After years of dreaming and saving, you are finally ready to build your own house. When you close your eyes, you can envision exactly what you want: a wraparound porch, a pergola in the backyard next to a designer pool, a chef’s kitchen (okay… maybe I’m describing my dream home. Bear with me!). The land has been purchased, the financing is in place, now all you need to do is work with an architect to draw up the blueprint to make your dream a reality.
Now, what if at this point you thought, Sure, but I already know exactly what I want. I’m just going to create it myself?
That sounds silly, right? A solid blueprint is the key to building a quality house. Without it, you’re just wasting your valuable time and money on a project that probably won’t even resemble anything close to the house of your dreams. Just because you can envision exactly what you want doesn’t mean you have the resources and expertise to draw up the plan.
It’s the same with marketing. Creating a marketing strategy is the key to a successful marketing plan. A weak strategy (or no strategy) will be a drain on your company’s time, money, and growth potential.
So, why is a professional marketing strategy right for you and your company? Are there times when a DIY approach might also work? I am so glad you asked.
When does a DIY approach work?
We live in the age of DIY. If there’s something I don’t know how to do, my first reaction is to consult good old Google to see if it’s something I can figure out myself before calling in the pros. I’ve saved a lot of money on plumbers throughout the years by simply watching a video and making a quick trip to Home Depot (although, my toilet still leaks occasionally, so maybe not!). Making your own marketing strategy may be right for you if:
1. You have an experienced marketing pro on your team!
Maybe there is someone on your team who has a broad, generalized perspective of marketing and a wealth of current marketing experience. This is great news!
When making your strategy in-house, you want someone who is up-to-date on the ever-evolving marketing environment and able to offer an objective, comprehensive view of your marketing situation. Having a marketing specialist do this task probably isn’t the best idea. They often focus on a certain aspect of marketing (such as social media or sales) and aren’t necessarily equipped to draft the blueprint that will enable your company’s marketing success. In that case you risk running with a narrow view of marketing that peters out when you need it most.
2. You already have a plan in place
If you have a template or framework you’re using and it’s working for you… keep at it! Just remember: a plan that’s in your head isn’t a plan at all. To be a true marketing strategy, it needs to be written down and shared with your team. After that, you need to actually execute your plan and have a way to track your progress. Not sure if your current strategy meets all these criteria? It might be time for you to take a deeper look at whether it is truly working for you.
3. You’re just starting out
If your business is still new, DIY-ing your marketing strategy in the initial stages of your company can help you shape your vision, well before you have the resources to even consider outsourcing the task. Sometimes the best way to begin is just to begin, so if you have a documented plan that you’re able to implement and track results with, then it sounds like you’re off to a solid start!
What about a professional marketing strategy?
Here’s the bad news: having a pro create your strategy has some drawbacks. First, you have to actually find a professional marketing company, and even when you do find one, they might not be the right fit for you, which brings you all the way back to square one. This can be as frustrating in the business world as it is in the dating world!
Okay, so you’ve found a company you want to work with. What if they don’t understand your vision? Think about it. You are the expert at what you do. You know your business better than anyone. Them? They still have some catching up to do when it comes to learning about your industry. When you choose to outsource anything, you are inherently going to let go of some control, which can be tough, especially if you’re used to doing everything on your own.
So is it really worth it to hire a pro? We think so. Here are some of the benefits of having a professional marketing strategy:
1. More time to focus on the big picture
More time — what an elusive concept! Maybe right now it feels like you are so caught up in the day-to-day issues that you don’t have nearly enough time to focus on the growth of your company.
Tomorrow I’ll figure out our long-term goals, you tell yourself, as you lock up the office at 8 PM.
But then tomorrow comes, and yet another urgent matter is placed on your desk, distracting you from zeroing in on the company’s overall health. So you put it off. Again.
That’s where we come in. A professional marketing strategy frees you up to focus on the big picture (like running your business!). We will work with you on creating a marketing strategy that works for your company and produces results.
Let’s return to our house-building analogy. Sure, you could research how to draw up an architectural blueprint (I just did! Thanks, Google), and I’m sure there are countless YouTube videos on how to do the various tasks that are required to build a house… But — would that be an efficient use of your time?
Embarking on a DIY construction project
probably (definitely) isn’t the best long-term plan if you would prefer to live in a habitable home. Some things are best left for the pros — creating a marketing strategy is one of those things!
2. Know what each marketing dollar is accomplishing
If you’re still tracking with us, then you know that a marketing strategy is the starting point for a successful marketing plan. But maybe you’re not sure where to start.
It’s easy when you’re pressed for time to throw money at whatever seems to be working for everyone else. There’s always going to be new technology, new platforms, and new methods to keep up with. It’s exhausting, not to mention discouraging, to feel like you never know if the money invested in a new approach will actually generate sales opportunities or lead to sustainable growth.
Repeat after me: Marketing should not be a money drain. But far too often, it can be.
Creating a marketing strategy transforms marketing into a tool that works for you to generate growth and provide sustainable, long-term success. Having a professional marketing strategy in place (rather than a DIY approach) ensures that your money is being used effectively. Every dollar in your marketing budget will have a clear, specific purpose aimed at reaching a defined, documented goal. What’s not to love about that?
So… what’s the verdict?
If you feel confident about creating your own marketing strategy – go for it! But if it’s something you aren’t too sure about, or don’t know how to get started, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Marketing strategy is too important to skip or skim over. You may not realize how bad the plan you have in place is until months down the road when you realize it’s not generating results.
We want you to be excited about the future of your business, and we can help by working with you to build a professional marketing strategy that works for you. We can provide the expertise and convenience you are looking for, freeing you up to focus on what matters most.
Creating a marketing strategy is the first step to position yourself for sustainable growth, and we would love to schedule a free 30-minute marketing strategy consultation with you to learn more about you and your business!