An internal marketing staff can be an effective, yet a very expensive solution to fulfill a small business marketing plan. The construction of a basic marketing team may include a marketing strategist, copywriter, graphic designer, programmer, SEO professional, and a project manager. This could easily cost your company $400k in personnel alone.
Most small businesses are not ready to invest large sums of money on internal marketing personnel. Many times this leaves them to attempt to hire a single marketing professional.
Hiring a single marketing professional is not a sustainable solution. Additionally, it cannot work efficiently as a long term strategy because of the limited expertise to execute a diversified plan. This leaves companies either unsatisfied with their marketing professional because of their inability to execute a full plan, or unsatisfied with the effectiveness of their plan based on its limited scope.
Many companies that hire a single marketing person expect that individual to be the Yoda of marketing. One person cannot be expected to effectively perform marketing duties across multiple disciplines. Let's look at a copywriter and a designer. Although you may find a copywriter who can design, or vice versa, they will be more proficient at one over the other.
In this situation, you may be able to get something designed, and written, but where does it leave you on strategy, SEO, web programming, and project management? Often, the result is marketing professionals being unfairly viewed as ineffective.
This is not the ideal situation for the internal marketing professional, or the company because it is not a long term strategy. Its obvious inefficiencies lead to high turnover because of perceived failure, or burnout from consistently falling short.
A diverse marketing plan requires multiple disciplines to create the best end results. Outsourcing some, or all of your marketing function gives you access to a range of experts without the hearty price tag of internal staff. Just because you currently don't want to invest $400k in marketing personnel does not mean that you can't have top talent in multiple disciplines working on your project.
Find a marketing company that you trust and that has a proven track record. Allow them to help develop a marketing plan that includes all the tools required to actually meet your goals.
Let them know up front what you can invest in your marketing initiative so that they can craft a plan that stays within your budget. For the cost of one internal marketing person, it is possible to have an entire team working on your plan.
This is the Part 3 of a 3 part series that explores three areas of your marketing plan that could hold you back in 2012.