Why Every Small Business Needs a Marketing Strategist

Don't teach yourself, hire a marketing strategist

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Would you trust a self-taught doctor with your next surgery? What about a self-taught attorney with a lawsuit? How about a rookie investment advisor with your finances?

I’m positive your answer to all of these questions is a resounding “No!”

And for some of you, maybe you spiced up that “NO” with a tasty expletive. Here’s some sound advice: Look at launching a small business marketing plan the same way. It’s virtually impossible for you to learn all there is to marketing a small business if you aren’t spending all your time learning it. To be successful, you need to be immersed in the field, staying ahead of trends and honing your skills.  Do you have time for that?

Marketing is different from some of these other professions I mentioned because as a business owner, you will become a part of the marketing team. Small business owners are the face and soul of the company, and your customers want to know the person behind the business.

True Story.

There’s a wine and cheese shop down the street from my office and it’s about to be put out of its misery. The owners of the shop spent a fortune on the exterior and interior. They offer some of the best products in the area. They are genuinely nice people and an absolute delight to be around. But… they did not allocate any money in the budget for marketing. This is the sad tale of a million failed small businesses.

A business can’t be successful if no one knows about it.

Here’s why you should consider hiring a marketing strategist to help develop your marketing plan. They offer:

A fresh, unbiased perspective.

Most small business owners are experts at their job and sometimes being so invested in our role, we forget what our audience sees. When crafting our marketing messages or developing our business brand, we know what we mean, but does an audience that is not familiar with our business know? A marketing strategist can help you with this. (Learn more about developing a marketing plan here.)

Strategies to effectively position you, your business, and your team.

Your clients listen more attentively when others talk about you, than when you talk about yourself.  A marketing strategist can help position you as a leader in your industry. Effective strategists will examine the complete customer experience and identify opportunities for engagement and improvement.  Marketers are networkers by profession and they bring to the table a robust network. This makes all the difference in the world when it comes to identifying and capitalizing on your strengths, and finding help for your weaknesses. (Learn more about the customer experience here.)

Integration of marketing efforts.

A marketing strategist identifies all the channels that will work with your business and ensures a unified brand across channels. They also ensure the content for each channel fits with that channel’s audience and their frame-of-mind when they are using the channel. A professional marketer will never insist you have a presence on a channel just because everyone else does. Everything ties together with the purpose of advancing your marketing goals. Marketing strategists don’t just “status update” your audience to death, they pull your audience to your business and make your company the place your audience wants to hang out.  (Learn more about using content to personalize your business brand here.)

Still need convincing? It’s time we had a chat.

 

  • Word Ninja I left something out of the equation. You should use a professional but also trust them. One of my biggest challenges is when the client’s ideas are out-dated or not the best for their business. It takes extra time to bring them to where they need to be and it’s often time not accounted for in the budget.  I’d love to hear how you are handling the challenge you are facing.

  • Tragic, really. But so true. I see this all the time, and it’s sad. I’m working with a new business on its website. The owners were on the ball with getting started early on Facebook and Twitter, but I’ve been working with them on their website copy pro bono within the timeframe of a few hours of service I donated to a nonprofit silent auction. The owners were the winning bidders, but they will need more than a few hours to get their website content in shape before they open in the fall. 
    This is crucial advice you offer here, Jo Lynn.