I’m going to lay it to you straight: good marketing ain’t cheap, and cheap marketing ain’t good.
No matter how you slice it or dice it, you need one person to drive the marketing strategy and direct the campaigns.
That person, whether it’s an internal hire or someone at a marketing agency, is going to have to work with others to do an effective job. They’ll need graphic design, programming, social media, email marketing, and writing skills just to name a few.
Get Ready, Here it Comes...
I’m going to throw some numbers out there to help you start understanding the level of investment you need to make in order to get results.
If you hire someone internally, like a Marketing Director (a good one), you’ll pay somewhere between $80,000 and $180,000, plus the cost of outsourcing different skills to execute the strategy (or hiring more people internally).
If you outsource to a marketing agency, you’ll might pay somewhere between $40,000 and $180,000. However, they should offer all the skill sets you need at that price, so you don’t need to worry about the added expense of putting together your own team.
An agency might be able to help you with some things for less than $40K per year, but it’s important to note that you get what you put in. If you can only invest a little, you’ll only get a little return.
Define Your Return On Your Investment
Spending $100K on marketing may sound like a lot for many companies, but it’s important to remember that the goal is to get a return on your investment. If you spend $100K, how many customers do you need to get a positive return? That’s your goal. It’s that simple.
If Your REALLY Small...
So what do you do if you’re a super small company and that amount is way out of your reach? You invest the maximum that you can to get professional guidance (to make sure you’re doing it right and not wasting resources), and work your ass off until you can afford to hire someone to take over the marketing activities.
Entrepreneurs already know they need to work extra hard at the beginning of a business, so that shouldn’t be too hard to swallow.
If You Just Don’t Want to Pay That Much...
What do you do if you can afford that level of investment but it makes you uncomfortable to spend that much? Look at your growth rate and decide if you’re satisfied with that or not. If you can grow your business with minimal investment in marketing activities, more power to you - that’s great.
However, most companies need to market themselves to grow at the level they really want. And that takes an investment.