By Arlo Gibb
Making the decision between hiring an outside marketing consultant or managing your marketing in-house is an important one for your business. It can be costly to hire someone from outside to take care of this for you, but, on the other hand, it is not an easy task for someone who is not experienced in this area. Read on for some of the most important questions to ask yourself to help guide you in your decision.
Can You Manage Multiple Ongoing Projects at Once?
Marketing is a complex activity that involves so much more than simply sending out a few advertisements and then waiting for the customers to come rolling in. It requires managing a variety of campaigns in different markets to reach your desired customer base.
This can include advertising, of course, but it also encompasses social media, your company's website and blog, customer reviews online and even the packaging of your products, to name just a few. You'll have to pay attention to what is going on with each campaign and be able to integrate that into a clear picture of your organisation's marketing strategy as a whole.
In order to manage your company's marketing efforts, you need to have the ability to keep track of all of these different campaigns and to monitor their successes and failures. You'll need to know what is working and what isn't so that you can constantly make changes to your marketing strategy to accommodate changes in consumer behavior and preferences.
Do You Have the Time to Stay Up to Date with Current Marketing Trends?
The marketing industry is constantly changing, so you need to devote a certain amount of your time to ongoing education about current trends in this area. This can include reading trade magazines, subscribing to industry blogs, and attending conferences, among others.
It is not enough to simply learn about the state of marketing today and then leave it at that. You'll need to commit to seeking out new information on a regular basis. You'll have to stay on top of the trends and monitor what your competitors are doing as well. That is the only way that your business can stay ahead.
Are You Good at Delegating?
You can't be expected to do everything on your own, nor should you try to. It is important to be able to delegate tasks to others to lighten your workload and free you up so you can focus on the bigger picture, rather than the small details.
Look over your to-do list and determine which tasks could be done by someone else and assign the task to that person. Not only will this allow you to keep your attention on larger goals, but it will also bring in new ideas and perspectives to your marketing efforts.
Are You Familiar with Blogging?
The current trend in marketing is towards inbound and content marketing, rather than traditional advertising. Your prospective customers are likely to search for your company online before deciding whether or not they wish to work with you or purchase your products or services, so it is crucial for your business to have an online presence.
To boost your content marketing efforts, one of the best things your organisation can do is to maintain a blog and post to it regularly. The goal is to provide interesting information that adds value for your customers. This way, your company will be front of mind when customers wish to make a purchase.
If you plan on maintaining the blog yourself, you'll need to be a strong writer as well, or you'll need to contract with someone who is. Poorly written content does not instil confidence in readers, and they likely will not return to your blog for more information in the future.
Are You Active on Social Media?
Social media also plays a key role in your marketing efforts, so your organisation should have a page on a variety of platforms that your customers use. You'll need to post fresh content often to attract new customers.
When posting content, make sure that it is shareable. You want your followers to love your content so much that they want to share it with their followers as well, resulting in greater reach for your posts and more potential new customers for your business.
Be sure to engage with your followers as well. Respond to their comments and answer their questions. It is not enough to simply have a page. You need to actively use it too.
Are You Creative?
No two people are alike, so your marketing efforts cannot take a one-size-fits-all approach. You'll have to tailor your message to various target markets to have the most effect. This requires a fair bit of creativity and the ability to see things from other peoples' perspectives.
In addition, you'll need to constantly come up with new ideas so that your marketing efforts do not become stale and predictable. In maintaining your company's blog and social media accounts, you'll need to come up with new topics and ideas on a regular basis without rehashing the same ideas over and over again. Creativity will definitely come in handy in this area.
If you answered "yes" to most or all of these questions, you may have what it takes to serve as your organisation's marketing consultant. To learn more about the marketing process, download our free guide “Insurance Broker's guide to website enhancement for serious lead generation”.