Marketing on the cheap

Right now, you’re thinking, YES! Marketing on the cheap! I want that! But are you sure?

Typical “economical” approaches to marketing might take the form of:

  1. Hiring your nephew
  2. Adding “marketing” to an employee’s existing job description
  3. Hiring someone right out of college
  4. Identifying one tactic (social media) and outsourcing it

Let’s look at these options:

  1. Hiring your nephew: Seems like a good idea…you’re supporting a “young person” with an interest in marketing and free time. The bad news is your budding marketing professional probably has no significant experience, just a lot of enthusiasm and access to Google. That’s good, right? Wrong. Being a guinea pig for someone’s first foray into the field of marketing often does more harm than good.
  2. Add “marketing” to someone’s job description: We’ve seen these job descriptions! In the end, the person who gets added workload either neglects their original role or the marketing. You end up frustrated that you’re not getting what you want or need, and other work is falling through the cracks.
  3. Hire a person right out of college: OK, but the results will only be as good at that person’s experience. If they’ve had only one marketing position so far (maybe an internship), they’re only as good as that one experience. If you hire a marketing person without any depth of experience, you must be able to cultivate their skills and provide leadership and direction. Before hiring a college kid, ask yourself: Do I know enough about marketing to determine if they’re doing the right thing for my company? Can I guide and nurture their marketing career to benefit my company?
  4. Outsourcing: Aha! You know we prefer this to the other three. If you outsource, at least you get someone with marketing know-how and experience. But there are pitfalls, for example: Is your goal for outsourcing too narrow? Unless you’re a marketing expert, how do you know if you’re making the right investment in the right place and the right person? If you’re sure, this is a great option. But if you’re not you could be investing in a tactic that won’t benefit your company.

What do we recommend? Determine three things: your growth goals, your budget, and your audience. Then interview some experts. Ask them some hypothetical questions: For this budget and these goals, what would you recommend? That’s a great start. Work to clarify your direction, get some expert advice on where you should start, and look for guidance on how to hire the right talent at the right price. Now you’re poised to get more bang for your marketing buck.