Weekly Column: 2016-12-16

If you search “online marketing” through a search engine, many agency sites will pop up.

It's really hard to believe that ads all say the same things: Be listed on the first page of a Google search, Guarantee a fixed amount of customers in a short time or Drive internet traffic to your website.

It would be a difficult decision to put down a great deal of money for something without generating sales from your most used keywords or not receiving any visible results.

Everyone has contemplated the pros and cons of online marketing. If you do not invest in online marketing, you will fall behind your competitors. However, if you decide to advertise online, there will be challenges in choosing the best fit at the best cost for your company.

In fact, there are many small businesses as well as corporations that prefer to do their own online marketing.  There are a variety of reasons for this, but the most common is they are taking charge in order to ensure their own success.

First of all, you are the expert in your field.

Online marketing professionals are experts in their field; however, they do not have the same experience and knowledge as the professionals in their respective fields. No matter how good they are in marketing, they cannot beat the car dealer in selling cars or providing better information to customers looking for insurance than insurance companies. Since the people in their respective fields are the experts of their industry, they may be able to create a better advertising strategy thana marketing company can. The truth of the matter,  it's impossible for marketing professionals to be experts in every field.

Secondly, a hands-on approach can lead to better understanding of their performance.

You give your advertising over to an online marketing company, everything is going well but there's always room for doubt.  Your relationship with the marketing company should consist of trust or you might wonder if you invested wisely.  If you take over your marketing strategies yourself, you might do a better job.  You know your business and understand your own strategies.  Even if you make some mistakes along the way, you will understand marketing much more clearly and develop better strategies over time.

Lastly, the most important aspect is that you will save money.

The cost of online marketing is not cheap. Businesses shell out ridiculous sums of money to marketing companies. Therefore, if you do your own online marketing, it will reduce your financial burden.

If you stop reading at this point, you might be convinced that you are ready to do your own marketing.  However, I would like to point out some reasons why doing your own marketing might fail.


First, you might be an expert in your field but not an expert in marketing.

Because anyone can start marketing online, the competition is more intense. You must be able to follow the latest trends, collect information that will differentiate your company from others, and even that may deviate from the opinions of marketing professionals. Ultimately, the outcome may not produce the professional results you expected.

Secondly, you must be prepared to invest a great deal of time.

Because you are not an online marketing expert, you must invest a lot of time researching and understanding marketing. What may take experts several hours to complete may take you several days without the results and quality you would get from an expert.  Although there might be some advantages, while you are learning from your mistakes your competitors are moving forward.

Finally, there can be a huge financial drain due to trial and error and your professional staff redirected to marketing.

It is said that failure is the mother of invention, but frequent failures and mistakes will lead to unneeded expenses.  Initially, failure should be expected because you are not an expert in marketing.  Continual failure will be counterproductive to the money you are saving by doing it yourself.  In addition to that, online marketing is not just about marketing. You need relevant content and the professional knowledge and experience it requires to analyze and produce it. You might be able to learn as you go, but the time and money it will take could be counter-intuitive if you were looking to save money on marketing.

In truth, there is no “right answer.” The bottom line will depend on the consumer's choice.  Their preferences will evaluate the performance of your online marketing strategies.  Therefore, if you are aware of your situation and plan accordingly, you should be able to choose the path that works best for you.

In the future, if you have a good understanding of your situation and conduct online marketing in the best way for your company, you will do well.