You know the only way to attract the right type of traffic, leads and customers to your Fire & Security website is to start doing effective digital marketing. However, with a tight marketing budget finding a way to fill that gap is going to require some hard thinking.
You have acknowledged that you don’t have the skills or the time to do your digital marketing for yourself but your profit and loss says you can’t afford to hire a full-time digital marketing manager or outsource the role to an expert. It’s a conundrum that this post will help you solve!
Often the ideal option is staring you in the face. Move a member of staff who appears to have the necessary social media skills into this role – either full time or alongside their regular role.
Let’s call her Beryl. She will be a fantastic secretary or extremely knowledgeable administrator. Or she may even be a paralegal or trainee solicitor/accountant who previously did a marketing degree.
She knows your business inside out and has built relationships with all the important people internally.
Surely, this is a good bet..?
Does your employee have the required digital marketing skills?
Whilst enthusiastic and willing, at best an upgraded staff member is under-qualified for the role of marketer.
Can Beryl really design, create and run an effective marketing funnel to bring the leads your business needs?
And what about qualifying those leads or managing marketing automation?
Just because she talks to her son on WhatsApp and reads a few blogs, it doesn’t mean she’s a Digital Marketing Guru.
It can be extremely hard to find one person who possesses all the skills required to create and manage a complete digital strategy. So some advanced tasks may still need to be outsourced to agencies or freelancers.
Is it cost-effective to promote an administrator or secretary to digital marketing manager?
As discussed above, there will be a considerable amount of learning on the job with an existing employee.
Aside from repairing the inevitable mistakes, this means:
- you pay twice for learning – time and course costs
- when they are learning they are NOT marketing!
Once you discover that there is a technical skills or strategy gap, online learning on the job can be the answer but it all takes time away from creating the promotional content and materials that are the lifeblood of digital marketing. And if Beryl doesn’t understand the target market or how to develop accurate buyer personas to drive content creation, a lot of time can be wasted on creating the wrong content.
What are the risks of promoting an existing employee into marketing?
If Beryl has multiple demands on her time, the marketing of your business will always come second.
Even if marketing becomes her sole role, it is a steep learning curve. And, because you’re not an expert either, you cannot be sure that you will recognise if she has the skill to craft a coherent marketing message. If your posts and updates don’t encapsulate your brand and company ethos in language which makes your ideal customer say “That’s what I need!”, they won’t be visiting your website.
In addition, does Beryl have the confidence or authority to get the required marketing and sales information from more senior personnel?
Will these real world digital marketing mistakes help you make the right decision?
It’s a tough ask and you have to assess the potential risks to your brand and the smooth running of your business. Here are a couple of Real World Examples that may help:
Employee vs Social Media Marketing Agency
This recent report by David Mihm on US local businesses who do their own digital marketing revealed that, if you are only looking for social media marketing, agencies did less to increase satisfaction scores, especially compared with just adding internal staff.
Certainly that has been the evidence that we have seen from individuals who have attended our social media training courses after experiencing dissatisfaction with the efforts of social media marketing agencies.
Many complained about inaccuracies and a lack of passion and personality in the updates and the problems with automated bots that inflated the stats to produce misleading ideas of reach and website visitors.
Inexperienced employee with no strategy
However, choosing the wrong person can make creativity a big problem here – boring updates and blog posts that are not appealing to anyone, let alone your ideal client.
For professional services companies, employees without the relevant marketing experience often publish regular updates from governing bodies like HMRC and The Law Society. Sadly, these tend only have relevance for other accountants or solicitors. Your target audience of high net worth individuals or business owners needs to be educated, engaged or entertained by less complicated information.
We have also heard complaints about manufacturing marketing departments who didn’t understand the products that were produced and sold.
There were two results of this – blog posts that were only about charity events and internal news – neither of which attracted the right type of enquiries – or copious numbers of poor quality enquiries from people who wanted customisations – leading to thousands of SKUs and related storage problems.
One fire and security company promoted a surveyor with a marketing degree acquired several years earlier to Marketing Manager and complained that his skills just were not up to date. Just think of the changes to Facebook and Google in the last five years. It’s not enough any more to create a Facebook Business Page or buy a billboard by a busy road. Everything needs to be measured.
Need help assessing the best way forward with your Fire & Security digital marketing?
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Still thinking about all the options? Read the pros and cons of hiring a full time digital marketing manager or outsourcing to a freelancer or agency by clicking the image below.