As the owner of a small business, you may not have the time to review your own marketing strategies. And time aside, you may just not have the resources internally. It is rare for any small business to have a marketing strategist on the team.
When small businesses have limited resources, outsourcing to a professional or agency can make good business sense. For example, you may need a new website or campaign, but you don’t have the diverse skills on staff to create one. To most of us, that makes perfect sense. But when do you need a marketing strategist?
From time to time, it is not easy to answer such questions. Not everyone knows exactly what a marketing strategist does and the main reasons a small business might hire one.
Therefore, in this short guide, we will take a quick look at what makes a top-notch marketing strategist. By the end of this read, you will also know how a strategist can benefit your business.
The Role of a Marketing Strategist
In short, working with a marketing consultant can help you improve your marketing strategies. This is because a marketing consultant works at the strategic planning end of the marketing process. Typically, marketing strategists will have extensive experience when it comes to:
- Clarifying a business’s goals and marketing objectives
- Conducting market research and analysing customer data
- Generating marketing strategies and optimising the marketing mix
- Empowering a brand through communications and data-driven campaigns
- Utilising metrics such as ROI and ROAS in the constant cycle of improvement
But, why does your business need a marketing strategist? Let’s analyse the 6 most obvious reasons.
6 Reasons Why Your Business Might Need a Marketing Strategist
1. Your business needs clear goals and objectives to set the overall direction
When you hire a marketing strategist, you automatically “reboot” your marketing efforts. Your first contact with such a professional will give you the opportunity to rethink your business goals and set the overall direction. And because your marketing strategies enable you to achieve your business goals, this is an important step.
Think of marketing objectives as sales and revenue, brand awareness, customer retention, or any actionable target that your business needs to achieve to meet its goals. They are clear, specific actions that are SMART, eg specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
Plus, chances are a top-notch marketing strategist has already created a number of successful marketing campaigns for other businesses. That means adding a professional to your team who has proven experience in achieving goals and objectives.
2. Your business needs the most effective strategies for your niche
With clearly defined marketing objectives, a consultant can develop effective marketing strategies based on your individual business needs. In some cases, your business may need new strategies, but in other cases, your existing strategies may just need to be improved according to your niche.
For example, let us say you have invested in email marketing but are not getting the delivery, open or click rates you expected, not to mention conversions. This might be because your target marketing strategy is not on point.
Niche marketing aims to attract and engage a specific subset of buyers. If your business is in a narrow category, marketing to a broader market may miss the mark.
You will soon find that a marketing strategist has innovative solutions to all your marketing-related problems. So, all you need to do is work closely with your consultant and provide them with any background and data they need.
A marketing strategist is a skilled researcher who analyses the data to explain what I like to call “the who, what, why, when, where and how”. Then, the strategist will suggest a more tailored approach for your niche.
3. Your business needs to increase sales or improve customer retention
Increasing sales and improving customer retention at the same time is a sure way to accelerate your business. A strategist will adjust your marketing sails in this direction. In particular, this is a job for a digital marketing strategist with deep knowledge of integrated marketing and metrics.
In 2022, the best way to strengthen your brand and generate new, valuable leads is through digital strategies. During this process, a professional digital marketing strategist will know the channels and technology you need. They will apply different approaches and models to find the most effective methods for your business (e.g. through A/B testing).
4. Your business needs data-driven campaigns
If your marketing campaigns are underperforming or you have simply run out of ideas, a marketing strategist can bring a refreshing and creative perspective. Plus a strategist who has a high level of expertise can examine metrics and analytics to identify what isn’t working in your current marketing plan.
When logically, you do not have the experience or the time, create a list of all the things you could improve on in terms of marketing. Can you pinpoint why? If you or your team do not have that kind of marketing expertise, hiring an outsourced partner is simply the best way to go.
5. Your business needs to stand out from the competition
Nowadays most industries are hyper-competitive. Whether you own a SaaS company or a cosmetics startup, chances are you have several well-organised direct competitors.
Understanding your value proposition is the key to outshining the competition. To do that you may need to add an experienced person to your team who can strategize and elevate your points of difference.
At the same time, a marketing strategist will help you personalise and automate your marketing communications. Technology-based automation enables marketing campaigns to function across a variety of platforms.
Processes behind such multi-channel campaigns can perform automatically, which can increase the efficiency and performance of marketing, and also do the heavy lifting when it comes to keeping your brand top of mind.
6. Your business needs to save time and money
Ah, efficiency and effectiveness. My favourite. Aside from automating your marketing efforts, what can you do?
Making marketing more time and cost-effective is one thing. But getting better overall ROI (return on investment) and ROAS (return on advertising spend) is another thing altogether.
Think of it this way: If your new SEO or social media marketing campaign delivers what your target audience needs from the outset, you won’t have to adjust or correct it while it wastes precious marketing budgets. So getting it right in the first place is what increases efficiency and effectiveness.
Too often businesses think they should cut corners to save money, and it rarely pays off. Skipping proper marketing planning and jumping headfirst into development or advertising is a risk not worth taking. Get your strategy right first.
Although a marketing strategist can’t guarantee that your ROI will skyrocket overnight, professional advice will fast-track your marketing to succeed.
How Does a Marketing Strategist Benefit Small Businesses?
Hiring a marketing strategist is a smart decision for both small and large companies. But since most small businesses do not have the resources to hire highly specialised resources internally, such a decision becomes almost essential.
To be precise, most startups need marketing to deliver from the get-go. And what underpins effective marketing campaigns? Strategy.
Every business needs the right marketing strategies to compete in this highly competitive online world. In other words, there’s nothing a strategist can not improve: from simple things like branding to more complex marketing plans.
Likewise, a marketing strategist can give you the initial advice or “boost” you need to strengthen your brand or reach your target audience.
The many different types of marketing consultants are a perfect reflection of how diversified the marketing industry is. No one marketing professional can have all the skills. While there are plenty of great generalists out there, they are often missing the strategy piece.
Skipping market research or strategic planning is not an option if you need your marketing to be successful. A marketing strategist is a partner your business needs to get those campaigns right.