A good marketing-media mix is arguably the most important ingredient in business development. You can have the best product or service in the world. But, if it’s not promoted properly, no one will know it exists.
According to a study by Infusionsoft and LeadPages, 47 percent of small businesses surveyed said they handle marketing efforts in-house. And that's signficant because, as many will attest, we're at a point in history where marketing is witnessing incredible change. With all the rapid advancements and updates happening in the field, business owners need to equip themselves with everything they can to conduct a smooth operation.
Here are three tips to help build a marketing department that will advance your brand.
1. Educate yourself.
Most business owners like to think of themselves merely as “idea people.” And certainly, not everyone is a savvy marketer. But these days,owners have to have a firm grasp on the current concepts and strategies in their industry, for these concepts play an enormous role in how a company’s messaging develops.
SEO, social marketing, content marketing, email, mobile marketing . . . How well do you know these strategies and how do they apply to your industry?
Your team members may know these things But, as talented as these staffers may be, you don’t want to be following their advice blindly. After all, you're their leader! So, while running a business leaves you little spare time, know that immersing yourself in the basics of digital marketing is one of the best investments you can make.
Toward that goal, there are tons of integrated digital marketing courses available online that you can take at your convenience. Udemy, for instance, offers a course that bundles SEO, social media, content marketing, email and mobile marketing. Trained industry experts are available to help you every step of the way. Such courses also familiarize you with the tools and software marketers use.
Ultimately, you are the one calling the shots. When your marketing pros present their ideas and plans, you should understand every facet of the system, risks and possible outcomes.
2. Hire diverse skillsets.
By nature, marketing requires versatility. While you will obviously be hiring candidates specialized in certain areas, you don’t want to limit people. For example, you may be looking for a skilled copywriter. But it would also be beneficial if this person had experience in client relations so he or she can communicate directly regarding any changes or questions.
Alternately, you may be looking for someone with a background in design or data analytics who can help to streamline your company's processes for making the proper optimizations.
Hiring versatile employees has many benefits. For one, it will keep your labor costs down -- considering that you can't afford to bring on multiple specialists with exclusive skills. Second, people can jump in and solve issues quickly without all the back-and-forth. Three, both your business and your employees will be constantly expanding their savviness.
Marketing as a whole is far from a one-dimensional entity. The specialists you hire shouldn’t be, either.
3. Invest in reliable collaboration systems.
In 2017, incorporating collaboration and task-management software into your internal workflow is a no-brainer. Reason: The cost of poor communication hurts sales. The good news is that many companies seem to be moving in the right direction, here: A recent study conducted by PMI, for instance, found that overall waste in dollars, as a result of task misjudgments at companies studied, was down over 20 percent from last year.
This is important because of the importance of collaboration and teamwork: An efficient marketing department requires a great deal of both. The earlier you test and establish a system at your company, the more effective your efforts will be in the long run.
So, shop around for software that fits your business needs. If you’re new to this field, Brown Boot Works is a versatile cloud-based tool designed especially for small businesses. Its user-friendly interface is built for both desktop and mobile utilization, and all you need to get going is a Gmail account.
Using the Google Cloud, managers can easily delegate and coordinate tasks through voice or text. Once campaigns are in motion, the program provides detailed reports on progress. It also allows for day-to-day budget management in multiple currencies.
The key to any successful business operation is having granular visibility on each execution. The PMI study referred to also found that project success rates are 2.5 times higher when there is an established system in place.
4. Encourage frequent feedback.
A marketing department should constantly be looking for ways to improve the status quo. The best way for business owners to do this is by going straight to the source and asking those on the front lines for their input. Make it a point to gather feedback once or twice a month.
The most difficult part of this process, sometimes, can be getting your employees to be honest, as some may believe that saying what they think will jeopardize their job security. For this reason, always invite anonymous submissions.
Using a tool like WUFOO, you can choose from a variety of templates and create forms that ask the most crucial questions related to your department. The more detailed your employees are with their answers, the easier you'll find it to address hiccups and eliminate the bottlenecks. Look for patterns and common snags that are getting in the way of both short-term and long-term goals.
A great business is nothing without a great marketing team. Properly executed strategies are what bring your product or service to the next level. As a business owner, you need to give your team the resources they need to succeed. Use these tips to get your operation going on the right track.