Whether or not you choose to handle your marketing campaign in-house is a major decision for many businesses. There are pros and cons to both methods, but if you are going to take on the task yourself, it’s worth considering these pointers before you discover them for yourself the hard way.
You’re Going To Make Mistakes
If you’re doing this properly, then you won’t have put anything out in public before doing a huge amount of market research. This means looking at the competition, doing surveys of people in the demographic you’re targeting, and arranging focus groups to work out how they feel about your products and the advertising you’ve prepared for it.
This will all help, don’t get me wrong. However, once you get your marketing material out there you’re going to discover a whole lot of stuff you didn’t have a clue about during research. It’s like the difference between testing a design in a laboratory and seeing how it works in the field.
The quickest way to learn is to make mistakes, and you’ll find you have made a lot of them. So be prepared to change your plans on the fly, make adjustments and re-examine your assumptions after your campaign has launched.
Niche Appeal Is Always A Better Target Than Pleasing Everyone
If you target a niche market, you’ll find it easier to work out what they’re looking for in a product, what they care about, and what they want to avoid. If you try to please everyone then your campaign is doomed to be quickly forgotten.
Think carefully about who it is you want to sell to, then devote your energy towards selling it to that person.
Those Nerves You’re Feeling Are Good
Psychologists have observed a phenomenon called the Dunning Kruger effect. It suggests that your confidence is inversely proportional to your competence. Or as Charles Darwin put it “"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge."
Basically, if you’re nervous about the way things are going that means you’re being careful. You’re thinking about alternative ideas, second-guessing yourself. If you’re going into this absolutely certain that everything you’ve planned is going to g off like clockwork, well, you’re probably in for a nasty surprise.
However, despite this...
Compromise Is Not The Way Forward
There’s an old joke that says the UK is finally going to switch over to driving on the right hand side of the road, but that we’re going to make the changeover gradually. There are times when Option A will work and there are times when Option B will work, but the correct answer is rarely to go halfway between the two. If you’ve been pursuing one idea, and an alternative is suggested, either stick with what you’re doing or embrace that option whole-heartedly. There are no in-betweens.
It’s A Marathon, Not A Sprint
If you follow all this advice, you’re still going to be in for a shock, because your marketing is definitely not going to yield instant results. To do this right, you’ve got to be in for the long haul. Over time you’ll introduce people to your brand, make them familiar with it, and eventually even trust it, but this is a process that happens over years, not weeks.
If you can keep at it, there are rewards to be had. But you’re going to have to hold your breath for quite some time before you know how well you’ve really done.
Of course, another step is to outsource (we’ll be happy to talk through your plans if you drop us a line) or hire some dedicated talent for your team. Whatever you choose though, it’s best to be informed – and good luck!