"Do it yourself" works brilliantly when you're painting a guest bedroom, organizing a garden, or deploying the majority of smaller, less technical action items on your marketing plan. But at some point, DIY makes poor marketing sense. It just boils down to opportunity cost -- your time is best spent on activities that push your company forward, not keep you from getting to where you know you should be.
Startup founders typically reach this conclusion at different stages in their development and for different projects. Some outsource to numerous vendors for specific responsibilities from day one. Others gradually realize they want to outsource entire marketing positions, including those at the C-suite level.
A prime example of the latter is Hawke Media, known as a premier outsourced CMO solution. Firms like this one allow companies of all sizes, from startups to big brands, to compete economically. Offered via month-to-month versus long-term contractual agreements, Hawke Media helps clients manage single channels or maximize entire service suites to stay ahead of the conversion game. Clientele get the value and expertise of a CMO without having to add top talent to the payroll.
The key to avoiding DIY marketing downfalls such as poor execution, improper understanding, a lack of leading tools, and delayed results is to hire seasoned professionals and expert companies that can take charge of areas that appeal to DIYers but can backfire.
Below are five areas where DIY marketing typically hurts, not helps:
1. Ad Buying
You could spend a few weeks learning how to expertly navigate AdWords, Facebook Ads, and the rest and follow up with a robust ad-buying campaign. Unfortunately, you'd probably lose thousands during your time learning on the fly. Ad buying requires a scientific touch, and programmatic buying firms like Coegi have the capacity to use a data-driven approach to digital marketing to intensify your ad technology stack. Look for solutions providers that can back their claims and have clients similar in scope and growth potential as your company.
2. Video Production
Do you produce amateur handheld iPhone videos only a mother could love? Your startup deserves better. Instead of relying on your limited skills and equipment, seek out a nationwide video partner that understands how to develop and scale branded video that shines in today's chaotic landscape. You don't have to overpay for quality; Lemonlight Video Production casts, scripts, scouts, and more, allowing you to capture viewers for as little as $1,500. In the end, you get the marketing videos you want without sacrificing excellence.
3. Marketing Automation
Tempted to hack together automated email, social, and CMS using a tool like Zapier? You'll waste your time and set your company back a few paces because your Frankenstein's monster solution won't have dynamic features like lead management, sales pipeline management, intelligent email linking and website tracking, tagging and lead scoring, and real-time reporting. An all-in-one system designed for small businesses like Hatchbuck's sales- and marketing-driven software is a smarter solution, especially for smaller for-profit and nonprofit organizations. You'll close up the loopholes that can lead to poor performance and give you and your team more time to work efficiently on what you do best.
4. Event Marketing
The planning and details necessary to pull off even modestly sized events can be daunting. Before you commit to a let's-roll-up-our-sleeves event marketing mentality, do a little homework on companies such as Global Experience Specialists (GES) or Factory 360. You can decide whether you need your event solutions provider to take charge or be a part of the ranks depending upon your budget. The upshot of outsourcing event planning and marketing is that attendees will talk and you'll have fewer last-minute challenges.
Search engine optimization should have a place in every company's marketing stack, but staying abreast of SEO's evolutionary leaps isn't simple. Companies including Searchmetrics and Moz can help you achieve higher rankings without incurring Google's wrath. It's no longer good enough to just be noticed online. You have to be noticed by the right people at the right time with the right content.
Tapping the vast network of available marketing resources and outsourcing choices may seem like a let-down to founders with DIY on the brain. But from a pragmatic standpoint, letting professionals work their magic makes more sense than risking a sloppy job that has to be redone.