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When To Hire A Marketing Company

Unless you work for (or own) a company with its own dedicated marketing department, you may be unsure where to start or even how to market your business and services. A bigger question may be at what point do you get a marketing company involved and take over your marketing efforts?

The answer is relatively simple: As soon as you can no longer afford to not have one.

You may be thinking, “Shouldn’t that be as soon as I can afford a marketing company?” Marketing is an investment, and not only one of money but also time, energy, and a bit of your sanity if you are managing it all by yourself. If you are elbow deep in providing services, creating products, handling customer service, following up on leads, and managing the multi-faceted aspects of marketing—are you leaving yourself with any time or enjoyment in what you do? If you want your company to last, you can’t afford to be burnt out. Hiring a marketing company to lessen the burdens you carry in running your own business can help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed.

Before investing heavily in marketing your business services or products, there are three other considerations to make before you seriously seek to hire marketing help. Here are the big questions you should also be asking yourself:
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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 agency.
  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 that 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. Before your budget keeps you from moving forward with your marketing plans, be sure to request proposals from several marketing companies. MerchantSide Marketing Group has some of the most competitive pricing in the industry; with our pricing around $99 per month for most of our services. Why so cheap? We believe marketing should be a resource available to all sized businesses, not just those with money to burn.
  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 that misses your target group. 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 your buyers look like; what do they share as traits in common? If you aren’t quite sure because you have big plans for your business, we can help you develop your marketing strategy so encourage the growth you seek.
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?

A) 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 or a legal dispute. 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 find and bring in the kind of audience you’re looking for.
B) Efficiency; money isn’t something to be wasted! The Internet, and digital marketing techniques, are sure ways to be efficient with your budget 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!
C) 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 endgame 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 businesspeople 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 most marketing companies need six months (plus or minus a month or two depending on your service and marketing budget), after a website is built, to see a real increase in sales.

A credible sales presentation for a marketing company should involve tempering expectations. You’ll likely be told if all recommendations are followed, results will come in. Yet you 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.

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