27 Oct How Much Time Should You Spend On Marketing?
One of the common questions I’m asked is: How much time should I spend on my marketing?
The short answer is: You should never stop thinking about marketing. If you own or run a business, you are in the business of marketing.
Marketing is THE most important element for business growth. While it’s smart to hire a marketing expert to help strategize and carry out the plan, as the business owner, you should ALWAYS be very involved in the planning, implementation and evaluation of the results.
Frankly, many small business owners don’t spend enough consistent time and energy on marketing. For some, it tends to be more of an “oops… sales are down so we better do some marketing.” Then off they go with a flurry of activities until business increases and before you know it, the marketing focus gives way to service delivery until the next “oops, sales are down…”
Inconsistent marketing creates a feast or famine cycle in business. To level off the peaks and valleys and create steady incremental growth, consistency is key! Marketing is like breathing – you can’t live on one breath, nor can a business survive and grow with just one marketing effort.
Making sure your brand identity and message is clear and consistent across all your channels, enhancing your customer’s journey both online and off, ensuring your website is presented in a way that interests your prospective clients and includes a call to action, crafting copy and content that reflects who you are and presents you as a go-to source, creating a solid network and support system, and the list goes on.
What type of marketing should you do and how long should you spend on the process? To come up with the right formula for you and your business, you need to define your goals and business objectives that you’d like to accomplish in the short and longer term, and obviously your budget. The answer is going to be different depending on if you’re launching a new business, introducing a new product, or launching a campaign to reach a different market.
The one constant in this formula is that for a marketing campaign to be effective, it needs to be consistent. Marketing does not work like a fire sale; it is not a quick fix. It takes time, effort and consistency.
But back to the initial question: How much TIME should you spend on marketing? There is no singular answer, but you can come up with a basic formula. When you launch a business, chances are you are going to have more time than clients. That’s okay! That’s the nature of a start-up. Use that bulk of your time to market. Write articles about your business and your company, blog, develop a presence on social media sites; pitch yourself and your company to the local and national media.
As your company begins to take off, keep the marketing in high gear, but start hiring professionals or outsourcing the work to leverage your time on your core business. Hire a copyrighter, a PR firm, a social media expert. Pretty soon you’ll be overseeing your marketing but not running it all on your own. That is a sure sign that you’re headed in the right direction.
Approach marketing as an essential element of your business, and do more rather than less. It will pay off in the long run.