Are you looking for new ways to crush the competition? Do you wonder whether you need a full-time marketing person to give you that leading edge?
There are more than 175 million people using their phones to search for products and services.
Purchases made via mobile phones totaled more than $1.4 trillion last year. Do you need a bigger piece of that marketplace?
If you're wondering how to stay competitive and scale your business, this article's for you. We'll give you the inside scoop on whether you should hire a marketing person or go with a marketing agency.
Does Your Business Need a Marketing Person?
If you think you need a marketing person, you're probably right. Whether you end up with an agency or a full-time employee, you need to invest in marketing and advertising.
The great thing about advertising online is that you're going to save money. The cost of print advertising can be prohibitive for young companies, and brochures or business cards can get lost in the shuffle.
Advertising online allows you to customize your outreach efforts. You can show your ads at certain times of day, to demographics that you specify, in specific locations.
You can also run a branding campaign online and be assured that your ad will receive thousands of views.
But how do you get started with online marketing? Your staff may not have the time or skill set to provide marketing services.
You definitely don't want to entrust the future of your business to an intern, no matter how enthusiastic they might be. For many businesses, the answer is to hire a full-time marketing person.
The Cost of Hiring a Marketing Manager
The problem with hiring a full-time marketing employee starts with the cost of their salary. Do you want to bring in a new full-time employee? How will you absorb the cost of training and retention?
Another issue with hiring someone in-house is that you might only need them at certain times of year. You don't want to get stuck paying a salary for someone that you only need for periodic marketing outreach.
Hiring a full-time employee to do marketing can also be tricky because of the skill sets involved.
You'd need to find someone who's a great writer of web copy, email campaigns, social media, advertisements, and other marketing collateral.
They'd also have to be able to code a website, perform client outreach, and act as a graphic designer. That's a few full-time employees rolled into one, and it can be impossible to find.
As you discover more about essential marketing skill sets, you might realize that you need a team of marketers on your side.
Benefits of an Outside Agency
One solution is to hire a marketing agency. You can get online advertising services "a la carte" and only pay for what you need.
Compared to the cost of hiring seven or eight dedicated marketing employees, hiring a staff market agency is negligible. Talk to a few agencies and get at least three monthly quotes before you sign any contracts.
When you meet with these agencies, try to have a list of goals in mind. Do you want to increase brand awareness? Are you trying to streamline your sales funnel?
Do you need to update your website? The great thing about a marketing agency is that you've got a team of experts at your disposal.
You might need a great writer to update your site, a skilled coder to translate it to mobile, and a social media expert to get the word out.
An agency will provide expert guidance and access to fully-trained professionals. Marketing can be so complex these days that a single in-house employee may not be able to keep up.
Finding a Marketing Agency
The good news is that hiring a marketing manager doesn't have to be difficult. You can start by talking to colleagues and getting referrals.
Ask for client testimonials and for success stories. You want to make sure that you're contracting with a reputable company.
Remember, though, that real-time results take a while. It may take a few weeks or even months for a new marketing campaign to catch on.
You might notice that your customer engagement metrics are improving slowly, and that you've got more traffic going to your website. These are both signs that you've got an experienced agency.
Another good thing about marketing agencies is that they don't have to be local. You can contract with a high-power agency in New York or Chicago, gaining the value of their expertise.
No matter where you are in the world, you can find a marketing service online that will meet all of your needs. It's just a matter of an internet search.
In general, take the time to find an agency that you feel comfortable with. If you're not a computer whiz, try to take an expert with you to online or in-person meetings.
You'll be more comfortable and assured that your company's needs will be met.
The Future of Advertising
Any good marketing person worth their salt knows that the future of advertising is digital. Reaching out to new customers online is a cost-effective way of growing your business.
When it's time to scale your company, reach out to a professional marketing agency. They take care of training for their employees and create teams that will take care of your goals.
If you are going to go with an in-house marketer, make sure that they can do a few things very well. They need to be able to run social media campaigns, write relevant marketing materials, and update your website.
That's the minimum requirement for a marketing professional, but why stop there? You might need to have videos made for your website, or email campaigns for returning customers.
Take the time and consider your company's future. What do you want to accomplish and how quickly can you get there?
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