I must admit to being jealous of the big brands. You know, the ones that have gorgeous marketing communications and are immediately identifiable because of their branding brilliance.
I know these companies have big agencies and a bevy of skilled internal marketing experts to produce their work plus big budgets to support their needs, but what about us small fry. We need our marketing messaging, visual identity, and all of our collateral to be coordinated with the same look, feel, and brand promise.
But here’s the challenge. We don’t have anywhere close to the same budget to help fuel our efforts.
There are different approaches that are used to overcome this marketing challenge. Here they are:
You can attempt to do all of the marketing on your own.
Pluses: By taking on the marketing responsibilities, you are keeping your expenses down. You’ll also have total control over the process and for many people, this control and cost-savings makes up for the minuses.
Minuses: Developing an ongoing marketing program requires skills that you may not have and will take time away from the other, mission-critical responsibilities that you must execute.
You can use various freelancers
Pluses: You can source your own independent freelancers and there are also businesses that can provide you with gig workers to execute your marketing projects. You can bring them on for specific projects, they will not be on your payroll, and you can keep your headcount low.
Minuses: You may need to bring in multiple freelancers to work on different components of the project. Selecting the team, project managing the work, and making certain that the project is being executed in a coherent and cohesive manner takes time and ongoing attention. Keep in mind that the freelancer that does your web design is rarely the person that can also create the content. They are different skills and so you need different freelancers to do the work. You can hire an inhouse marketing resource
Pluses: Bringing in a dedicated person to spearhead your marketing can be very effective. They will have an insider’s view of your corporate culture, your competitive advantages, and the message you want to communicate.
Minuses: Hiring an employee can be a big step for small companies and requires the cashflow to pay the new employee’s salary, benefits, and associated expenses. You also have responsibilities as an employer not the least of which is to ensure that you have enough ongoing work to provide your new employee/s.
You can utilize the services of a marketing agency
Pluses: An agency should have all of the resources necessary to execute your marketing endeavors and can play an ongoing role in your success and growth. The agency can scale as needed and execute your marketing when your needs arise. They have other clients and are not wholly dependent upon your projects. Additionally, they are experts in different facets of marketing, such as web design, content, brand strategy, digital marketing, etc. and will deploy the correct resource for your specific marketing needs.
Minuses: It may take time to find the marketing agency that is “perfect” for your needs and wants, and there is also a learning curve for the agency to get up to speed. You may have to sign a contract and make a commitment for a specific amount of time.
The main thing is that you have options and should consider them carefully so that you don’t wind up wasting valuable time and money. Remember that marketing is an ONGOING endeavor and not a one-time event. You will have "never-ending" marketing needs and it is a good strategy to have a consistent resource to help you execute them. Consistency counts so that your prospects and clients don't get confused!