Even with all the available analytics, I know it’s a tricky question to answer.
But is it really?
Because if your revenue isn’t where you want it to be, then your marketing strategy has issues (assuming everything else is in order). Once you’ve admitted your business needs help, the next question is—whom do you hire?
Here’s something we can both agree on—
With so much specialization in marketing, it can be challenging to know whom you need to hire to help you with your marketing strategy.
Let’s break it down and make it easy.
Start with the customer because, without a customer, you have nothing.
Have you researched and validated the following?
If your marketing strategy has gaps in any areas above, you need a market researcher.
Every market researcher has different strengths, but in general, they should be able to help you with the following:
A good market researcher can answer all these questions confidently even if they need time to get back to you. Reconsider any researcher who insists that one particular method is the only way to go or has little knowledge of human behavior or business strategy.
Next, think about your organization.
Does your organization have a strong identity that is easily recognizable and authentic and resonates with internal and external stakeholders? Or does your organization blend into the crowd and represent an identity you think it should have, not how you want it to be?
If you fall into the latter category, you need someone specializing in branding who can help your marketing strategy beyond your logo, website, company name, or colors.
Hubspot outlines the components for a comprehensive branding strategy, which a branding specialist helps you with:
Hire a branding specialist who can provide a portfolio of past clients, asks thoughtful questions, and respects your input. Reconsider anyone who focuses mainly on design, has a brand portfolio that looks the same across all clients, and tries to push you in a direction that you are uncomfortable with.
Are you able to promote your brand online to your target market and generate engagement and revenue?
If not, then you need a digital marketer.
Digital marketing is a broad term for “any marketing methods conducted through electronic devices which utilize some form of a computer.” While traditional marketing is often seen as static and one-way communication (e.g., a billboard), digital marketing is constantly changing and usually two-way communication. If you decide your marketing strategy needs a boost from a digital marketer, your next step is to figure out what type of digital marketing you need.
The American Marketing Association lists the common types of digital marketing:
Look for a digital marketer who knows what they are good at and can help build partnerships or assist you in outsourcing what they don’t provide but need. Reconsider anyone who promises you whatever you want without looking at the ROI.
Does your audience prefer learning about or buying your product or service offline? Do you rely on physical materials such as catalogs, coupons, flyers, or communication such as phone calls, text messages, trade shows, or in-home visits?
If this sounds like your organization and you’re struggling with your marketing strategy, then a specialist in direct marketing is your answer.
This article from the Entrepreneur Handbook is a must-read before you meet with a direct marketer. You want to understand each method and its pros and cons concerning your targeted audience.
Note: Direct marketing does include online activities already mentioned, such as social media, digital advertising, and email marketing.
Hire a direct marketer with a clear proposal that aligns with your audience, goals, and existing research. Investigate other candidates if response rates aren’t clearly outlined, there are surprise costs in the scope of work, or if they claim to work equally well in all direct marketing channels.
Regardless of whom you hire to help you with your marketing strategy, you always want to know the answers to the following questions. Consider any of these factors negotiable.
No business owner can do it all themselves, especially if you don’t have an in-house marketing staff. There’s no shame in getting outside help to create or expand your marketing strategy. Although the vetting process can be time-consuming, using this guide allows you to thoughtfully consider the best marketer to solve your problem and proceed accordingly. And leveraging someone’s expertise is often a key to unlocking your company’s revenue potential.
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