When I first heard the word “marketing," I pictured people in three-piece suits carrying clipboards full of graphs and numbers around a big fancy office. Marketing was something “big businesses” needed, and you wouldn’t find me in that world! Obviously, I knew little to nothing about what marketing actually means.
As a definition, “Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders.” (2004 official definition by the American Marketing Association).
Many business owners would look at this definition with a DIY mentality, because at face value marketing doesn’t look that difficult or complicated. Perhaps it’s something that could be passed off to the office receptionist, or something they could work on during “free time” on the weekends. Developing customer relationships and “delivering value” seems simple enough and many believe they are already doing an adequate job of these tasks just in running their business. However, I would like to offer a scenario to give a bit of perspective on this idea.
Let’s use the example of throwing a party. You have planned out the date, the time, the location, and have worked countless hours coming up with decoration ideas, party favors, and a guest list. You spent hours perfecting recipes that are sure to impress. You want this party to be successful and are working hard to make it happen! However, there is one thing still missing from your checklist: the cake. You are faced with a decision: make your own or hire it out? Sure, you could do it yourself. A box mix and some frosting from the store is simple enough to find, and you won’t have to spend much. It can’t take that much effort or special skill to bake a cake, can it? However, you could order from your favorite bakery who just happens to specialize in cakes. You’ll probably have to spend a little more…but think about what you’re gaining in return. You don’t have to worry about that cake…it will be at your party on time and already baked! The dirty work is done for you (no mess, no dishes to clean, and no accidentally burned cake). You also get the “wow” factor that you just couldn’t get with that boxed mix and frosting from the store. Your cake will fit in with the rest of your party because it will be special and your guests will leave impressed by the ENTIRE experience.
The same is true for hiring out marketing as a business. Business owners work hard to be successful, and are both personally and professionally invested in their company. Just as they have spent many hours training in their respective field to become a master of their trade before turning it into a career ,so too, marketing companies have spent an untold amount of time researching and practicing the best way to grow a business through outlets such as social media, personal relationships with customers, opportunities for exposure and growth for businesses, and MANY other methods used to bring attention to their clients and grow the businesses they work for. They are the “specialty bakery” ready to offer the best “cake” they can for each individual client.
Benefits of hiring out for marketing include:-one point of contact for all marketing strategies (same person takes care of website, marketing materials, social media, etc.):
-You (the business owner) won’t waste time “learning from your mistakes” which are inevitable when taking on your own marketing campaign. Marketing companies come to the table with experience and knowledge and are ready to hit the ground running for your business in the most efficient way possible.
-You don’t become a “jack of all trades, and master of none." Taking on one’s own marketing can result in becoming overwhelmed with both the marketing AND the running of one’s business. Business owners who hire out marketing can focus on running and managing their business in the best way possible and can leave the worry of growth (and the best way to get there) to their marketing team.
-You automatically increase perspective for your business. A marketing company will have multiple contacts and connections from their work with various clients that a business owner will be able to take advantage of. This means connections with other businesses as well as clients of said businesses. Without the marketing company, these contacts would likely be unknown to the business owner.
I hope this has given you an idea of why marketing companies play an important role, specifically for small businesses. Feel free to contact NPM about how we can help you grow your business with a customized marketing plan. After all, our job is to make you look good!