As a business owner, it is tempting to want to direct every single aspect of your day-to-day operations. This is your baby, so you know what's best about its care and feeding. This is often the case when it comes to marketing. You may think, "Oh marketing is such a softball. My brother's friend is a graphic designer. If I need help with *insert marketing element here*, I can have him help me out". This is certainly a marketing strategy, but it probably isn't the best marketing strategy.
There is an old adage in advertising that is as relevant now as it was in the 70's, "You can have it cheap, fast, or good, pick 2". Because of course, you want all 3. You might think if you handle your marketing in-house that you can have inexpensive, quick, quality materials. This strategy can result in a few different scenarios. No one in your organization has experience with marketing strategy.
Developing A Strategy
Developing and implementing a strategy might be collaborative or assigned to one person--either way, muddling through research and vendors while crossing your fingers becomes a huge time suck. Alternatively, you forge ahead with your own ideas without plans that include clear objectives and end up with a hodgepodge of marketing strategies and elements that don't produce results and/or get left in the dust because you have a business to run.
Marketing Is An Investment
Marketing is truly an investment (think intangible asset on the balance sheet) in your business. Marketing should be included as a start-up cost in your business plan as well as an ongoing budget item as your business grows. As with any investment, it is worthwhile to have professional input. Keeping your marketing in-house can have you throwing good money after bad chasing an elusive goal.
Finding The Right Partner
Partnering your marketing efforts with a good agency is almost always a great idea. You may or may not have a logo prepared. The very first marketing tool in your box should be a rock-solid logo. The second tool is a clear, concise tagline that memorably and consistently describes your niche. An advertising agency can use the logo and the tagline you have chosen or create them (collaboratively with your team) such that they best represent your brand cohesively. Advertising and marketing professionals are trained to create a logo that is powerfully representative of your industry and the uniqueness of your company within that industry. A good agency will use color and form to provide you with an evocative logo that not only sticks in your customers' minds but is also easily carried through to all of your marketing materials. Hiring an agency is like having your very own marketing department!
The Perfect Logo
Once you have that rock-solid logo that you love, with a tagline that ties right into the logo, your branding and marketing strategies can begin in earnest. Branding and marketing materials include elements that you may not have thought of, even mundane pieces such as business cards and stationery are part of your marketing. Your marketing strategy can include many things depending on your industry and your target audience. To be effective, a branding and marketing strategy should begin and end with a cohesive theme. Whether your marketing mix includes digital, social, email, print ads, outdoor, radio, television or all of the above plus direct mail too--an agency will correctly size your logo to fit whichever medium, recommend the best vendors, negotiate with vendors on your behalf to obtain the best pricing, and most importantly advise you on the most effective marketing strategies.
Marketing strategies are not one size fits all. A good marketing strategy includes only those elements that will reach your audience. With DIY marketing it is tempting to try everything. That is like throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks! It also gets costly really quickly. Consulting with a good agency will maximize every marketing dollar.
To learn more about how to improve your marketing strategies, give us a call at 661-702-1310!