It’s the start of a new year, and the start of a new budget session for many organizations. As last year closed out, businesses began planning growth for the next year and identifying resources needed to propel that growth forward.
One of the questions many organizations are pondering is “Should I hire a marketing strategist or just find someone who can take over marketing tasks and free us up to do the work?
The answer is both! However, most of us are working with limited resources and both isn’t an option. And if you think you can hire one person to be both, well you’re most likely looking at an implementer who is good at multitasking. So, how do you decide who to hire first? Here are some questions to ask yourself and your organization.
Who is doing the work now?
This is the first question to ask your company. It’s important to understand completely who is doing the marketing work now. Grab a pen and write down the answer to these three questions.
- Do you have one person managing all your campaigns – from social media to email to PR – and updating your website?
- Are the marketing tactics shared throughout your organization by people hired to do other tasks as well? Ex. One person is managing social media and taking care of customer service, the CEO is writing emails, and you’re hiring out graphic design?
- Are you hiring everything out to an agency or multiple contractors?
- Is marketing a bit of an afterthought right now and you send out an email sporadically and post on social every now and then, but you don’t have time to do anything else?
Yes to Question 1 or 2
If you answered YES to questions one or two, ask yourself these additional questions: Is this working for your employees? Do they enjoy the added marketing tasks? Is your marketing employee feeling on top of everything and able to be consistent with their outreach?
If your employees are feeling overwhelmed, lost, and in need of guidance, a marketing strategist can create the foundation of your marketing program and help your team build out and understand the systems. You’ve got the people to do the work, they just need a map to follow and keep consistent. Hire a marketing strategist to build out the trail map and keep your team on track.
Yes to Question 3
If you answered YES to question three, are you considering taking your marketing in house? Do you feel like your agency really hears and understands you?
If you’re looking to take your marketing in house, work with a marketing strategist to help you prioritize how to build your marketing team. Agencies have lots of people filling specific marketing roles – graphic designers, social media experts, writers, strategists, data analysts. It’s difficult to build up that team all at once and hiring a marketing strategist can help you prioritize where to start.
If you want better communication with your agency, a marketing strategist can be the translator between your business and the agency. They can advocate for you and your business while making sure the agency has all the right information about your goals and needs. This saves time and ensures you get exactly what you need.
Yes to Question 4
If you answered YES to the last question you’ll want to hire an implementer. Having a marketing strategy is great, but if you don’t have anyone to do the work, it’s useless. Bring someone on your team who has a general knowledge of marketing and can start to build out your systems and communicate with your customers.
Once you have someone who can do the work, you can hire a marketing strategist to build you a map. This is the sweet spot for Wild Path Consulting. I build businesses and organizations a comprehensive 90 day strategy and step by step trail map for the team (or person) to implement. We check in and plan quarter by quarter. It’s a great way to start building your marketing team and to have the best of both worlds.
What Are Your Business Priorities?
Your main company focus isn’t always going to be bringing in new customers and it shouldn’t be. Sometimes you’ll need to focus on building infrastructure that can handle growth and sometimes it’s on another part of the organization. If you only focus on marketing and don’t take into account the rest of the chain or service, you’ll run into catastrophic growth which has taken many businesses down.
If you’re ready to focus on growth this year, and you’re prioritizing marketing – hire a marketing strategist who can build a plan that supports your overall goals. Keep in mind that growth marketing will most likely require you to increase capacity. Make sure you work with a strategist who can help you navigate that by helping you hire out certain tactics or work with your team to increase their skills and knowledge.
If you’ve got other big priorities and you just need someone to keep your customer communication and outreach consistent and the website updated, hire an implementer who can manage those tasks. The key to marketing is consistency, and you’ll certainly see increased engagement with a little bit of consistent energy.
Whether you hire a marketing strategist or an implementer, it’s important to keep in mind that marketing has evolved over the years. Each tactic has specialized strategies that people spend their lives studying and understanding. One person can’t manage it themselves for long, and most small and medium companies can’t be on top of all marketing tactics.
Still Unsure? Start with a Marketing Audit
If you’re feeling stuck and still unsure of what path to pursue for your business, a marketing audit will help you take your bearings and prioritize your next steps. It’s how I begin all my client relationships and it takes the guesswork out of where to invest your time and money.
Investing in marketing your business is a nerve-wracking but necessary process. Working with a strategist will help you prioritize your resources, show you where to invest first, and keep you on the trail. However, you need to have a plan for how the strategy will be implemented. It’s a bit of a chicken and egg question. If you’re unsure where to even start, work with a marketing strategist who specializes in helping small and medium businesses set their marketing foundations.
(hint, hint – that’s me. If you want to talk more about how I can help your business, schedule a call with me here).