Situation: A small company has always used guerilla marketing as its marketing modus operandi – trade shows, etc. Their VP Sales recently left. They feel a need for a marketing plan and hired a company to assist them in understanding how they are perceived by their customers. Should they continue to outsource, or is it preferable to bring marketing expertise in-house? Is it time to hire a marketing manager?
Advice from the CEOs:
- How well do you understand your customer profiles? It is important to characterize, segment and understand your customers before you can understand your marketing.
- What is the company size of your typical customer? Small companies don’t spend a lot on big trade shows, other than perhaps sending a couple of people as attendees. Event marketing may be a more effective way to reach small customers.
- The company that you hired should be answering these questions for you.
- Marketing is about creating an environment in which people are aware of you and find you versus your having to go out and find them. Social media have fundamentally changed the marketing challenge, emphasizing pull versus push marketing – commercials, ads, billboards, etc.
- An important role of marketing is perception management so that when a lead or need arises, your company is a natural answer.
- Whether or not you hire a person, you need a marketing plan. Once you have a plan, you need a marketing budget.
- The company is now at 35+ employees. Fischer’s growth curve research indicates that at this size you need a professional in the marketing position – someone with experience who knows the ropes. This person could be inside or outside.