If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner, your time is probably consumed with running your business, supervising your contractors, and making sure that your clients and customers are getting what you are selling. Who has time for social media, networking events, or designing logos?
However, if no one knows what you offer or how to find you, no one is going to purchase your goods or services. Marketing needs to be a part of your business plan in order to get your brand out there.
As you start up your business, you may be acting as your own marketing manager. But unless you are savvy about online outreach, digital technology, and market research, you may not have the expertise necessary to conduct this important function all by yourself.
Here are five reasons why you may need a marketing manager to take your business to the next level.
1. Online Presence
In the 21st century, very few businesses can survive without an online presence. Whether you run a small law firm or a catering business, your clients and customers expect to find out about you on a website. They may even expect to make their first contact with you online, via email or e-commerce.
Do you know how to build a website? Do you know how to make your URL more easily found by search engines? Do you understand online ads, social media, and data collection?
If you do, that’s wonderful. But if you don’t, you may need to hire your own marketing manager to make sure that you are reaching your targets. You can be the smartest attorney in town, but if the customers who need this advice don’t know you exist, how can you serve them?
A good marketing manager will establish you online so that people searching for whatever you provide can find you when they need you.
2. Time and Priorities
Even if you do understand the concept of marketing, as a small business owner you may not have enough time to supervise all of your marketing activities in addition to creating an effective strategy, look and feel, and brand.
As the President, you may be making sure that you comply with any necessary licensing or safety regulations. You may be soliciting financing from venture capitalists. You may be busy serving the needs of your existing client base.
Marketing requires a well- researched strategy and then hours of implementation. It may require designing a logo, office, and promotional materials. It may entail outreach to media, or creating email lists. It needs to be updated periodically to reflect changes in the market and your business.
Do you have time to do all of that? Is your mental capacity best served by paying attention to these tasks, or should you concentrate on the overall strategy of the business?
3. The High Price of Mistakes
Marketing is a skill and an art. Not everyone can master it.
Marketing done incorrectly can damage a company’s reputation irreparably. Who can forget the fiasco of “New Coke?”
There are numerous instances of marketing that fell flat or hit the wrong mark. Sending out an ill-timed tweet, failing to realize an offensive tagline, or making promises you can’t keep are all examples of errors that caused damage to their companies.
Marketing takes experience, knowledge, and hard work. If you do not have the time and experience to do it yourself, you want to hire a marketing manager who can do it for you.
Look for a manager who understands your target market and your goals. Look for someone who can work within your budget, and who shares the same values that you do. Great marketing can help grow your business when done right.
4. Your Competition Is Doing It
If you are not apportioning part of your overall operating budget to marketing, know that your competitor is. He may be buying up the best Google ad words to drive web traffic to your site. She may be placing ads in the newspapers your customers read and positioning herself in their minds as the one to call.
Whether it is through email campaigns, sports team sponsorships, banner ads or promotional hats, marketing is a battle with your competitors for the attention and dollars of your audience. If you want to stand out and win the battle, you need an expert in charge.
5. Do It Well, Differently, and Often
Marketing is not a static activity, nor is it a “one and done.” You cannot just launch a single marketing campaign and be done with it.
As your business changes, your product and brand may change too. Even if you do not change, the tastes and concerns of your market do.
A good marketing manager will create a yearly marketing plan, using what worked last year and trying new approaches and tactics as well. Research may show changes in the economics and demographics affecting your market, so your approach to marketing must evolve accordingly.
Marketing can also scale up or down depending on your profits and losses. You may decide to go for online ads instead of print ones this year to save money. You may find you are getting lots of customers from an association with a local charity, and choose to put more money towards that.
A Marketing Manager: One Key to Success
A great marketing manager will help you create long term strategies and daily activities that will keep your goods and services top of mind with prospective clients and customers. They will work within your budget, understand how to reach your target audience, and be able to adjust to changes in your business and the outside world.
If you want to make an indelible impression, drive people to your website or storefront, and keep them coming back, you want a marketing manager. Instead of trying to do everything yourself, delegate the marketing to an expert.
You can then focus on being the boss, growing the business, or- if you want- putting your heels up and enjoying the fruits of your labor.
Keep checking back for more ways to maximize your business and improve your quality of life.