In every business lifecycle comes the time when do-it-yourself marketing becomes unwieldy, cumbersome or simply too much for the average business owner to handle. Or perhaps due to aggressive growth and business maturity, the business owner decides it’s time to enlist professional help.
The first step to take towards more mature marketing support is to determine if outsourcing marketing or hiring a new employee is the best course of action. Outsourced marketing and advertising help is a topic deserving of its own blog.
Hiring a marketing employee for the first time comes with a host of expectations, many of which become missed fairly quickly. Not just missed expectations but totally whiffed, missed-by-a-mile expectations from which the employee and the business will have a hard time recovering.
10 Things you should expect in order to avoid disappointment when hiring your first marketing employee:
1. Writing a Good Job Description Takes Time
Expect to take the time to write a detailed job description before you begin your search for a marketing employee. What do you really want him or her to do? Are these existing tasks performed by you or other employees? Are these new assignments that take special creative or writing talent?
2. Different Salary Expectations
Salary expectations – yours and the future employee’s – might differ significantly. After you create a job description, do your research. What would someone expect to receive in compensation, and what should a company pay for someone of this caliber of marketing experience or talent?
3. Working a Salary into Your Budget Takes Work
Working a new marketing salary into an existing budget takes substantial financial fortitude. It is likely that most, if not all of this new salary will feel like overhead. Expect to search for offset dollars. Some of this new employee’s tasks already exist. Find the existing tasks among current staff to account for the new salary in your budget.
4. It’s Not Easy to Find a “Unicorn”
Expect for the recruitment, interviewing and hiring of a new marketing employee to take longer than anticipated. The first marketing employee is usually seen as a jack-of-all-trades. You may be looking for a writer, designer, programmer, strategist, search expert and administrator all in one package. It’s a difficult, if not impossible, set of skills to find in just one person. If you find one, hire him or her immediately. You’ve found a unicorn.
5. Your Idea of the “Perfect” Candidate May Change
Expect to rewrite your job description after you’ve interviewed the first 5 or 10 applicants. Now you will realize that you can’t create an entire marketing department with one employee, especially for the skills that only experienced designers and writers can provide.
6. A New Employee Won’t Replace Your Experts
Expect to continue to outsource subject-matter expertise and talent. Writers, designers, search marketing experts, programmers and others in similar roles are only as good as the time they spend on their craft. By designing an hour a day, an employee won’t become very proficient. Designers and programmers are not the same person. Their minds work differently. Expecting an employee to do both, well, is not an expectation that can be effectively met.
7. Training Won’t Happen Overnight
Whatever amount of time you expect to devote to training your new marketing employee, plan on doubling it. This is a role with no clear path and no predecessor. Marketing is also an accumulation of many assignments and tasks. Someone can’t just start at ‘A’ and get to ‘Z’ without a history of the organization and a deep understanding of the business. Someone has to teach these things and assume that the new employee already knows their craft, like setting up a Facebook page or launching a Google AdWords campaign.
8. Success Must Include the Right Support
A single marketing employee, without supplemental support services in place, will struggle unless trained in a number of broad disciplines, or unless they have resources at hand. Expect to spend more than just the employee’s salary if you want the marketing employee to be successful. New employee can’t write well? Expect to hire a copywriter. It doesn’t mean he or she is a bad employee, just not a writer.
9. Happiness – With the Right Expectations
Expect to be very pleased you hired your new marketing employee if you are seeking a talented administrator or project manager who can take things off your desk and will depend on other subject-matter experts and outsourced talent.
10. A Marketing Employee Doesn’t Equal an Entire Marketing Department
Expect to be very unhappy if you think your new marketing employee is a complete marketing department – a writer, designer, programmer, administrator and sales rep.
Having served the small business and emerging business community for more than a decade, we’ve worked with companies that have hired an in-house marketing employee who uses us as his or her support team. We’ve also worked with businesses that prefer to have a full team of marketing experts working for them as their in-house team. Both ways can deliver the marketing results you want as long as expectations are clear and resources are in place.
Want to learn more about how an outsourced marketing firm can take the place of or support your marketing person? Let’s talk…