In an economy of uncertainty and reduced marketing budgets, it’s understandable (and commendable) when companies decide to take the do-it-yourself (DIY) approach to online marketing. The siren call of reduced costs is one that lures many companies to test the unfamiliar territory of DIY marketing. But many companies embark on the DIY journey uninformed or unprepared.
Below we’ll discuss 5 reasons why DIY online marketing fails, and list some considerations for each:
#1 — Lack of Time and Resources
During rebuilding, restructuring, or otherwise uncertain financial times, the valuable commodities of time and resources tend to be elusive. Unless an organization has all of the following, attempts at DIY marketing may fail:
- Resources to research advertising placements and distribute ads on target and on time.
- Time to write blogs and press releases AND research and submit them to related websites.
- A dedicated web team to analyze website stats and optimize web content for search.
- In-house graphic design staff to develop print collateral for brochures, direct mail, print ads, and synergize online marketing assets.
- Budget to add staff capable of researching, creating, monitoring, and maintaining all marketing campaigns.
- Video production expertise, including photos and presentations, to deploy online video marketing.
- Resources to update site content, directory listings, write ad copy, product/service descriptions, and post all updates.
- Staff to create newsletters, maintain customer relationship management (CRM) strategies, and communicate with the subscriber base, current, past, and prospective clients.
- Knowledge of social networks and niche sites to help generate leads.
- Time and processes put in place to identify and fix roadblocks and bottlenecks that interfere with goals and timelines.
Organizations constrained for time would be advised to weigh time commitments against DIY marketing time investments and outsource marketing efforts accordingly. Without dedicating 25 hours a week to learn, research, negotiate, and implement online marketing campaigns, DIY marketing will fail or take three times as long as originally planned.
#2 — Limited Expertise & Technical Challenges
- PPC: Search marketers must possess extensive knowledge of the industry leading Google AdWords platform (which constantly changes and introduces new features), as well as smaller search engines/platforms such as Yahoo Sponsored Search, MSN AdCenter, and others. They must be able to set up, measure, optimize, and routinely report on pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns to analyze ROI, identify keywords that lower/raise campaign ratings, integrate PPC intelligence with web analytics, set up tracking goals and funnels, and constantly juggle budgets against ever changing CPCs. Other necessary skills include ad copy writing, fluency in copyright and trademark name bidding policies, and effective, effective communication between client and vendor.
- Media Buys: Apart from managing multiple vendor relationships, media buyers must be able to differentiate and vet publishers, negotiate advertising agreements, assure placements, and gain the best available out-clauses in a concentrated effort to maximize ROI. It requires familiarity with average internet advertising and/or mobile ad rates, pricing models, and formats, the ability to track and analyze ROI per tactic, media serving software, and technical knowledge of the moving parts.
Earnestly evaluate the capabilities and skill levels of staff. Can they navigate the constantly changing landscape of online marketing?
#3 — Lean Resources and Reluctance over HR Risks
If organizations cannot afford to hire capable full- or part-time staff and be able to train them, DIY marketing will fail. Marketing is a very sought-after skill; how will your company retain people after training them? Can your business scale resources up (or down) internally at will? Outsourcing allows you to fill the gaps, hire by the hour, week, or month without omitting to long-term employment and the HR investment that comes with it. Reduce your overhead. 1099-ing your marketing costs frees up time to improve customer relations and retention, product development, research and new market expansion. Outsourced marketing allows companies the opportunity to grow. Evaluate the cost vs. agency fees before you chart the DIY waters.
#4 — Lack of Confidence
If confidence in internet marketing is lacking, DIY will fail and present significant losses. Advertising vendors can smell lack of internet marketing know-how instantly. How will you know you got the best rates? How will you know and trust your budgets with new partners? Media buying in particular is a daunting and costly gamble without experience and confidence to ensure fair agreements. Brand mangers become accountable if marketing methods and test budgets fail. Seasoned agencies that reek of vertical marketing experience with competitors and lessons learned from years of campaign knowledge and established vendor relationships save clients up to 40% on their advertising dollars.
If the eventual goal is to do it yourself and increase revenue generation, reduce costs, and mitigate risks, then partner with agencies that already have proven success in your industry and have demonstrated a solid track record of implementing effective online marketing tactics, earning their client’s confidence.
#5 — Limited POV and Bias
Many companies struggle to generate fresh ideas and retain an unbiased perspective. Solving challenges, creating effective tactics, and limited thinking all hinder progress and profitability. In an age of media over-saturation, it is challenging for organizations to accomplish the day-to-day works, let alone attempt to navigate the complex issues of generating new business, testing marketing tactics, and retaining customers. To gain broader perspective, turning to an outsourced team can be instrumental, even if only on a consulting basis.
In our experience, internet marketing is the exception to the saying “If you want something done right, do it yourself!” If companies can effectively, efficiently, and comprehensively execute online marketing with the ability to avoid pitfalls and recognize bottlenecks, failure will not be inevitable. Recognize the signs of sluggish momentum and seek out agencies who offer à la carte consulting services to fill skill gaps. Select few organizations do DIY well. With time, patience, and outsourced marketing assistance, effective internet marketing is possible.
Are your DIY online marketing efforts under-performing? Contact us today and let us know how we can be of service!Comments(1)
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