When it comes to marketing, it's great to have options. You can hire an in-house professional, work with an outside marketing team or just ignore it all together. However, if you do choose to invest in a marketing plan, sometimes all the options can make it difficult to even start! How do you choose whether to go with an in-house marketing specialist, an outside team or just "save money" and wing it?
An ironic thing about marketing budgets is that they usually get cut when the company needs it the most. When sales are slow or lagging, it makes sense that the company needs to tighten the purse strings, however it should not come from the marketing budget! The marketing strategy needs to stay strong to grow sales and attract customers and keep your company at the forefront of your industry. However it can be a great time to re-evaluate your strategy and see if what you are currently doing still makes sense, or if it's time for a game changer.
Option A: An in-house marketing specialist is a great option because who can know your company better than a full time employee? Also, an in-home marketing specialist can still enlist the help of an outside marketing team when they need help on a large marketing project such as re-branding the company's image, designing a new website, a large direct mail campaign or to increase website traffic to your company's website. However, this can also be a more costly avenue that not all companies can afford.
Option B: Hiring an outside marketing team can offer great flexibility for your company. You can often hire an outside marketing company on an affordable monthly retainer and they can make sure your company's marketing strategies stay consistent, they can provide reporting and feedback on your marketing tactics and offer advice and take most of the marketing work off your plate. You can increase and decrease your involvement with the outside marketing team as your needs change. Also, it's the marketing company's job to stay up-to-date on all the latest marketing tools and techniques, taking that time investment off your plate.
Option C: How about saving money and winging it? Do a email blast here, a direct mail piece there, see what happens approach? This might save your company the most time and money, but this "strategy" will give your company the lowest return on your investment. Customers don't usually respond to inconsistent and infrequent marketing messages. Often when a company decides that they want to get serious about having a state of the art website and want to get potential customers to find them easily on the web, it requires an investment that will pay off in the end. The only time a company doesn't need to invest in their marketing is when the company is not looking for new customers. Does that sound like your company? If not, it's wise to invest in option A or B!