Running a business is a great challenge, since a high percentage of firms reach bankruptcy in the first year. One has to find efficient ways to promote the company’s products or services, and things are twice as hard when you don’t know much about marketing. Online marketing is preferred by the majority of businesses because of the low costs involved and effective results.
Should you do it yourself?
If you don’t have proper knowledge about Internet marketing, you have two options. You either take the time to study, being willing to learn from your mistakes, or you hire someone who makes a living out of Internet marketing, but this will cost you in the short run. However, in the long run most business owners discover this was money well spent.
One expert vs. a team of experts
Once you decide that you need professional assistance with your marketing strategy, you have one more decision to make: Should you hire one expert or a marketing agency? The advantage of hiring only one person relates to costs. It is cheaper to hire one person than an entire agency. Still, the second approach offers a quality advantage, assuming that you are fortunate enough to find a reliable agency. One man can’t accomplish the things that a team of skilled people can.
In UK marketing companies, each team is assigned a specific project that matches the skills and knowledge of that particular team. There most probably is no one person who can market companies in all industries equally well. Expert marketers who work alone can seldom afford to take projects in only one industry and specialise in one niche. Therefore, you would probably end up hiring someone who thinks he can do it all but he rarely has a particular area of expertise.
Not all industries are the same, so it is obvious why you need different strategies. The more a person works in one specific niche, the better the strategies he or she creates. Taking projects in any niche only according to available job positions often results in merely average strategies for each industry and no real expertise.
Compiling a list of agencies
If you decide that hiring a marketing agency suits your business goals, it’s time you look at a bunch of them to compare advantages and disadvantages. First of all, establish a budget. Some companies only target large businesses, so a small one is unlikely to be able to afford their services. Now, look for agencies that fit your budget. Start reading forums and review sites. Ask your niche peers, and you may be fortunate enough to receive a few good suggestions.
After you have a list of 5-6 potential agencies, it’s time you evaluate their sites. Do they have a testimonial section? How much experience do they have in your niche? Does the agency come up with a strategy or they will they only implement your plan? Does their portfolio impress you? What are the necessary costs and how much time does it take to achieve results? Do they combine several marketing channels? You have to answer all these questions before taking a final decision.
In conclusion, a marketing agency with experience in your particular niche is preferred and should fit your budget, goals, and expectations.