For those not in the marketing world, hiring a marketer can seem like the ever-elusive search for bigfoot. What is this mystical being and what do they do? Where do they hide? How can I find them?
Off the bat, let’s start with the basics then: marketing is the management of the exchange between your business and a customer. This includes a wide breadth of topics like campaign strategies, SEO, graphic design, social media, public relations, and more. Let me reassure you of one thing straight off: You do not need to be an expert in any of these. In fact, this is exactly why you hire someone else.
As there’s a lot to cover we’ve broken this into two articles. In the first blog we’ll look at how to know if you are or are not ready. In the second blog, we’ll talk about the qualities to look for (and avoid) in your candidate.
How to know if you’re ready to hire
I want to invest in growth
Of course, the best option in hiring is to predict your growth path, and plan accordingly. No employee, whether marketing or otherwise, is set up for success if they’re already behind when you hire them. There are a few milestones that might be a good indication that you need to hire a marketer. If your business growth starts to decline or slow, marketers can bring new ideas and markets together to find customers. They can also help with a wide variety of customer-focused promotions, from email campaigns and the creation of assets and other materials to refining your brand and messaging and raising your search profile. Having a dedicated set of skills to bring new potential customers can help recharge your growth trajectory.
I have a gap to fill
It’s not always so simple as “see the gap, fill the gap,” but sometimes it is! If you’re ramping up to do a big case study series, where you want to film customer testimonials, then it might be time to hire a marketer with video skills. Or maybe you see that your company is not populating on internet searches higher than your competitor, so you need to hire a marketer with an SEO background. This is probably the least likely, but if you can identify a gap, and there’s no one on your staff who can fill it, then it’s probably time to look in the market for someone with that skill.
I’m ready to dedicate money toward it
There’s no use spending the money to search, interview, hire, and then pay the salary for someone you will not give a budget to. Once you’re ready to give a marketer part of your annual budget, then you’re ready to hire the person to manage that budget.
My company is more than a year old
If you’re more than a year old, then it’s time to start seriously considering a marketer. Yes, marketing takes money, and as a small business owner, it seems hard to justify something that doesn’t feel like there’s a return. The truth is that marketing is an investment cost that you can’t sacrifice. It’s imperative that you pull someone onto your team as quickly as you would a sales member. In many ways these two roles go together—one brings in the leads and one closes the sale. It can speed up your find-to-close time in the sales cycle to have someone on the forefront bringing qualified customers to you.