What's the value in marketing and can you afford it if you're a small business owner?
Updated: Aug 16, 2019
For years I have heard owners of companies, CEOs and especially CFOs ask the question, "where is the value in marketing and show me the ROI?" Of course it's imperative for companies to understand the value of the dollars they are spending anywhere in their business, but with marketing it gets tricky. Showing executives the return on investment of an ad placement, commercial or campaign can be difficult when they want exact numbers. Before the age of digital marketing it was even more difficult. As marketing managers we could get close with estimates based on impressions and a spike in revenue after a launch of a new marketing initiative, but could we ever really show exact data down to the penny on the return of that investment, not exactly. But of course without marketing, companies understand that their brand would go flat. They have to invest in unique ways to sell their believable brand stories and they need smart and creative marketing to do that well. Placing a numerical value on that was a lot harder in years past, but now with digital marketing we can far better target and measure our marketing efforts and dollars. The question is do you know how? Large companies can invest in marketing executives or agencies to manage the ever changing and often confusing world of online advertising, and they expect those people to be up to speed on the latest marketing trends and how to navigate through them in the most cost effective and impactful ways. But what if you're a small business owner or an entrepreneur building a new brand, can you really afford to spend your budget on executive level marketing people or high priced agencies? The answer is probably not, but they still need to tell their brand story and tell it well, and often don't have the time or expertise to truly market themselves effectively.
Staying on top of the new tactics and strategies in digital marketing and understanding the ever changing trends can be daunting. Unless your career is in digital marketing or you are spending hours researching and staying up to date, you probably will fall short and your marketing efforts and dollars will be wasted. So what can small businesses do to grow their brand and expand their online presence?
Hire a Digital Marketing Consultant - not an agency.
Digital marketing agencies are great if you can afford them, but also very expensive and often spread thin with too many conflicting clients and large demanding brands. Small business owners need individualized attention and have a unique set of obstacles when developing their brand identity and competing in the digital realm. Here are some great reasons to consider adding a marketing consultant and a marketing strategy to your brand development and to the overall growth plan for your business.
1. Your focus stays on the overall development of your brand and the growth of your business.
Having a marketing consultant means you can spend time focusing on all of the day to day operations of your business and it's growth. Spend time on your brand (your baby) and making it great, and let the digital marketing expert who knows the ever changing industry and how to navigate it, do the marketing for you. They have the time needed to stay up to date on all that is happening and changing in digital marketing. It requires an investment of time as everyday the world of online marketing is evolving and improving, they can take the hours needed to manage your digital marketing off your shoulders.
2. You have a personable and accountable relationship
Your marketing consultant is an extension of your brand and should be accountable, reliable and especially available. Your marketing and branding strategy is often the first time you interact with your customers. Having a personable relationship with your consultant gives you the freedom to explore ideas, shape and fine tune your branding and deliver your message through the best possible outlets. If things are confusing or you see a stall in your numbers, you can reach out and discuss with your consultant and trust that they will have answers and solutions that make sense to you, you will know they are there for you. Your consultant knows that they are accountable for representing your brand well and for improving your online presence with measurable results. There is little room for trial and error as it's their job to know what they are doing and to let you run your business with the peace of mind that one of the most important parts of selling your brand is handled by an expert.
3. Your marketing consultant will have the "tools" needed to give you advanced insights into the effectiveness of your marketing.
There are many great tools for monitoring and managing the effectiveness of your marketing and the overall performance of your digital ads, campaigns and social media strategies. Not only are these tools often expensive they can be confusing and require a more advanced understanding of how to use them. Your consultant will likely have many of these tools already and will know how to manage your analytics and report those results back to you in a direct and concise way, offering you insights you might otherwise not have.
4. You Gain a New Set of Eyes
Often we get so attached to our own brands and business that we cannot always see when changes might be beneficial. At times we might not see beyond our own vision of the business and how to market it, a marketing consultant can give you a new perspective on your marketing efforts and how to improve your brand identity with a fresh set of eyes. It can be difficult to hand the reigns to someone else, but if you have a consultant that you trust and someone that works closely with you they can often freshen up your marketing efforts with new ideas. It's important to maintain your brand identity and control of your business while also being willing to brainstorm new and unique ways to improve your marketing initiatives. Your marketing consultant is an expert and will be able to help you navigate new ideas while keeping your brand fresh and people engaged.
5. You're Always on Top of the Ever Changing Marketing Trends
Marketing trends are constantly changing, more today than ever before. What was popular a year ago or in some cases even a month ago is now evolving into something new and more targeted and advanced. With the continuously changing digital world and the multitude of digital marketing strategies there is just no way a small business owner can run their business and stay on top of all of the trends. Working with a marketing expert insures you will have someone that is aware of the latest and greatest online marketing strategies across each channel. Your marketing consultant should work with your overall unique marketing plan and budget to ensure you are employing the best and most up to date strategies when promoting your brand.
Marketing your brand identity well is an imperative part of running your business and hiring the right consultant that fits your business goals and culture can help alleviate the stress of figuring out the ever changing and often confusing world of digital marketing. Spend your time and energy running our business and running it well and let an expert guide you through marketing your brand and growing your business.
It's your story, we can help you tell it. If you are looking for a Digital Marketing Consultant to help you grow your online presence I'd love to talk with you. firstname.lastname@example.org