Dallas Riffle Media

23 Misconceptions About Marketing

Historically, the concept of marketing has developed a certain stigma in the minds of many small- to mid-sized business owners. Instead of being thought of as the essential component of business that it is, marketing is often an intimidating subject. Some write marketing off as budgetary bloat; others think that their company doesn’t need marketing at all. Throughout our experience in the industry, the seasoned staff at DRM have heard just about every misconception in the book. Today we’re here to quell your fears about marketing by examining our Top 23 Misconceptions About Marketing. And away we go…

  1. “Marketing is no fun.” Who says marketing has to be boring? One of DRM’s main goals is to make marketing fun. The whole point of marketing is to make your brand sexy! If you’re passionate about your brand, your marketing should show this. After all, nobody should love your brand as much as you do.
  1. “I can’t afford to hire a marketing agency.” – Not all marketing agencies are created equal. Pricing can differ quite drastically between different agencies. It is all determined by an agency’s size, costs and methods. DRM in particular can work with small- to mid-sized businesses to create a plan that works with your budget.
  1. “My business is too small for ‘real’ marketing.” Give yourself some credit! No company is too small for professional marketing. DRM can work with you to create a plan that makes sense and build from there. No need to get ahead of yourself! A solid marketing strategy can start slow and build over time.
  1. “I can train existing employees to do what a marketing agency does.” While many companies choose to do their own marketing in-house, this can often be easier said than done. While it can seem simpler to hire an internal marketing team, it is usually very difficult to find people that can rival the knowledge and expertise of a marketing agency. In-house marketing personnel can often fall victim to tunnel vision as well. An agency can give your company an outside perspective that they may not get otherwise.
  1. “Business is great! We don’t need marketing” – Don’t quit while you’re ahead! Marketing keeps the momentum going. If you dial down marketing while business is booming, how can you expect to expand and grow? If you have additional budget due to increases in sales, now is the time to INCREASE your marketing efforts so sales (and your brand) will continue to grow.
  1. “Business is down! We should cut marketing.” – Marketing can help jumpstart sales and can help you stand out when most others put their plans on hold. If you’re not hitting your desired sales goals, there may be a problem with your current messaging or strategy. Speaking with a marketing agency when sales are down can help you determine where you may be missing the boat.
  1. “If I hire an agency, my in-house marketing people won’t have anything to do.” In some cases this is true, but an agency like DRM is flexible and can act as an extension of your own marketing department, working seamlessly with your employees. In-house marketing people are often forced to wear several different “hats” within the company and are often overworked. Hiring an agency can ensure that your in-house staff isn’t being stretched too thin and that the quality of your marketing efforts are staying consistent.
  1. “Traditional marketing isn’t necessary now that our millennial receptionist can post on Facebook!” – Social media is great, but it is only one part of a well-rounded plan (and it requires more expertise than you might think). Simply being on social media is not the same as building a marketing strategy. Like any tool, the potential of social media is wasted when not being managed by someone with the expertise to use it properly.
  1. “I don’t need marketing because I can depend on my sales team to generate leads.” – Sales teams are essential, don’t get us wrong… but they can’t be everywhere, all the time. The right marketing plan can open up avenues you might not have previously considered. Besides, if your company already has an effective marketing strategy in place, your sales team can work a lot more efficiently. It’s a lot easier to close on a pre-qualified lead than a cold one.
  1. “My industry or market space is too narrow for marketing to be effective.” – Not necessarily. The right agency can craft a message that will allow you to become a leader in your market- and to keep that lead as your industry grows. If you operate within a very narrow market with only few competitors, it’s very possible that your competition may also be neglecting their marketing duties. In this scenario, you can dominate the competition and become a market leader within your industry.
  1. “My industry or market space is too broad for marketing to be effective.” – This is where your story comes in. DRM will work with you to bring your story; your differentiators to the right audience, and let them know why you’re different- and right for them. The more competitive your industry, the more you should be doing to differentiate from your competition.
