Every business needs a marketing plan. Businesses rely on sales and customers. These commodities cannot be generated without an effective marketing campaign that effectively communicates the company, product, and message. Though many businesses are well aware of the need for a strategic marketing plan, not all of them understand exactly how to implement one.
A marketing plan can include all of the following and much more: content development, emails and newsletters, market research and data analysis, SEO, social media management, sponsorships, website development, and mobile app marketing. While it is possible for a business owner to create, manage, and maintain a marketing plan alone, it takes a considerable amount of time and patience.
The ‘Do It Yourself’ approach
Owners thinking of a DIY approach should realistically calculate how much effort they can spare. For those undeterred by the tasks ahead, willing to tackle this challenge, below are three cheap and effective steps towards better results.
Do your homework: Research is key. Understand the market you are targeting and decide on your company’s message. Analyze competitors for blind spots and opportunities to shine. Don’t compete in areas they’re good—find your niche.
Email is big, cheap and often provides the highest ROI: It is also a preferred method of communication by customers.
Your website matters: Make sure it has a responive build that operates on different platforms. Streamline the online experience. 81% of consumers use online to explore their options beforehand and gather information about purchases. Don’t give them a reason to be disappointed.
Hiring an individual or an advertising agency
Perhaps the amount of work ahead is too daunting, or perhaps you might not have the time to invest in creating something polished that best represents your company. While the immediate idea you might have is to hire an employee in charge of marketing operations, you’ll be surprised to realize that, in the long run, hiring a person could be more expensive than hiring an agency. Employees have more costs than salary once you include training costs, taxes, insurance, and the software needed. Excluding price, advertising agencies have other benefits, most notably:
- Expertise: both in the niche market you’re seeking and in the types of marketing you might require whether that be mobile marketing or marketing online.
- Experience: with creating and executing plans and consulting businesses.
- Efficiency: a marketing agency does not require training. They can start often times immediately and implement a plan of action urgently.
Working with a marketer requires trust and a willingness to try new things. Communication is crucial to keep both sides on the same page. Both parties must have an understanding of the other party. You should discuss the roles each party with play in the process. Advertising agencies make life easier by freeing you up to focus on what you do best – running our own company. Regardless, they still rely on you for information and the materials needed to create the campaign, so there is no easy shortcut when it comes to marketing your business. The tools for success are out there at your disposal, but the drive ultimately comes from you.