Being a small business owner requires you to wear a lot of hats and do a lot of different activities that go well beyond the service or product you’re trying to sell. You’re selling your product or services, you’re delivering those products or services, you’re handling finances, keeping up on industry standards, networking….the list goes on and on. While there may be some activities that you prefer (or shouldn’t) outsource, marketing is one that you should seriously consider handing over to someone else. We’ll discuss a few reasons why small businesses should outsource their marketing.

Leave marketing to the experts

There are so many ways that a business can market itself that it can be downright overwhelming. Should you be doing pay per click? Billboards? Blogging? Email marketing? The answer is “maybe” to all of these and many, many more. A small business marketing professional will be able to guide you on which tactics will be best for your company in particular, and will likely start by creating a marketing strategy for you. A marketing strategy helps to understand you target audience, ideal client, your unique value proposition, your competitors and much more. This can lay the foundation for your entire marketing effort and should be done by someone who understands all aspects of marketing to get the best results. Unless your small business IS marketing, you may want to lean on outside expertise to get this done.

marketing trendsProfessional marketers keep up on industry trends

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last ten years, you’ve likely heard about all the new social channels that seem to pop up daily. Which one is right for you? How do you use it? How do you measure it?  It’s the job of marketing professionals to constantly stay on top of new marketing tactics and trends. Marketing consultants who are worth their salt will belong to professional organizations to keep up, as well as attend marketing conferences, and tap marketing resources that help them deliver the best marketing management possible. Few small business owners have the time to do this.

Marketing is all marketing people do

That might sound like an obvious statement but think about it for a moment. If you are trying to do marketing for your own business, or have tapped an employee to do it who also has to answer phones, do bookkeeping or whatever other responsibilities they have, how well do you think your marketing will perform? When you work with a marketing professional, marketing is what they do. Their time is dedicated only to marketing, and their expertise likely goes very deep. Marketing is a priority to marketers.

Marketers know how to measure marketing activities

Here’s another reason why small businesses should outsource their marketing:  Executing marketing activities is only half the battle. You also need to measure how those activities are bringing in results, otherwise known and a return on investment (ROI). A virtual marketing manager or outside marketing professional should understand how to look at results, see what the value and return is, and make recommendations to change tactics if needed to get better results. They can do this by monitoring your Google Analytics, monitoring where your website traffic is coming from, which visitors are good leads, and how many conversions you’re getting from those visits. They understand how to set up goals and funnels to measure activities, and can connect a dollar value as appropriate to again measure ROI.

Outsourcing marketing can save both time and money

Naturally, if you outsource your marketing, that’s one less activity (OK, many activities!) that you as a business owner don’t have to worry about, which can save you significant time. The question is, is the expense worth it? Do you, in fact, save money by outsourcing versus keeping it in-house?  The answer is a resounding yes. How is this possible? First, a marketing professional is going to be much more efficient with their time, so an activity you may be paying an employee three hours to do may only take a marketing pro an hour or less. Second, a marketing consultant is going to spend your marketing dollars on activities that bring you a return on that investment. Many business owners, for example, complain about how “expensive” Google AdWords is. Well, it IS expensive if you’re not sure what you’re doing, and you can burn through a budget quickly. However, a virtual marketing manager will know how to manage AdWords, or may suggest you not use it as a marketing tactic at all. And don’t forget, using an outside resource allows you to utilize the services when you need them, so you’re not paying them as you would an in-house employee. Their the experts in the management and measurement of marketing without the overhead of an in-house marketing person.

Outsourcing your marketing is a big decision for any small business owner. Used correctly, it can bring significant value by putting your marketing in expert hands. Small businesses should outsource their marketing to those who can make it a success.

Patty Hughes
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