  1. “All my business comes from word-of-mouth. I don’t need marketing.” – Word-of-mouth referrals are some of the best you can get. But they come with unpredictable growth… and it’s hard to set growth and acquisition goals based on word-of-mouth alone. Having a proper marketing strategy in place is essential. This way you have a contingency place for one day when your word-of-mouth referrals might stop!
  1. “All agencies are created equal.”- This couldn’t be farther from the truth. In today’s world, a marketing agency can come in many forms. There are agencies of many different sizes, shapes and colors. Different agencies specialize in different services or serve different industries. It’s all about finding the right type of agency for your specific brand. 
  1. “We should be sure to implement all current trends into our marketing plan.” – Just because it’s hot now doesn’t mean it makes sense for your brand. For instance, does a manufacturing company necessarily need to be on Snapchat? You should take every available tool into consideration but only use the ones that make sense for your particular brand. 
  1. “An agency can guarantee results.” – If an agency has made guarantees in their pitch, BEWARE! When it comes to any marketing campaign, results are never certain. If an agency promises you a certain number of conversions or promises that they can get you on the front page of Google, be careful. As is true with anything in business, marketing is a process, not a product, and takes time and trial-and-error to build effectively.
  1. “Our SEO strategy should take effect in the next day or so.” – Like many things in marketing, SEO power is something that builds over time. It’s very rare that a site instantly shoots up to the first page of Google. Partnering with a marketing agency is a great opportunity to see how your website can be best optimized for search.
  1. “Marketing plans are all the same.” Sales are always the endgame… it’s why we’re all in business, right? But sales are not the ONLY part of a well-balanced set of marketing goals, which include factors such as brand awareness, building trust with customers, gaining qualified leads and social followers, engaging with your current customer base, building search equity, etc. A great marketing campaign can have multiple goals. It’s all about tailoring your strategy to help you best accomplish your own internal goals.
  1. “I shouldn’t engage in a marketing campaign or project without a clear monetary ROI.” – Often, marketing doesn’t come with an immediate dollars-to-dollars ROI formula. Engaging an agency comes with a trust factor, and the patience to build brand equity. Finding the right methods and messaging that resonate with your clients and prospects takes time – and failures are just as valuable as successes. Knowledge is power!
  1. “Video is so expensive; I won’t even consider the idea.” – If you’ve previously investigated video production for your business and found that you suffered from sticker shock, it might be time for a fresh look. In the last five to ten years, video has become a more attainable asset than ever before, and DRM can show you how. Today, there are video options for more budgets than ever.
  1. “Why hire an agency to build my website when I can get one for free?” – The old adage is true: You get what you pay for. A good agency will build a custom site around your brand, your audience and will create an effective user experience, tailored to your sales and informational goals. A website carefully crafted by an experienced agency will be leaps and bounds ahead of what free services will get you. And in the end, you’ll own those assets.
  1. “Branding is just another word for “logo,” right?” – Branding is so much more than a logo. Branding is the look and feel of your company. Branding is your company’s message and brand voice. Branding is how customers, employees, competitors all feel about your company. Branding is your company’s story. Understanding what makes your brand special and how to properly communicate this to the world is one of the things that DRM does best.
  1. “Failed campaigns are a total loss.” – If an agency approaches your marketing efforts with a balanced plan and attitude, failures are an essential part of the process. Data and lessons learned from failed campaigns are just as valuable as those from successful ones. They allow you to learn what works and evolve your brand effectively.
  1. “Why should I hire actual people to do my marketing? Marketing is all automated now!” – We’ve all heard of marketing automation. It can certainly be a handy tool, but it’s definitely not the end-all, be-all for your marketing plan. The soul of marketing – creativity and a tailored strategy – simply can’t be automated… at least not yet… True marketing is done by people who care, who are doing what they love — who are born to do this! 

Whew! We know that this was a lot to take in, but we hope that this list helped to quell some of your own fears about hiring an agency. It’s DRM’s objective to make hiring a marketing agency easy and non-intimidating. We have experience working within almost any industry or budget. Give us a call at (216)245-0835 or email us at info@dallasriffle.com to inquire about any of our services. For more information about what we offer, visit our website.

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