Marketing Advice

When to Make Your First Marketing Hire

By Ryan Gilmore on November, 10 2015

When to make your first marketing hire

If you own or operate a small business, then it's pretty much certain that you wear many hats - and so do your colleagues. Almost inevitably, everyone needs to pitch in and tackle multiple roles when a company is small or just starting out.

As the company grows and expands, though, this sort of ad-hoc arrangement becomes less and less tenable, as each responsibility becomes more time-consuming and complex. Just as importantly, this sort of approach can limit your business's ability to develop as effectively and quickly as you might like. To achieve your true potential, you need to make sure that every responsibility falls to someone with the right skills and enough time to do the job right.

Considering marketing, for example. Most small businesses will not have a marketing department, or even a marketing professional on staff - at least, not when they get started. Over time, though, a dedicated marketer becomes essential. There's simply no way for a firm to optimize its outreach and promotional efforts without at least one full-time staffer devoted to marketing.

The question is: When should you make that first marketing hire?

There's no precise formula to answer that question. But here are some valuable tips to keep in mind when trying to decide when to make your first hire in this discipline.

Act sooner rather than later

Marketing can have a tremendous impact on your business and hiring a dedicated marketer is something worth doing sooner rather than later. 

Arguably the single most important factor to keep in mind here is the need to act sooner rather than later. There are three reasons why this is so crucial.

  1. Marketing builds your business: This may seem obvious, but it's a compelling reason to make hiring a full-time marketer a priority. The sooner that person is on your team, the faster you'll start to build your customer base in earnest.
  2. Finding a marketing hire takes time: This is especially true for those businesses that have never made such a hire before. You won't be able to find the right candidate immediately. First, you need to look closely at your business and figure out what you're hoping to achieve, and then determine the skills needed to execute that vision. Only then will you have an accurate understanding of the type of marketer you need to hire. Then you can begin searching for that individual. 
  3. The need to train: A new marketing hire will need some time to learn about your company and your market. Waiting too long to bring someone on board in this capacity will force that new hire to rush, and to feel less confident and comfortable, none of which will improve your bushiness' marketing efforts. Plus, time spent training means less time marketing so it is best to get that out of the way as soon as possible so the marketer can get down to doing what you hired them for. 

All of this means that if a small business is debating whether now is the time to make an initial marketing hire, odds are the answer is a resounding "Yes."

The brand story

Small businesses win by being different than big box brands, make sure your marketer can craft a story that helps your brand differentiate itself from competitors. 

Another key factor to keep in mind is the need for startups to develop brand stories. As industry expert David Smooke explained in a blog post for LinkedIn, this is one of the most significant distinctions between established enterprises and new businesses - consumers are already familiar with the former and its offerings, but they'll have no knowledge of the latter. That makes it all the more important to shape the narrative early. This is a daunting task, one requiring expertise and time.

Therefore, you should consider making a marketing hire as soon as you're ready to reach out to a wider, rather than niche, audience. This is especially true for companies that offer products or services which may require a bit more explanation as to their value.

If your business can afford to hire a marketing professional, and you feel like your team lacks the time or expertise to tackle marketing in the best possible fashion, then don't hesitate to start taking steps toward making this hire.

 

If you're uncomfortable adding a full-time marketer to your team, that doesn't mean you should forgo marketing altogether. Zoey works with a number of top-tier agencies that can develop and execute entire marketing strategies or individual campaigns on behalf of your business. You can learn more about our marketing partners here

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