If you are a small business owner, you would have had many occasions where you were ready to tear your hair out. There is so much to think about; finances, staff, customers, your product/service and of course marketing – bringing in the business!

I often feel overwhelmed by how much ‘thinking’ I do in the day and how many decisions I make. Quite frankly, it is exhausting!

When it comes to marketing, small businesses often leave it to the way-side. They have other areas to think about that are immediate, in their faces and that need urgent attention. Often they see other companies doing smart things, but they can’t bring those ideas back into their businesses because they are too busy working ‘in’ the busy to work ‘on’ the business.

Small businesses have many challenges when it comes to marketing and it starts with knowing what their marketing objectives are. Many small businesses come to me and say they just want sales and then they can worry about their brands later. It is the ‘chicken and the egg’ scenario that keeps on repeating itself. Which should come first. A brand is not just a logo as we all know and it needs some tender loving care.

Most small business owners have some great marketing ideas or they know what they like about other people’s marketing, but never have time to do it themselves.

Others simply have no idea and can’t see any reason why someone would invest in this area (but then wonder why they fail).

Then of course there is the issue whether or not to hire a marketing agency, a PR agency, a design agency or an advertising agency. Which is better? Who is going to suit the small businesses needs more?

Is a full-time marketing graduate better? Don’t they all learn the same things at University? Does experience really matter?

Or what about a freelancer? One day per month – when and if you need them?

The issue is that a majority of small businesses fail in the first 5 years and many of these businesses don’t start with a business plan and certainly do not have a marketing strategy.

To create an effective return on any marketing activity, a business really needs to have a clear marketing strategy with set key performance indicators. They need to list the activities and areas that they are going to invest their time and money in and look at what return on investment they can expect. It may not all be in terms of money, but rather column centremetres, customer satisfaction, brand awareness etc.

If you are facing the challenge of whether or not to market your business weigh up the options;
  1. A quality fulltime marketing executive costs around $80,000 per year and a Marketing Manager $100 plus
  2. Normal agency fees start at around $5000 per month and everything else is added onto that
  3. A freelancer is great if they are really experienced, but if they get hit by a bus…. or they lose interest in your business…
  4. Hire an outsourced marketing department/marketing manager like the model that Marketing Eye has. For $500 per week, you can have your marketing department run smoothly, efficiently and with a firm strategy on deliverables.

Food for thought.

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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.

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