Is Digital Marketing Something You Can DIY?
This past weekend, the ringing I heard wasn’t in my ears. It was the transmitter for our Invisible Fence beeping away in the basement, telling me that something was wrong with the fence.
Being handy — and cheap — I asked everybody’s favorite search engine what the beeping meant and got to work testing the possibilities. Half an hour later, I had my answer. There was a break in the wire running around the perimeter of our property.
And that’s where my handy-ness ended. I called the pros to come out with their specialized radio receiver equipment to find the break and make the fix. They made the fix far faster than I could have, but I was able to save money eliminating all of the other possibilities.
Why should you care about my dog fence? Because you should adopt the same approach to your marketing. Here’s why.
There are, of course, lots of different ways you can market your products and services. All will fall into one of three main buckets.
- DFY (Done for You)
DIY Marketing for B2B Businesses
The DIY approach is going to save you money in the short term but likely cost you in lost opportunities.
You miss out by not spending your time more wisely and you miss out because, unless you have expertise in a range of marketing disciplines, your marketing work isn’t going to be as good as a pro’s. (How often do you build a website? Or create a content marketing strategy? Do you really think you can do it better than a pro?)
Unless you have a depth of knowledge going into the process and the time to stay current on the latest techniques, a strictly DIY approach is going to cost you money.
DFY – Done For You Marketing for B2B Businesses
The DFY approach eliminates those problems, but introduces others.
The experts you engage will have deep knowledge of their domains and will know the latest developments across their marketing disciplines. What they’ll lack is the institutional knowledge of your business. So, there will be a learning period during which results may lag, but as they come to know your business your marketing results will be stronger than you’re likely to get via the DIY path.
This may be the route to go if you simply don’t have the bandwidth to participate more fully in your marketing, as might be the case during periods of rapid growth.
The Collaborative B2B Marketing Approach
Better than either of these options is the collaborative approach to digital marketing. It marries the best of both worlds: You provide your deep knowledge of your business, your customers, and your market; your marketing experts bring their experience and perspective.
This is true whether those experts are outside consultants or team members you add to your staff. In either case, the marketing team must be collaborating with all departments within your organization in order to succeed.
Marketing can’t happen in a vacuum. It must feed on — and have an impact on — the conversations occurring between your sales team and prospects, between your customer service teams and your clients, and within your product development teams.
Who Does What on the Marketing Team?
Be careful about hiring a strategist. You definitely need a solid strategy, but you also need a clear plan for implementing that strategy and the resources to follow through on that plan. At the very least, a strategist needs to visit your front line team down in the trenches on a regular basis.
There are exceptions to these rules of thumb and you have to tailor your approach to you firm’s needs. Just be sure you have someone leading the team who can guide you through all available options and possibilities, move you back and forth between initiatives as needs dictate, and who can help you integrate marketing into sales team activity and other initiatives.
Related story: What Is B2B Product Marketing, and Why Is It So Important?
Since 1996, Andrew Schulkind has asked clients one simple question: what does digital marketing success look like, and how can marketing progress be measured?
A veteran content marketer, web developer, and digital strategist, Andrew founded Andigo New Media to help firms encourage audience engagement through solid information architecture, a great user experience, and compelling content. A dash of common sense doesn’t hurt, either.
His work touches social media, search-engine optimization, and email marketing, among other components, and he has presented at Social Media Week NY and WordCampNYC, among other events. His writing appears in various online and print publications.
Andrew graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy from Bucknell University. He engages in a range of community volunteer work and is an avid fly fisherman and cyclist. He also loves collecting meaningless trivia. (Did you know the Lone Ranger made his mask from the cloth of his brother's vest after his brother was killed by "the bad guys?")