As a business owner, marketing may not be your first priority, but it should be. Today, having a marketing plan for your business is as critical as having a phone number. 
We always want what’s best for our business, however, we aren’t all-rounders and competent in every aspect of our business. That’s why there is a growing trend in outsourcing – companies are now more inclined to subcontract their IT department, HR department or even their marketing department to external companies. But with all these choices in the market, you are sure to be overwhelmed with the sea of potential partnerships.
Do you remember in business school when you learned about the four Ps: Product, Place, Price and Promotion in your Marketing 101 class? A lot has changed since I was sitting in my first Marketing class 20+ years ago, however the 4 Ps are still relevant. While marketing professors still refer to the 4 Ps, the implementation is quite different.

Remember the days when you thought 'Place' referred to real estate, a good a visible store front? Then we hit the " era" and began to think beyond brick and mortar to having a website. In today's fast moving digital economy you need even more than just a digital presence.

Now you need a website that is mobile-friendly.  The computer that we use the most, is the one that fits in the palm of our hand. In fact, by 2018, according to eMarketer, global smartphone users will reach the 2.5 billion mark. And nearly 86 million consumers will make a purchase on their device in 2016.
One of the greatest strengths of small business is their ability to be agile and to respond quickly to market fluctuations.  One thing that can create a drag on the business is managing functions of your business that are foreign to your core business model or take away from daily operations or billable work.

There are very few businesses today that can grow without a marketing model in place.  Even if your client base continues to buy from you, think at how much more you could grow if you expanded your sphere of potential clients.   

So how do you expand your business and implement a marketing model, without adding a staff function you need to manage?  The Answer: Hire a Fractional Chief Marketing Officer.

Rarely do we make a buying decision without consulting the internet for reviews and information. From selecting a doctor, to home repairs, to a night out, or a vacation, we want to know the reviews on just about everything.  Choices seem endless and asking a friend is not always possible or reliable.  What  a collective group of people say about a service can make a huge impact on your buying decisions.

On the flip side, as a business owner a poor review can feel like the kiss of death.  Maybe the bad review came from a bad reviewer, a misunderstanding or was based on a former employee or issue that has been resolved.  Your options for removing a bad review are limited at best and only the reviewer has full control of taking down a review.
Who doesn't love good cake?  It tastes great, smells wonderful, can be absolutely beautiful and is the center piece of many celebrations. All you need is a good recipe, good ingredients and a decent baker.

If you were to taste each of the cake ingredients on their own, most would  be downright awful. A poor recipe can leave you with a cake that is flat, dry, dense or in many other ways unpleasant.

So why so much talk about cake, no it's not the mid-afternoon need of a pick-me-up.  It's that marketing is very similar to that of baking a cake. Marketing components do not function as well individually as they do when implemented together under a single strategy. 

As you move forward with any marketing plan consider how outsourcing marketing to a company with full oversight differs from outsourcing each piece ad hoc. 

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