Should I hire a marketing person if I have never had one?
The short answer is no.
When small companies are in a growth mode it seems like it makes sense to have an in-house marketing person. This is usually accompanied by a budget for an out of school person, like 35,000 and a plan for dominating your local market.
However, what most companies find is that there is a lack of strategy from a new person, and most importantly, their budget was all used up on getting that person and that all the stuff they need to support them and will cost about another $6000 a year, with ads and subscriptions to things and such.
This unfairly sets a new person up for failure because they are stuck “doing” the grunt work and expected to create as well. There is a limited number of hours in the week and the “doing” eats up a lot of time.
You are left with unhappy business owners and an unhappy marketer who is overwhelmed. Or in many cases, they do what they can and post stuff to social media and come up with some ideas, but ultimately it doesn’t bring in the business to pay a salary.
You need to be able to impart quantifiable revenue goals to your marketing person or team and let them run. However, someone out of school is going to require lots of management and has never really been tasked with this kind of metric. You’ll have to break things down on your own and give them marching orders. Instead of telling them we need $100,000 in new net income this year, it will be “we need 45 leads per month from your efforts”. Accountability grows out of this. You will have a ramp up period of say 90 days, then can start asking the questions about how the numbers are being met. A new person has never owned a number, they can post, do website stuff, and create brochures, but may not be ready to systematize marketing so that it delivers results. Likes and hits don’t pay bills.
Sometimes it is best to hire a marketing company to handle your marketing.
This allows you to save money and get all the things you think should come with hiring someone, vision, strategy and generating more money than you are spending. You might be saying, oh well, he owns an agency and wants to sell me.
Now, I do own an agency and you might be a fit for our services, but that doesn’t make me wrong. I’ve seen this scenario at least 40 times that I can count and maybe some I have forgotten.
Do this, research both, talk to marketing firms, interview prospective candidates and decide. Be upfront with everyone about your process and your budget and everyone will respect what you are doing. Ask questions about activity levels, strategy, and timing.
Are you the marketing person?
For you reading that are marketers going to be graduating from of school, don’t hate me. I’m trying to save you from a horrible experience and a wasted work reference for when you do want to grow. Here’s my advice, find a large firm or company, get into a larger marketing department and learn the tools needed and see how work gets systematized so people are not “doing it all”. Stay for about two years, then look for a place that you can grow with, like a small business.
Learn what it’s like to own goals and not activity. There’s a big difference and it will heavily influence the way you work. Companies are willing to pay good money marketing people who make money, not who is a “whiz at social media”.
At that point, you will justify the $60000 it will cost to keep you on staff plus all the things you need for success.
Own a Business?
If you would like more information on developing a marketing department, let’s set a free strategy session where I can give you help on getting to the next level in your business.
Are You A Marketing Person?
If you are in school, graduating, or young and struggling, feel free to also set an appointment with me for your very own free strategy session. We can talk and I might be able to give you some advice to get where you want to go. I’ve hired over 100 new marketing graduates in my years at private companies (and fired some too). I’ll shoot you straight about jobs and advancement.