If you’re a Fortune 500 company, you likely don’t lack for marketing services. In fact, you’ve probably got your own in-house marketing department. This department surely enjoys an annual budget of millions of dollars and runs efficiently as a wing of your corporate operation.

But what if your business isn’t the behemoth featured on the cover of magazines? What if you’re a startup or a mom-and-pop operation? Then it can be tricky to know exactly how much of your monetary resources to commit to marketing. After all, consider the sobering statistics: 50% of new businesses fail in the first year, with many citing economic uncertainty as the biggest challenge to their operation.

So obviously, as a new business owner, you can’t afford to waste any of that precious cash. However, not only is investing in marketing, not a waste, but there are tell-tale signs your business is doomed without investing in it. Here are those signs.

1. You’re just not putting out the effort

It’s a common problem among startups and new business owners, and it is not indicative of laziness or disinterest. Maybe you’re great at running an auto parts store, or you’ve created an efficient new enterprise cloud storage solution. That doesn’t mean you’re going to be a whiz on the marketing end of things.

Many new business owners learn this the hard way, and immediately get intimidated by marketing. This only compounds when you realize that digital marketing is a game of analyzing data sets and segmenting audiences. You have to learn analytics platforms and the nuances of social media marketing. Plus, there’s all those industry terms: SEO, KPIs, B2B, B2C and all the rest. It’s enough to make your head spin.

So if you notice that you’re constantly putting off developing that marketing plan or creating those Facebook ads, or you’re not staying abreast of your social media accounts, then it’s time to hire a marketing company.

2. Mixed marketing success

Maybe you are taking the reins and developing marketing strategies and initiatives. But maybe the problem here is that not all of them are bearing fruit. As alluded to above, digital marketing in this new millennium is more science than art. You can’t take random stabs at inbound marketing strategies.  

The marketing company you ultimately decide to partner with will understand this. They’ll develop a multi-tiered game plan that includes the three pillars of modern digital marketing (search, social media, and content), and they’ll go deep into targeting and lead generation. Maybe they’ll implement prescriptive analytics strategies that are not only going to tell you where your efforts are falling short, but offer precise solutions to remedy those problems.

In other words, a marketing company worth their salt is going to possess the knowledge and prowess that you do not in this area.

3. You lack enthusiasm

You started a business, not a marketing company. Therefore, it makes sense if you’re heart isn’t in the advertising side of things. While that’s understandable, it’s also dangerous. More often than not it will be reflected in the neglect of little things that comprise a successful marketing strategy. Maybe you lag on writing those weekly blog posts, or you’re not building your email lists. Once you recognize this lack of interest on your end, then you know it’s time to hire a marketing company. Because you won’t develop any more interest over time.

4. Lagging Sales

You offer a desirable product or service at a competitive price point. You’ve got a stellar sales team firing on all cylinders. Your CRM software is on point and up to date. So why are your sales still anemic? If this is indeed the case, then almost certainly the culprit is a lack of a solid marketing plan. Even if you’re not sure this is the problem, there is a simple way to find out: have a marketing company perform a quick analysis of your operation.

And you don’t need to pay for this. Many marketing companies offer introductory consults that you can take advantage of. Treat it like diagnosing a health issue and get two or three companies to perform a consultation. Doing so will allow you to see where, exactly, your efforts are falling short. They’ll present potential solutions to these issues, and you’ll be comparing potential marketing partners in the process. What could be more efficient?

5. No Budget

Another common reason smaller business operations don’t invest heavily in in-house marketing positions is because they have little capital to invest. Just imagine the increase in payroll after hiring all those specialists (content editor, social media manager, graphic designers, video content producer, etc.). It’s enough to make your head spin. That’s why it makes sense to hire a marketing company with all those positions under one roof rather than add each one to yours.

You will never be able to skirt the real-world cost of effective marketing, but you can keep those costs down by hiring an all-in-one agency that has experience in every facet of digital marketing. It’s the perfect way to outsource your marketing needs—and it will pay dividends in terms of ROI.

Conclusion

While there are certainly performance indicators that will tell you when your business needs a professional marketing boost, it also comes down to self-awareness. If you don’t have a passion for advertising, your business will inevitably suffer. So let the pros who do possess that passion take the reins. You’ll rest easy knowing your operation is in good hands.

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