Learning marketing is considered a “necessary evil” by many entrepreneurs, and rightly so.
It’s seen as “bad” because entrepreneurs already have a lot of responsibilities to juggle. Especially those who have a creative or technical background and may not have a business or sales inclination see it that way.
On the other hand it’s “needed” because… without sales there is no company.
In the rest of the article we focus on the “needed“.
Because regardless of your personal preferences or strengths, it’s an essential aspect of any successful business and if you don’t invest the time and effort, it can result in a lot of missed opportunities and low revenue.
1. Marketing helps you get started and get the wheels turning
The founder of a company has two main roles: (1) product creation or service and (2) sales, or the commercial side.
If you’re reading this, you’ve assumed and solved the first one.
But if you don’t have another co-founder to handle the second one, you have to take it on yourself, at least temporarily.
Good agencies and employees are expensive and hard to find. Newbies can’t deliver results quickly and need mentoring from someone with experience.
If you don’t have an investment budget or profit to redirect to this side, you need to invest the other resource you bring to the table: time.
But rest assured, that doesn’t mean a full-time “job” yet, and you don’t have to do it forever.
You’ll also see below, marketing is getting less technical, so you can do it in a few hours a week. And you don’t have to do it forever either, but until you have enough turnover to hire someone good or outsource that part.
And if you’re just starting out now and you know how to get customers, you can bring in the first sales that are the lifeblood of the company that will allow you to hire or delegate and get rid of the tasks that you don’t want to do.
2. No one knows your customers as well as you do
Understanding your customers has been and always will be a key factor in marketing success.
And no one, especially while the company is still relatively small, will know them as intimately as you do.
- What are the challenges that trigger the buying decision.
- What are the ultimate benefits of buying your product or service.
- What objections to buying have.
These are things you’re probably already pretty familiar with.
If you use them in marketing, you’ll make sales explode (in a good way).
It will take an employee or agents some time to understand them as deeply. Or they may never do it at the same level of understanding as you, especially if you interact with customers often.
In addition, by doing marketing you will get to know your customers even better than you know them now, and this can help you in other areas of your business, such as product or service development.
3. You will be able to make your products more “marketable”
The easiest products to market are designed to be easy to sell.
The ones that when you have to sell it feels like rolling a boulder downhill. You just nudge it and it moves.
The ones that are thought of behind closed office doors, away from the end customers, usually feel like pushing that boulder up a hill.
A good product that is thought to be easy to sell (simple to deceive and use, positioned correctly, with a clear audience and benefits) is like rocket fuel. It ignites instantly and burns strong.
Marketing is ultimately the skill of getting people to buy. It’s a mindset outside the realm of “campaigns” or “advertising” .
The first point at which marketing work should begin is when the product or service is first thought of.
4. If you know marketing, you’ll know how to better choose and manage those to whom you delegate it
Not a day goes by that I don’t see an entrepreneur on a Facebook group complaining about the results of promotion, whether they work with an agency or have someone employed.
More often than not, the problem is that the marketer(s) didn’t do their job.
But then comes the question: who hired them? 🙂
If you understand the basics of marketing and have experience on the ground, this will help:
- Better define the goals of the person/agency hired;
- Figure out if they know what they’re talking about or are just saying things they read on the internet;
And once you’ve chosen a suitable person or agency, they’ll help you:
- Guide them to the things that are important to the business;
- Give them the resources they need to succeed;
- Know how to measure their work and give them feedback;
And in the case of the unosoft agency, although usually the clients are companies that aren’t just starting out at all, the best collaborations have been when either the founder of the company or an employee understood online marketing and knew what to ask or could help us prioritize.
5. Marketing today is much less technical
If you wanted to sell online about 10 years ago, you had to be a technical person.
Understand what a “meta tag” or “meta keywords” are and know how to add them to your site. You had to know programming to make changes to the site.
Today everything is much simpler and less technical. Many of those things are either no longer necessary or can be solved with a few clicks.
We have modules (plugins) that automatically do the technical setup or allow us to put in an ID and do all the measuring work.
We have visual builders that allow us to build sites just by clicking and dragging elements.
Paid promotion platforms like Facebook or Google do 80% of the targeting and optimization work. Without exaggeration, some of the most effective campaigns are set up in the way Click => Click => Next. Any extra constraint or change may result in decreased performance.
What matters now is what we choose to promote (offer) and what messages and creative we give them. Things you understand best.
6. Learning is more accessible
Especially in the wake of COVID-19, the marketing education industry has also evolved at an accelerated pace in Romania. You can find dozens or hundreds of companies offering marketing education courses that you can take online from the comfort of your own home.
You can learn from specialists and experts who have done things professionally and now have reached a stage in their careers where they want to move on (or nah, make some extra money).
This increased supply has caused prices to drop considerably. And while good courses still cost money, subscription business models are emerging that give you access to an entire library for the price of a lesson.
And if you’re not satisfied with the domestic offer, there’s nothing to stop you from attending courses taught by a Pole, a German or an American. You’re still in front of your own laptop.
7. And you know what? You might end up liking
I’ve often met entrepreneurs who learned marketing because it was a “necessary evil,” they either couldn’t afford to hire someone good to do it or they couldn’t find people or agencies to deliver results too.
So they set about learning.
And they ended up “getting” the marketing and continuing to do it themselves, even if they could now afford to hire someone.
There’s something magical when you create something from scratch, piecing together several learned things, and that “something” makes people buy. It’s a feeling that’s hard to describe but extraordinarily powerful.
Instead of conclusions
So if you’re not happy with the sales you have now and you either can’t afford or have not been successful delegating or outsourcing, you might learning marketing may not be such a “bad”.
After all, it will be a skill that you’ll stick with for the rest of your life, and it may serve you in the future in ways you don’t know now, even if at some point you don’t want to deal with it yourself.
I hope I’ve whetted your appetite for learning!
P.S. If it seems like it makes sense for you to learn marketing, you might also want to check out the Marketing Hackers Business Club. You’ll find dozens of entrepreneurs like you there, who for various reasons decided to learn marketing and now don’t regret the decision. Especially since the price is modest for the amount of material you have access to. But don’t take my word for it, see what others say or try it 🙂