Hiring a person to do all of your marketing in-house, or even worse, trying to do it all by yourself may seem like a slam dunk for your company. From a high level it might seem like it costs less, you can make sure that everything is done just the way you want it, and you know your company better than anyone. No brainer, right? Well… maybe not. There’s a few things you want to consider before attempting DIY marketing.
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
Every successful business owner has strengths. If you’re in retail, perhaps your strengths are sales or buying. If you’re a restaurant owner, your strength might be leading your kitchen and waitstaff teams so they work well as a unit. However, every business owner has weaknesses too. And unless you have a strong background in marketing, it’s likely that you don’t even know what knowledge and resources you lack in that department. What technologies exist to help you expand the reach of your message to a specific audience, how to create a marketing strategy that spans years instead of weekends, and which medias are best suited for your business type are all things that a seasoned marketing expert has insight into that you may not. In the end, your competitors will likely be accessing this type of information, leaving you constantly playing catch up.
A Business Owner Can’t Be Objective
To a business owner, your business is like a part of the family. You watch it grow and try to guide it to be the best version of itself, pouring yourself into the business. And this is a good thing! Your business should be a reflection of your skills and values. However, this also makes it difficult for a business owner to objectively identify the strengths and weaknesses of a company. This is imperative for good marketing because successful advertising showcases a company’s true strengths to the audience, while it would be disastrous if you tried to advertise aspects of your company that other businesses can do better. For example, if you have a small selection of customizable items for sale but a store down the road has a huge custom design center with free in-home consultation, you might want to focus on your fast delivery times and lower prices instead of trying to compete in a loosing battle. A marketing agency will be able to see clearly what aspects your business can do better than anyone else, and they’ll help you get that message to the right audience who will appreciate what you do well!
The Best Marketing Isn’t About A System or Formula
It may seem like you can assemble a decent marketing plan based on information you gather from books and online articles, but the truth is that there is no magical formula for a successful marketing plan. Your advertising should be specific to your store’s unique attributes, and it should also be tailored to the audience that would benefit you the most. To do this well, your marketing strategy needs to be comprehensive as well as flexible. The same messaging needs to be present in your online ads, print ads, and inside your store. It also needs to be able to adapt to new medias and change as the audience grows and evolves. This is a skill that takes a team of specialists to master, and can’t be learned on the fly by yourself or a single person on your staff.
Great Marketing Requires Full Devotion and Time
If reading this article so far is making you think, this sounds like it takes a lot of time, then you are definitely paying attention. Truly successful marketing, the kind that brings in results that goes above and beyond expectations, requires time and manpower just as much as brainpower. It’s also better if there’s collaboration between different marketing specialists who have extensive knowledge about strategy, demographics, medias and branding. Assembling a team like this is out of the question for many large companies, and it is almost impossible for a small business.
DIY Doesn’t Really Save Money
The bottom line? Your time is valuable. If you kept track of every minute you spent trying to do all of your marketing by yourself and applied a dollar value to that, you’d be surprised at the expense. And, every expensive minute you spend fumbling with something that you aren’t great at takes away valuable time and talent from something you are great at. That’s another expense. So if you are doing your own marketing in-house or you are considering it, start keeping track of the time those tasks take away from running your business. And if you’re wondering what expertise you are missing out on, call or email a team member at R&A Marketing. We’d love to learn more about your business and brainstorm some ideas for a unique and specific marketing strategy!