As someone who has been around the marketing block, there are certain trends I’ve encountered over the years. Time and time again I’ve noticed a problematic marketing gap.

As new companies start they run on minimum manpower, often taking on a startup mindset. This can mean a few talented employees wearing multiple hats, and often not one of them having any marketing experience at all.

As the company grows, the need for marketing grows. However, taking the leap from no official marketing department to hiring a part time, or even full time marketing person or department can be confusing and intimidating.

This phenomenon creates what I like to call, the marketing gap. What this leaves is lots of small to medium sized companies who may be experiencing great success, but are losing out on more than they know due to confusion surrounding marketing. The companies are doing well, but they could be doing great.

Beating the Marketing Gap Without Blowing Your Budget

One the biggest things new businesses fear when jumping into the marketing game is cost. How much should they be investing in marketing? What will the ROI be? Should they budget for a full time hire, or could they get what they need with a part time employee?

In all honesty, a lot of companies that are just starting out, or even just have a smaller staff in general, don’t need a fully built out marketing department. In fact, sometimes even one full time employee is too much. Jumping into a full time marketing employee too quickly can overtake your budget if you’re not careful.

Heading the part time route can work, but it can be challenging to find that unique talented person who is only interested in part time work. They exist, but they won’t be super easy to find.

So what are you left with? Full time is too much, and good part time is hard to find.

One option most people forget about when dealing a marketing gap is leveraging consultants, freelancers and contractors. Don’t get confused by the labels, usually all three of these mean essentially the same thing. Finding an expert for specific needs you’re looking for on a part time basis, or even less than part time basis, can happen with these types of people.

Some of the benefits of leveraging independent marketing consultants or contractors to close the marketing gap are:

  • On-demand availability. The great thing about working with marketing consultants is that you can decide how much work you need. You can also build out capabilities around your budget.
  • Flexible budget. You may not be able to afford seasoned specialists for each marketing need you have, but you could probably afford quality consulting. Bring in top freelancers to tackle your tough projects without needing to make a commitment to a full time hire.
  • Specific expertise. It can be hard to find a jack of all trades marketing guru. If you do find them, they are likely expensive. Instead of searching for that one unicorn, find one or a few consultants who excel in your marketing need areas. This way you’re getting top notch performance and maybe even some bonus collaboration between freelancers.
  • Minimal commitments. Working with consultants to close the marketing gap will allow you to test out new relationships and talent without making a major commitment. Keep the contractors you like, and ditch the ones who aren’t producing to your standards.

When you’re tackling the marketing gap issue you actually have quite a few options to consider. Whether you jump into full time, dabble with a part timer or leverage several marketing experts through consultant opportunities, the gap needs to be addressed.

Don’t leave possibilities on the table because you’re scared to make a marketing move. Need to talk through your situation and figure out the best route? Drop me a line, I’d love to hear about it.

 

Author Alexandra Eesley

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