When you’re developing a product or service, it can be difficult to gauge what stage in the process is appropriate to start marketing. Marketing helps introduce your company to the masses, and when done right, can significantly improve your chances for success. But when do you stop handling marketing yourself and hire a company to take over? If you’ve gotten too busy or are running out of ideas, it may be time to hire a marketing company to help grow your business. But before you hire anyone, you need to consider what kind of marketing expert would benefit you and your company. Here are a few questions to ask when doing your research:
- Am I willing to listen and try new things? Hiring someone outside your company to plan and execute your marketing strategy means giving up some measure of control over it yourself. This can be difficult for some business owners, because they believe they know what is best for their company, and understandably so. However, relinquishing some control over to trained marketing experts can undoubtedly improve the long term success of your business. It’s important to have an open mind when listening to the ideas of your firm or contractor. Their ideas are objective, founded upon facts, research, and previous experience.
- Should I hire a marketing consultant or a marketing firm? Hiring a marketing consultant costs less than hiring a marketing firm, which can be beneficial for small businesses or start ups. However, if you have the resources to go bigger, marketing firms offer a variety of marketing experts with a range of specialties, allowing for greater success of finding your perfect match. According to Business 2 Community, the cost of hiring a marketing agency is $3,000 to $5,000 per month. This may be a small cost to ensure that your product or service is visible to your target market. Hiring a marketing consultant would make more sense if you’re not looking to get help with every project. For the projects that you do need help with, however, you can hire a marketing consultant whose skills are especially tailored to your needs.
- Do I need marketing assistance full time or part time? Consider the size of your business, amount of sales, and number of projects to assess whether you need full or part time marketing help. Also consider if it would be beneficial to your business to have a marketing consultant on a project by project basis. This can be a cost effective way of getting the marketing expertise you need without committing to long term payments. A marketing firm would be more appropriate for businesses that are looking for a consistent source of marketing assistance or a vast array of differing skills. For example, graphic design for a printed brochure is a completely different skillset than website development or video production. In a larger company, they will have more variety of skillsets to accommodate a wide range of marketing needs. This can help keep operations running smoothly and ensure that marketing efforts aren’t taking employee’s time away from other concerns.
- Should I hire a local company? When hiring a marketing firm, their location is not as important as the question of whether or not they can really help you. Look for a marketing firm that has previous experience with companies of your size, and if possible, within the market you’re looking to target. Also ask the firm about their strategy and how they have helped other businesses–increased revenue, increased number of people reached, etc.–and see if it matches the results you are aiming for. That said, hiring a local company allows you to interact with the people handling your marketing more often than you would if the firm was not local. This can be extremely beneficial when developing a brand identity, working on strategic marketing planning and any creative work where a face-to-face meeting could vastly improve the outcome.
- What results am I looking for? When you’re looking for a marketing consultant or firm, the most important thing to keep in mind is what you want the final outcome to be. Are you looking for a new website to draw potential customers, improved SEO, more social media followers, or greater brand awareness? According to QSR Magazine, the best goals for successful marketing campaigns are specific, can be measured and are closely related to the avenue of marketing itself. For example, you may say you expect at least ten new prospects to derive from a certain Facebook promotion, instead of relying on less direct or short-term results like a temporary increase in website traffic.
Once you’ve thought about these questions, the next step is to do your research on which marketing firms or marketing consultants may be right for you. It will take time and effort, but the more research you do, the more likely you’ll be able to find the right match for you and your company. The quicker that happens, the sooner you’ll be able to execute a marketing plan and start seeing results.
WebScout has done the research for you and offers a free 15-20 minute phone consultation for anyone starting a new marketing project. Contact Us today.