We all love a bit of DIY (Do-it-yourself) graft - Decorating, flat pack furniture, gardening. With that in mind, does the same apply to digital marketing?
Great marketing requires a lot of time and effort. You’ve got to determine business goals, develop a marketing strategy, determine your target markets, all before you can begin using your marketing to grow your business.
But a lot of small business owners neglect their marketing and choose to do it in-house, either by delegating the work to another team member, or taking on the work themselves. And often, this can have disastrous consequences.
DIY marketing always comes back to the opportunity cost - Are you spending time on the activities that drive your business forward, or are you preventing yourself from moving forward? Here’s 3 reasons why your DIY marketing isn’t worth it, and how you can avoid that going forward.
The misconception when it comes to spending on marketing is that by not spending money on outside companies, you’re able to save money. In situations like this, one of two things often happens:
This approach is fundamentally flawed, and is the opposite of cost effective. When you’re working on the marketing yourself, your time isn’t been properly invested, because you’re wearing multiple hats. One hour might be spent working as the business director, the next hour as marketing manager.
With this approach, your marketing becomes unfocused and haphazard, which has a knock on effect of a lack of results. And when that happens, marketing is often cut back, leading to a vicious cycle of restarting and stopping your marketing.
The same applies to hiring a marketing intern. As mentioned in They Ask, You Answer, businesses tend to hire a marketing intern to do it themselves without any direction. At the same time, they expect instant results and when that doesn’t happen, marketing is often the first department that gets cut. Cue another vicious cycle of losing and re-employing marketing teams.
With both examples, DIY marketing is costing you more, because your time isn’t being spent well, meaning there’s a lack of objectivity and focus. This leads to a downward spiral of wasted money and lacking results.
Great marketing requires talent. When working on your marketing plan, be it yourself or your marketing team, agree to commit to marketing tasks for at least 12 months. Track metrics and measure progress from these numbers.
And if you’re hiring a marketing intern, make sure they’re full-time and have the proper tools and resources available to deliver their job effectively.
Whilst you might think you have a good grasp on how marketing works (especially if you’ve read They Ask, You Answer), in reality, it simply doesn’t compare to working with a qualified marketing team or agency whom have a track record of delivering results.
Learning everything possible about marketing is by no means a small feat for any person: Search engine marketing, website design, social marketing marketing, content marketing - You simply don’t know what you don’t know.
That can hurt your business, as there’ll be a myriad of different marketing strategies you can employ that won’t be on your radar, and you may even be pouring money into the wrong marketing entirely.
First things first, if you haven’t read They Ask, You Answer, get yourself a copy here. We live and breathe the methodology here, and it’s the go-to book we recommend for educating yourself as to how marketing works for today’s digital consumer.
Once you’ve read it, conduct an internal skills audit for yourself and anyone else responsible for your company’s marketing. That will help identify where the gaps are and where you might need help.
One of the biggest challenges that comes from DIY-ing your marketing is an evident lack of consistency. It’s incredibly hard to stay consistent, especially if your marketing is an additional responsibility you behold.
You’ll already have lots to do, so commiting to even 1 blog post per week might seem like an unachievable task, and therefore, it doesn’t get done.
And when you don’t have consistent marketing, you’re creating a barrier between you and your audience. They don’t trust you, they’re not educated, because you’ve not used your marketing to become obsessed with their questions and pain points.
This means you have a tough decision to make. You can either make marketing your sole responsibility, or employ a full-time qualified marketer to fill the role. That way, marketing is their only responsibility, and the most important, and you’re not missing out on opportunities to grow your business.
Let us be clear, we absolutely understand how DIY marketing can be a tempting prospect. But, in our experience, it’s better to have an expert beside you, whether that’s a full-time in-house marketer, or an outsourced marketing department.
We’d love to hear what pitfalls you’ve encountered from DIY marketing and how you’ve overcome them. And if this blog post has persuaded you to invest in some marketing support, drop us a message and we’d be happy to help.