Many small businesses begin as a one-man band. This is often due to resource constraints, but it’s also sometimes the chosen path of a business owner in that formative period before growth really picks up.
Before long however, the workload starts to mount, and you’re forced to make your first hire. You might start with a general assistant, a customer service representative or perhaps even a dedicated salesperson.
Marketing is one business department that tends to get overlooked or neglected in those early years. In fact, a 2018 report by Statista found that 49.7% of US SMBs spent less than two hours a week on their marketing efforts, underinvestment that is likely to limit opportunities and stifle growth.
You instinctively understand the value of marketing to your business, but you can never find the time for it, and you can’t yet afford to hire a dedicated marketing executive. If this sounds familiar there’s a good chance you’ve considered outsourcing to a marketing agency. Trouble is, you feel reluctant to delegate responsibility to a third-party, thinking: ‘if I keep trying, maybe marketing success will be just around the corner.’
Sooner or later, you’ll need to level-up your marketing efforts in order to grow your business. So, what are the telltale signs that you need to seek the support of a marketing agency? Here’s what to look out for.
Sales are Starting to Flatline
It’s important to bear in mind that sales and marketing perform 2 connected yet distinct functions in a business. Your salesperson is there to engage directly with customers to close deals and create revenue for your business. It’s a time-intensive endeavour that relies on a steady feed of potential customers (prospects) in order to yield results. Marketing is the exercise that creates that steady stream of prospects, by casting a wide net to build a pipeline of leads at varying stages of the buying journey. Marketing nurtures this pipeline to identify the leads most receptive to your offering, and funnels them through to your salesperson.
If your salesperson isn’t receiving the right leads, or enough of them, then they’ll struggle to generate the sales that keep your business ticking over. A marketing agency could be the answer to getting more high-quality leads into your sales pipeline to help you close those deals.
You Can’t Find the Time for Marketing at All
Marketing is a time-intensive undertaking, and there are very few shortcuts that can be taken to achieve the desired results. With the daily demands of running a small business, internal processes like marketing are often the first to be cut back, as you focus on tight deadlines and pressing issues that demand your urgent focus. By outsourcing to a marketing agency, you can make marketing a top priority for your business and ensure it doesn’t compete for attention with other tasks in your business.
You’re Not Sure Where to Start
Like any other skill in business, marketing requires patience, practice and committed learning to get right. Many businesses owners are reluctant to admit that their lack of knowledge is a barrier to them undertaking marketing activities. If this rings true for you, then seeking the help of a marketing agency could be a shrewd move for your business. They’ll be able to create an effective strategy tailored around your business, and you’ll be free to focus on activities that leverage your skillset.
Marketing Fills You with Dread
We all have activities and processes in our businesses that we don’t particularly enjoy. Marketing is one of those that often polarizes opinion, with some relishing it, and others demonstrating their apathy for it through rushed, unoriginal email campaigns and clichéd blog posts. If your marketing activities fill you with dread they’re likely to yield lacklustre results for your business. By introducing a marketing agency to the mix, you’ll have the support of a team that lives and breathes the jobs you loathe, bringing energy and inspiration to your marketing campaigns to drive better engagement for your business.
Your Marketing Results are Inconsistent
When some strategies stimulate interest, while others bring about zero measurable success, it’s easy to think that marketing outcomes are in the lap of the gods. You might think: why should I invest time in something that doesn’t consistently add value to my business? If this sounds familiar, don’t be disheartened!
An agency will work with you to create a coherent marketing strategy that reliably generates engagement and cultivates leads. Sales opportunities can never be guaranteed, but with the sustained help of a dynamic, committed agency you’ll be far more likely to generate meaningful interest in your business and make new additions to your client base.
Something Has Worked, but You’re Not Sure What It Is
Have you every experienced an influx of interest in your business but you weren’t sure what it was attributed to? Somewhere along the line you’ve got your message out in front of your target audience, and it’s resonated with them, trouble is, you don’t know when or where this happened.
If this is a scenario you can relate to, then you need the help of a marketing agency. They’ll be able to monitor and evaluate the performance of campaign strategies to ensure investments are made in marketing channels that yield results. This approach will ensure your marketing efforts have the desired impact far more frequently than your previous hit-and-miss technique.
You Lack the Resources to Build an In-house Marketing Team
Marketing is a complex business activity that contains a lot of moving parts and requires a broad set of skills. In order to perform comprehensive marketing activities across multiple channels and touchpoints you’re going to have to hire in a lot of expertise, from content writing and social media management to graphic design proficiency, video production, photography, web design and more. There are of course multi-talented individuals out there who possess many of these skills, but they’ll expect to be paid a premium for their capabilities, and rightly so! Marketing can therefore be a costly activity to carry out internally, with many small businesses simply unable to absorb these costs in order to carry out meaningful marketing campaigns.
Using a marketing agency gives your business cost-effective access to a pre-assembled talent pool without the onerous cost and commitment of hiring dedicated marketing staff. Pay for specific sets of services via a monthly retainer or on an hourly basis to gain the marketing support you need in a flexible, affordable way.
Effective marketing is essential for the growth of any business. For small businesses however, finding the time for marketing can be a struggle, which can result in patchy, inconsistent strategies, and campaigns that fail to generate meaningful prospect conversations. This can be frustrating for many small business owners, who have a hunger to grow but lack the time and financial resources to properly commit to marketing.
Fortunately help is at hand in the form of marketing agencies, which provide the skills and services small businesses need to properly market their offering and get in front of their target audience. If this article has struck a chord with you, it could be time to outsource your marketing needs to a multi-talented agency to unlock your business’s growth potential.
Vine Marketing – Tailored Marketing Services and Strategy for Bakersfield Businesses
Vine Marketing is a full-service digital marketing agency based in Bakersfield, California. We offer everything you need to enhance your digital presence, boost brand engagement and generate those meaningful conversations that contribute to your bottom line. Get in touch today, and we’ll help you develop an impactful marketing strategy that delivers measurable results for your business.