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When To Hire A Marketing Company

One of the questions entrepreneurs and small to mid-sized business owners will need to answer—at some point going forward—is this: When is the right time to hire someone to help with marketing? What if you need to market an item or offer a service and all the people you need to reach live scattered throughout a certain area? For instance, if you ran a Greek restaurant in Chicago, all the customers who might want to dine at your location happen to live in multiple spots here and there within city limits. And, they also live in disconnected spots throughout the suburbs. How can you reach your target audience if they’re not exactly in one geographic location?

And, how can you do this without spending a fortune?

The answer is relatively simple: digital marketing. This phrase usually means you start with some “real estate” space, preferably on the Internet. See, even if you could afford radio or television spots, chances are you would pay for large numbers of people who really aren’t interested in your product or service. Marketing experts call that “wasted viewership”; that is, you are reaching out to people you don’t need to reach.

Instead, today’s business owner should be wise in spending those hard-earned dollars he/she has set aside for promoting and growing their business. Digital marketing grew so rapidly this last decade largely because of the need for a more precise way to market goods and services. People wanted to reach a specific audience; a group of people with similar things in common: a want or need for your service.

So, what should you put in place before looking for help with marketing?

First, you need to consider three main factors before you seriously seek to hire marketing help. Here are the big questions you should consider with each of those:
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  1. Can I handle an increase in orders (and purchases) if I advertise and promote my business? Simply stated, you need to carefully consider A) do I have the resources necessary to produce more goods for more customers; or if you offer a service, can I provide enough service to my customers to keep up with their needs? What if I gain more customers? B) Even more practically, can my infrastructure and staff keep up with the demand if my sales increase? If you have serious doubts about your company’s ability to handle more sales or more customers, the time is probably ‘not yet’ for seeking additional help from an outside marketing group.
  2. Do I have enough money in the budget to buy the brand awareness I need to create, or carry out an effective marketing strategy long enough where I get results? If you genuinely cannot afford to pay for enough of the service you need, you should wait until your budget can handle such an expense. Keep in mind marketing your brand doesn’t happen overnight; many marketing strategies take place over several months, building upon each other, to create an effective and lasting result.
  3. Do I really know—and understand—who my buyers are? Unless you know the description of the customers you want to reach with your advertising, you will waste a lot of time and money pushing a message out there for individuals outside your targeted buyer. The experts all agree: Know who your target audience is before you spend that first dollar on marketing. You may want to take time, sit down, and gather some research as to what type of buyers you have; what do they share as traits in common?
So, let’s say you’ve arrived at the point you meet all the criteria just listed. Your company is all set for growth, you have the people and money necessary to move forward, and you have a full picture in your mind of your customer base. Now as you look ahead, all you need are more sales. If these pieces are all in place, the time is right to look for a successful marketing group.

Unless you have tons of money to throw away, you want to reach the greatest number of real and potential customers for every dollar you spend. The industry calls this ROI (return on your investment). In other words, you need efficiency! In this age, all the marketing research points to digital marketing strategies, utilizing the Internet, as the best way to reach out to your true customer base. The Internet along with related technology tools are the bridge you need.

What marketing objectives should you establish for spending money on digital plans?

As mentioned, the businessperson responsible for marketing needs to reach a specific group of people. This “audience,” as marketers often refer to them, is out there for every good or service offered in our economy. There are people searching for cars. There are people looking for shoes. Some people need help with their taxes. There are those who want specialty gifts to give to someone else. All these needs can be grouped into a set known as a market “segment” - a defined group interested in that particular product or service. The prospective customers within these “segments” are highly likely to spend money once they find what they want. Know this: there are tools related to Google’s search methods that greatly help a marketing agency (team) find and bring in the kind of audience you’re looking for.
Efficiency; money isn’t something to be wasted! The Internet, and digital marketing techniques, are sure ways to be efficient with money as you reach out to potential customers. For example, so many of Google’s “tools” are made to help you find and advertise to the correct audience at exactly the right time. No other traditional medium can offer you that kind of value!
Brand awareness and market share. Just like the strategies of old (radio, newspaper and television) the goal of your online budget is to make people aware of who you are and what you have to offer. And the end-game is simple, you want the Internet to assist you in grabbing a larger share of the market space you compete in. Let other competitors of your product do what they want, your goal is to take a percentage of the market from them and bring it home to your own business. As some have said, “successful marketing is not for the faint of heart.” In any case, get your brand out there to the right people and make them aware of what your company is all about.

I’ve set my budget, hired my help, now what?

A lot of entrepreneurs and business people set high expectations. Goals are good. Yet in many cases if your expectations are too high, you may feel like you’re wasting money. And you might be. However, if you do your research properly, you will find that most marketing groups need six months (plus or minus a month or two depending on your service and marketing budget), after a Website is built and a marketing strategy is launched, to see a real increase in sales.

A credible sales presentation for a marketing company usually involves tempering expectations. That is, the client/marketer of a product should be advised that, if all recommendations are followed, results will come in. Yet the client should also be made aware there are no magic formulas to guarantee results in just weeks. Sound planning and consistent work put into your digital marketing strategy will result in strong results in a realistic time frame.

Stay realistic and stick with the process, the results will come.
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