Signs You Need Marketing Consultancy
As a small business owner, being overwhelmed by an insurmountable amount of work is not unheard of. Your day may be filled with anything from tackling administrative work to maintaining your social media presence. After all, who knows your business and customers better than you? So, who better to assign these responsibilities to?
At some point, you come up with an exciting but perhaps meretricious marketing idea and have a detailed execution plan jotted down on a notepad somewhere. Before you jump into the execution stage, there are some important factors to consider: Are your capabilities as a marketeer sound enough for you to get the results you are expecting? Even if your ideas have merit, turning them into actions is an entirely different ball game. There’s a good chance you may need some outside assistance to help you reach your marketing goals.
Understandably, switching from your in-house digital marketing team to hiring an outside party or perspective can be a huge step. There are many reasons that small and medium-sized businesses refrain from going to a marketing consultancy, including concerns about increased spending and reluctance to trust a third party. However, the benefits outweigh the risks, if you perform your due diligence before selecting a third-party consultancy. So, how do you know if you need to hire a marketing consultant in the first place? This article aims to highlight some of the signs that indicate you need to hire a marketing consultancy.
A consistent, dedicated Marketing Budget isn’t viable
Hiring internal marketers gets expensive fairly quickly. For two or three quality hires, your firm could be in the red fairly quickly depending on size. Factor in a typical 3 month ramp up period, and you’re looking at a major investment. -- a major investment with less of a proven track record than a reputable digital marketing consultancy.
If the above doesn’t sound affordable to you, then hiring a marketing consultancy is what you should look into. You might be surprised at the value you can get out of a marketing consultant, and you definitely don’t need the resources of a Fortune 500 company to afford one. Marketing consultants do not require the investment that permanent staff additions would, and you don’t have to worry about retaining them beyond the scope of any project you hire them on for.
There just isn’t enough time in the day
If you end up juggling social media, website updates, and email marketing as well as all your other business priorities, you’re likely spreading yourself too thin. Not to mention how little time doing so would spare you for all the other necessities of running your business. Any kind of marketing effort takes dedicated time. You’d be composing effective copy, targeting, timeliness, and trying to allocate your budget in order to optimize returns on your marketing investment. It’s likely you’d end up getting lost in the necessary details and your campaigns never end up getting out the door when they should.
When you add marketing to your other work processes, it might involve rearranging other priorities in order to get the job done effectively. But, the reality of being a business owner is that you can’t afford to reduce your focus on other activities -- especially when you should be creating a quality product or running your business to the best of your ability. This is when smaller businesses suffer, because there isn’t enough time dedicated to digital marketing nor are you focusing on the bigger picture.
This is a sign that you need marketing consultancy, if only to help reduce the amount of research work you’d need to do on your own, or at least for some of the additional manpower and expertise it could bring you.
You feel like your sales are underperforming/stagnating
Unless your business has completely cornered its market, it’s virtually impossible to run out of customers in a lifetime. If sales have started to decrease, have reached a plateau, or are generally slow, it’s likely to be a result of something you or your competitors have done.
As any marketer will tell you, the goal of marketing is to create new customers and brand advocates. Don’t think of it as just a way of “improving your image” or “increasing brand reach.” Those are definitely positive side effects, but at the end of the day, return on investment is what matters most.
You haven’t updated your website in over 6 months
If this is the case, you almost certainly need to update your website right away if you want to stay competitive. Google now gives preferential ranking to websites that are mobile-friendly and responsive. That means that a website that scales to fit desktop screens, tablets, and smartphones, and provides a seamless viewing experience across all devices your potential customers might be using to get to your site. If your site isn’t responsive, you’re losing out, not only with Google’s ranking algorithm but with a consumer base that is more digitally accustomed than ever.
You don’t have the necessary skill-set
As digital marketing becomes more prevalent, developing a marketing strategy increasingly requires the consideration of a variety of elements. Comprehensive digital marketing requires detailed knowledge of and skill sets related to SEO, social media, graphic design, and website development, all of which are vital to any businesses’ success in the digital era. By working with a marketing consultancy, you get access to all of their insights and expertise. Whether it is researching SEO and keyword terms to promote your brand, specializing in social media marketing, or designing an attractive landing page for your site, it can be overwhelming and intimidating. Dedicated digital marketing consultancies offer specialists in each field who can assess your company’s needs and build a personalized plan based on where your company has the most growth potential.
You don’t have a plan
Marketing isn’t a sporadic task that you can pick up and put down at any time. It requires insight, planning and consistent execution according to a carefully considered strategy that is aligned to your business goals and target audience. So if you don’t have a plan, or the manpower or time you need to put one together, it might be a good idea to consider marketing consultancy. In the long run, your brand’s presence will depend on your marketing efforts, as these two aspects work hand in hand to represent who you are in the market. So it’s vital that you ensure your products remain front of mind with your target audience --something a marketing consultancy can help you with.
To conclude, there are several signs that are strong indicators that your business may need the services of a marketing consultant. If your sales are underperforming, if you feel like you can’t afford to permanently field a marketing team, if you don’t have enough time to create your own marketing plan, if you lack the necessary skills and tools to deliver your marketing vision, if your website hasn’t been updated recently, or even if you simply do not have a plan -- you need to considering outsourcing your marketing efforts.