Should you be doing more marketing?

99.3% of businesses in the UK are ‘small’, yet these businesses only account for 18% of overall marketing spend. What are the barriers stopping SME’s promoting themselves better? Marketing Week reported these figures:

  • 40% - a lack of budget

  • 25% - a lack of expertise

  • 25% say they don’t have the time

Although you might assume I’m biased, I’ve worked both in-house and agency-side, and can say this with an honest conscience:

Working alongside digital agencies will get you better results

Notice that I said ‘alongside’? It’s widely reported that there’s currently a skills shortage in the digital industry, but there are some brilliant minds, both young and old, doing great things that with some assistance, can produce measurable returns. The benefits to companies of hiring both an in-house marketer and an agency are:

  • Marketers usually specialise in one area

  • Whether that’s content marketing, PR or social media, individual team members will have a topic that interests them most and naturally sway their learning towards. That naturally means there’s a gap in other areas - for example, web development is one of the most crucial area's businesses need to improve in, but there might not be a need to employ a developer full time. Working with an agency means you get access to a number of skill sets, that are all equally employed once you start.
  • Plus as a result of having a shoulder to lean on when it comes to marketing, in-house employees will learn new techniques, or at least be more able to confidently discuss what’s required.
  • Your marketing has more impact

  • Agencies have access to the latest technology, from measurement tools to methods of distributing content, meaning you can take advantage of your content and marketing performing better as a result of reaching more relevant contacts and being able to accurately report on what is working. 
  • You get a relevant outside perspective

  • Employees and business owners are often immersed in the day to day activity they have to manage. It just happens. Because an agency is responsible for getting results in a much clearer sense than in-house employees, they’ll constantly be looking for new ways your marketing can perform better - that might be new channels, new types of content, even expanding into new markets.
  • With the right agency, you’ll also get access to the brain of senior staff who have worked across a huge number of clients, with experience of what works in a range of markets and industries that can be applied to your business.
  • When you calculate it, it’s not as expensive as you think

  • If you’re looking at improving your marketing, that usually comes with new staff. Outside of salaries, there are a lot of overheads that come with a new team member. Working with an agency, you’re not paying for 4 cups of coffee per day (that’s Steve’s responsibility for us at Applied 😅).

I’m wary that this post may come across slightly self-promotional, but that’s genuinely not the point. By providing your in-house team with some support, you’ll market yourself better as a company without the expense of a new senior marketer. And long-term, your staff will be happier as they can achieve more without being restricted.

This may all come across as common sense, but I hope this is a refreshing take on how to expand your marketing efforts. If you want to discuss your marketing in more depth, get in touch with our MD, Steve.

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