So you want to hire a marketing person?
Great. I’m a big advocate of hiring marketing people. Believe it or not, we’re actually a pretty valuable asset to have.
But you have a problem. You don't have the time to think about writing a job role or advert, you’re not 100% sure what they’ll be doing day-to-day, or what level of experience to expect.
And in the nicest possible way, you know they’ll be a drain on your time for the first 6 months of the job as you don’t have any formal marketing structure or plan in place. Oh, and the minute you place an advert, you’ll be inundated with calls from recruitment agencies with ‘the ideal candidate’ (sorry recruitment friends, but you know it can happen!), when the truth is, you don’t know what the ideal candidate looks like, because you’ve never hired a marketer before.
Sure you’ve read lots online about how to market your business (and if you’re ready to hire a dedicated person to do it, you’ve been doing something right so far), but employing someone else to be the 'voice' of your company can be a daunting task.
But you plough on.
I’ve seen it from both sides. I’ve been the new start more than once, the first marketer a company has ever had. And it takes a while to find your feet. You’ve got to learn about the company, the processes, the databases, the data and any previous marketing that’s been done.
You need to quickly understand the different audiences that the business is trying to communicate with, the products/services offered and the benefits to the customer. Not to mention getting an awareness of the wider industry, understanding competitors and even leveraging the supply and/or distribution chain to improve overall marketing communications.
Oh, and quite often marketers will be asked to look after internal communications too. All whilst continuing external communications... and building a communications plan at the same time. It’s no wonder it takes marketers so long to get their teeth into a new role!
I’ve also seen the pains an organisation can go through when hiring. What they probably need is someone with strategic marketing experience to define the strategy and plan, but who can deliver the day-to-day requirements of marketing communications that is usually delegated to a competent, but more junior marketer.
But this ideal scenario doesn’t exist right?
In reality, your budget will probably be for an entry level marketer - and that’s still a big investment for a small company. But what about the strategy, the planning, the guidance and the analytical measurement to make calculated improvements? Well if they are really, really good, some of this might get done. But what tends to happen is two things:
Marketing materials get churned out, but they have little strategic focus and are probably not audience / goal specific. I’m not having a go at people starting their marketing careers, this is just how it happens. Lack of direction and analytical insight means you don’t necessarily have a focus on what you need to achieve.
Your marketing improves because you have a dedicated resource and the volume of marketing material created has increased. But I’d be surprised if it has any major impact on your bottom line. Some marketing is better than little or no marketing and it will generate interest, but this has a tendency to saturate pretty quickly. For marketing that supports continuous business growth and that provides a big impact, you need something more strategic.
“But I’m happy with a small improvement and someone to take it out of my hands. I don’t have time to post to Facebook or write newsletters.”
Ok. That’s absolutely your choice. Buy if this doesn’t seem like the ideal scenario for you and you do want to maximise the ROI from your marketing person, then I have a solution for you. It comes in 4 (or 5) steps:
A strategic marketing consultation period which involved short intense sessions with the company leaders to understand business goals and flesh out the overall marketing strategy
I now understand what the business needs from its marketing and can write a job profile/advert, conduct interviews and shortlist suitable candidates for appointment
Then, I work with the newly appointed marketer to induct them into the marketing strategy and together we work on a marketing plan
The plan gets implemented. Your marketer is up and running, on a strategic path with proper plans, KPIs and targeted marketing communication campaigns to run. I sail off into the sunset, satisfied that your organisation's marketing - and marketer - are on the right track
(I return from my sunset sailing on a regular basis, e.g. once a quarter or biannually, to review the strategy, analyse results and adapt the strategy for even better results. And/or to offer guidance/mentoring to your marketer if required)
I know what you’re thinking. Sounds expensive. But when you take into account it costs SMEs on average £30,000 to replace an existing employee and 24 weeks for them to get up to speed in the job (figures by Oxford Economics), it stands to reason that creating a new role could be even more expensive. When it is such a big investment the value and importance of embedding the right marketing person, in the right role, with the right structure and support, becomes essential.
If you’d like to discuss how I could support your growing business in this way, please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be delighted to chat about how this approach could work for you.