Among business professionals, the most difficult obstacle is taking the time out of running the business to market it. Of course, this is a catch 22 because if you don’t take the time market your business, then there will not be a business to run.
Time and time again, marketing becomes a lower and lower priority until it becomes a problem. Then companies have to put far more time and energy into the marketing than originally needed. Any MBA will tell you that they were taught to ensure that a marketing plan should be put into place and a budget established, yet many companies are without them.
Does your company need professional help?
Aligning your business with a marketing firm may be a great asset. Marketing professionals devise personalized marketing plans that address your specific market. They have experience in how to best get the attention of your target market, and they can customize your plan to fit your needs, including your budget.
Half of the battle in getting your business in front of customers is determining the most effective way to do this. Of course, as a successful business owner, you can determine this on your own. However, what you have to ask yourself is “how is my time best spent?” Hypothetically, if you could close a deal with a client that made you $50,000, then it would be more appropriate to focus on your clients – and pay the marketing professionals $500 to put together a plan for you. As the saying goes, you have to spend money to make money.
Finding the right marketing alliance
When it comes to choosing the right marketing company to align with, consider them carefully. You want to be in a partnership here with someone who truly believes in what you do.
Interview them and ask specific questions about their plan to market your company. Pay attention to your reaction to what they have to say. They may have some ideas you never thought of, as well as ones you may already be doing. Do keep in mind that marketing professionals may develop very creative plans, and even though it may be a bit foreign to you, the strategy may be worth going outside of your box. Whether they suggest collaborative marketing, relationship marketing, strategic alliances, or joint ventures, each of these present a potential advantage to your revenues.
Finally, when choosing a marketing company, ask for references. Ask to see a portfolio of the clients they have worked with before, and then call a couple of them and get their feedback.
Enjoy the decision process
Once you have made the decision to align with a marketing company, it decision making time. The company will provide you with a detailed marketing plan that is laid out over a specified time period. Some will be 3 month plans, while the most effective will be over at least a year.
Keep in mind that the plan is not set in stone. Based on your budget, you can take some ideas and some may be left out.
Once you have decided what your plan will entail, you may choose have the marketing company execute the strategy, or complete the footwork on your own. If your plan involves regularly schedules news releases to be submitted, then you may choose to write them yourself. You will also have to find the right contacts at the media outlets to submit the releases. If you decide to hire the marketers to do this, they will have a local and national list of all the publications that your target market might read. Carrying out the details of your personalized marketing plan will be completely up to you, based on how much time and money you are willing to put into marketing your company.