When is it the Right Time to Ask for Help with your marketing?

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Developing brand awareness in the market is one of the most challenging barriers that small businesses face. SMEs can easily miss out on potential sales opportunities if they don’t market themselves effectively as customers, buyers and suppliers won’t know where to find them or what’s on offer.

It doesn’t take a Lord Sugar to know that to generate sales, you need a consistent flow of leads, a returning customer base and strong brand awareness. But what’s now complicating the traditional business formula is the rapidly expanding world of social media. Social media platforms have now heated up the competition and added more complexity to an already busy marketing landscape.

It’s no wonder, then, that 1 in 3 small businesses outsource at least one business process. As polled by Clutch, 24% of small businesses said that increased efficiency was their top reason for outsourcing whilst other reasons included available expertise (18%), flexibility (16%) and allowing time for employees to prioritise other tasks (15%).

Can Your SME Manage its Own Marketing?

Every business is unique and comes with its own set of resources, talent and finances. Knowing whether your small business can manage its own marketing strategy takes some honest self-assessment:

How much do you understand about marketing? Are you familiar with what strategies exist and how to measure the success of a strategy?
Do you enjoy marketing?
Is anyone on your team skilled in a particular area? Do they have an eye for design, a way with words or are they a whizz on the computer?
How much time do you have on your hands?
How well do you know your marketing needs? Who is your demographic and what platforms do they hang out on?
Do you have the funds to employ an in-house marketer, or should you think about outsourcing to a full service marketing and comms agency?

Tell-tale Signs That Your Small Business Desperately Needs to Outsource its Marketing Strategy

It’s Been a While Since You Last Reviewed Your Marketing Strategy

As a minimum to keeping your marketing efforts strong, your social media, email and advertising engagement should be monitored once a day. Reviewing your marketing strategy is essential for keeping up with trends, shifts in demographics, sudden opportunities that arise and making sure your campaign is an all-round success. If it looks like your marketing strategy has cobwebs (and your website was last updated in 2020), then it’s probably time to look at outsourcing.

You Aren’t Seeing Results

Monitoring your return on investment is a great way of measuring the success of your marketing strategy. If phones aren’t ringing with leads, customers aren’t placing orders and those that are, aren’t the type of customer you’re aiming for, then that’s another sign to call in for some professional expertise – especially if you feel you’ve been making all the right marketing moves.

You Don’t Know Where to Start

Between Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and TikTok, social media can be a bit of a minefield. It can be easy to go guns blazing and sign-up to all (which would only deplete your resources) or, for some, it may even feel a little risky to put yourself out there on an unfamiliar platform. Marketing is a complex subject that requires the right expertise and trying to DIY it all can hoover time and lead to disappointing results.

Your Efforts are Sporadic

Disruptions and distractions can come up at any time when manning a small business. Steadying financials, monitoring stock flow and upkeeping staff retention are all core priorities which sometimes mean that marketing is one that falls by the wayside. However, the one secret to a successful marketing campaign is consistency. Consistency and time are what build brand credibility, awareness and a loyal customer base. If you lack resources and your efforts are sporadic, then you aren’t going to be see the healthy trajectory you need.

Your Schedule is Already Jam-packed

There are only so many hours in the day. Drafting and proofreading something that may seem as little as a mail-chimp email can take a lot more time than you think – even a single spelling mistake can make a potential customer overlook your brand. If you are going to implement a marketing plan, it’s important to allocate proper time and set realistic expectations as to how much time goes into an effective strategy.

Your Competitors are Outperforming You

Keeping an eye on your competitions’ marketing strategy or even stalking their socials is a good way to see how well your strategy could be performing. However, if your competitors are severely outperforming you, then it’s time to either review your current strategy or bring in experts who can offer advice and even take ownership of your strategy for you.

So, You’ve Chosen to Outsource

Outsourcing your marketing is an effective way to leverage talent and expertise within the industry whilst securing a consistent and successful strategy. Not only is outsourcing a cost-effective choice, but it can also help your small business focus on core activity and free up time to remain flexible in changing market conditions.

If you believe outsourcing is the right step for your small business, then check out some of our Top Tips for Selecting a Marketing Agency.