
What sort of help do you need?
- Implementation. I know what my problem is, fix it for me?
- Strategy. I have a problem but I don’t know how to fix it?
- Training & Empowerment. Can you show me and/or my employees how to work out what to do and/or how to do it?
The easiest problem to fix is implementation.
There are a whole host of different ways to get the work done, but the quality of the job comes down to two things:
- The skill (and therefore cost) of whoever actually undertakes the work.
- The description and instructions for the task you want implemented. The better the instructions, the higher the chance that the person doing the work will give you back what you want.
Do the marketing implementation in-house
- Find someone in the company who knows how to do it
- Hire someone who knows how to do it
Outsource your marketing implementation
- Local freelancer
Example tasks could include
- Writing blog posts
- Running digital advertising campaigns
The higher the skill level you employ, the less instruction you will need to give, but the higher the cost. (That’s the theory at least!)
Understanding the business challenges and needs,
– to work out the strategy,
– to achieve the results,
– in the most efficient way,
comes with experience.
Strategy is all about taking data and insights built from experience, then interpreting that information to decide the best plan to get from where you are………………. to where you want to be.
Answering questions like these:
- Why do we exist and why should anyone care?
- How do we find more customers?
- How do we reduce the amount of time and money spent to win a customer?
- How can we convert more leads into customers?
Pros & Cons of Keeping Marketing In-House
- You know your product / service
- You live and breathe it, so know it better than anyone else
- Employees understand your culture
- Vision and mission and may make better decisions when it comes to your marketing?
- Hard to acquire all the skills you need
- Will a staff member be an expert in all the marketing skills you need for the job?
- Employees can stick to the ‘safe’ option
- Stick to what has been done before. The pace of change can be slow and ideas can be static.
Pros & Cons of Outsourcing your Marketing
- A good partner will focus on your ROI
- They will want to justify their own existence – if you grow more, you will spend more money with them.
- More cost effective (pay as you go)
- You get a more senior expert / specific skills and only pay for actual work undertaken. Less management and more output.
- Fresh eyes / ideas
- An outsider can bring fresh ideas to the mix – see things from a different perspective. Rather than simply ‘telling’ your audience about things you want to promote, they can create stories about solving the problems your audience may have?
- You don’t learn the skills yourself
- You don’t keep the marketing skills in-house however marketing training can be part of the package, in certain areas.
- Agencies make their money from keeping control of what they do
- Agencies, in particular, want you to become dependent on them. If you want to bring something in-house or swap providers, they may not always be as co-operative as you like.
- Not always available?
- Unlike an employee, they may not always be available to you.
Things you should outsource:
- Important marketing activities that may support your business and that require specific skill-set, experience, newest technologies and fresh methods.
- Short term activities that cost less with outsourcing than with hiring an employee.
Things you should not outsource:
- Core competences i.e. core services you offer to the customers.
- Low-cost activities that your team is able to perform without much management.
To conclude, I would advise you to try outsourcing at least several marketing activities for your small business. You just need to find the balance between the two – outsourcing and using the in-house marketing potential of your company.
Outsourcing smartly will allow you to look further beyond and concentrate on the quality of core services you offer.
KG Marketing works with small businesses from a variety of industry sectors and manages their content and general marketing. We also offer training to small in-house marketing teams, and flexible packages to suit all budgets.
To find out more, contact us at [email protected] or phone 07753 425412 for more information.