Small business owners sometimes buy print/radio advertising, social media, and other tactical marketing solutions based on the recommendations of a sales representative for those services. Because they haven’t been able to look at all available solutions and make informed decisions (without sales pressure), the owner can incur unnecessary costs, create more work, and achieve little to no results. In worst-case scenarios, I have talked to small business owners who have to face closing their doors because of poor, ill-advised, costly, and ineffective marketing decisions. This is why an owner should speak with a marketing strategist first and talk about their business goals and challenges.
By starting their conversations with an independent, skilled marketing professional and focusing on strategy and goals, owners can be assured that all the important factors when designing a marketing communications strategy—regardless of media—will come into play and that a plan will be created to meet the agreed-upon objectives. This approach allows small business owners to benefit from results-driven investments in their success based on a professional marketer’s understanding of who they are trying to reach (their market) and how their brand will “behave” as well as how the right solutions can be implemented based on actual owner budget and desired level of effort.
If a small business owner you know is at risk of signing contracts with multiple media or agencies and intending to manage marketing in-house (especially without a professional marketing background and/or a professional marketing strategy in place), please stop them.