There are three types of people you can hire to assist you with your 2014 marketing goals.
1. Current employees.
Using current employees to assist you with marketing your business in 2014 will require a lot of trust in them. How will you know who the right employees are? Here are three signs they are a good employee to assist you:
1. Proven work ethic, meaning they are on time and do more than what is expected of them. Simply put, they shine bright!
2. Knowledge about your business and marketing. Not marketing in general but a specific focus in marketing. This does not mean you let them manage your Facebook Page because they have an active Facebook Profile! They need knowledge of marketing a business in whatever avenue you see them suited for.
3. Teachable! They must be willing to learn more about your business, customers and a desire to learn more about the marketing avenue they are using.
2. Marketing Agency.
Hiring a marketing agency is costly, but most effective. This requires trusting a team that is already pre-assembled to market your business. There will be two areas they will be lacking in:
1. Knowledge of your business. This means they should and will need to meet with you on a regular basis.
2. Passion for your business. They will not have the same amount of passion for your business that you have, but they should have a passion to make your business money.
Although these are two areas they may be lacking in for your business the one thing an agency should have set in mind is to pay for themselves. Meaning a good agency should be focused on giving you a return at least equal to their cost. This most likely will not happen in month one or month two of working with them but you should begin seeing some return in the following months. Something to keep in mind is that when working with an agency you need to keep them around for at least 12 months to see a quality return. There are simply too many digital marketing mechanisms to optimize for your business in a very short amount of time. Unless of course you have hundreds of thousands of dollars to poor into them.
A consultant is a good choice if you have a small budget. However, if you are looking for a bigger return this is not the way to go. Hiring a consultant means you are paying for their knowledge and expertise so that you can try to do what they do or have done for other businesses. Here are three things to look for when hiring a consultant:
1. Knowledge about marketing is a must of course, but they will need to have knowledge of your local area, some knowledge about your business. As well as your industry and the ability to convey that to you in an applicable way.
2. Proven track record with other local businesses.
3. Awareness of changes in your local area as well as ways other businesses have been successful. Along with an awareness of changes in marketing.
I have given you a lot of information here, but to give you the biggest bang for your buck let me sum this up with my opinion.
If you truly want successful marketing in 2014 with a high return on your investment then you should do the following.
Hire an agency to interview your current employees to see if they are a good fit for helping market your business in 2014. Then keep them around to train and consult with your employees so they can do the best job possible for your business. 2014 is no longer about outsourcing if you do not have to or need to. It is about working smarter, not harder.