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Don't Expect Too Much From a 1-Person Marketing Team

September 28, 2018 By Hendrik-Jan Francke

Don't Expect Too Much From a 1-Person Marketing Team

Digital marketing is an integral part of any business. A lot of time must be dedicated to expand your business and to generate as many new leads as possible.

For a smaller business, it might be hard to put a digital marketing team together, whether it is due to a lack of funds or not having enough people with the right experience.

But you just hired someone who went to school for marketing! Hooray! They surely will be able to handle all of the “stuff” needed to market your business!

Not so fast.

The experience and skills that are needed to handle the many facets of digital marketing would require hundreds of hours of work and practice. It is unrealistic to expect one person to have enough knowledge to cover all your marketing bases.

Still not convinced? Well, welcome to storytime at Bright Orange Thread. Grab some coffee, have a seat, and get ready for a cautionary tale.

Meet Liam, the Dream 1-Person Marketing Team

Every CEO dreams of finding the perfect marketer; someone with experience in design, search engine optimization (SEO), advertising, the whole shebang.

In our story, a CEO hires Liam, hoping he will be able to handle all of the company’s marketing needs. Liam went to school for marketing with a focus on advertising, but also dabbled in web design. After graduating, he worked for two years at a firm that focused on traditional marketing but decided that he was ready for a change.  

Liam felt pretty confident heading into his new job, but he noticed he was the only person assigned to digital marketing. He knew it was a lot to take on, but Liam—and his boss—thought he could handle it.

The first task Liam handles is:

Interpreting Analytics

Liam’s first assignment from his boss is to run the analytics on the company’s current website so they can decide whether or not they need to update it.

Liam has little experience in analytics, but he has enough to know that Google Analytics is his best bet, although he’s never used it himself.

Liam spends the next two weeks learning how to navigate Google Analytics. 

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There is so much data, Liam isn’t sure what to do with it all. There’s data for bounce rates, time spent on each page, click-through rate, screen monitor size, type of device, and what seems like a million other categories.

Liam is overwhelmed by the immense amount of data. He has read a hundred different blogs saying they have identified the one metric he should monitor. He goes for it and starts monitoring just about all of the metrics.

Liam still doesn’t know what sort of conclusion to draw from the data. From what he researched, it seems like the numbers are fairly low, so he decides that the company should opt for a new site.

As Liam puts the plan together for the new website, he realizes he’ll need to create some new content for it.

It's Time for Liam to focus on:

Starting Off On the "Write" Foot

At his past jobs, Liam was able to avoid doing any kind of extensive copywriting. He isn’t a bad writer, but it’s not his forte.

Hiring a specialized writer is not an option, so Liam has to do the writing himself. He spends way too much time editing the content to arrive at what is decent, but not high quality, content. It is decent enough so he puts it on the site.

Then he is faced with: 

Coding Struggles

Liam took a few classes in web design, so he’s pretty confident that Wordpress is his best option for building the new site.

He knows the basics of installing plugins and creates the foundation for the site. Just when Liam is starting to feel comfortable, he begins running into problems.

Liam wants to include a cool team directory on the site but can’t find a quality plugin, and once he finds one he needs to hire a developer to customize the plugin.

Then he wants to improve the speed of the site, but the plugins he installed aren’t compatible with his server. The plugin documentation is telling him to do one thing and the hosting company is saying another, but Liam doesn’t have enough technical experience to effectively resolve the issue.

Liam's next task is: 

Design and Its Infinite Options

Although Liam has design experience, he soon discovers that he is in over his head on this project. Divi for WordPress is flexible but leaves too many options open, making it difficult to create a cohesive design.

After a couple weeks of working in Wordpress, Liam has a new framework for his site. It’s better than the previous one, but it is not nearly as user friendly and visually pleasing as his competitors’ sites.

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When Liam begins fine-tuning the website, he realizes he needs to take new photos and build some custom images. And while he has experience with web design, he doesn’t know a whole lot about Photoshop.

Liam didn’t think it was possible, but Photoshop has even more options than Wordpress! He only knows about 10% of all the possible functions and tools of Photoshop, and that was after spending countless hours watching training videos. The learning curve is steep, and Liam has barely started.

Even after taking hours of Photoshop classes and lots of practice, Liam’s graphics don’t quite turn out right. He doesn’t have anyone else to fix the graphics for him, so he has to load them on the site. The end results is decent but not great.

Now Liam needs to: 

Get Down to the Nitty Gritty

Liam launches the site and starts focusing on SEO. He has worked on it before and feels like he’s fairly proficient in this field.

Liam makes a good start and installs Yoast, which is one of the best plugins to use. He follows all of their suggested recommendations and is surprised to see that the site hasn’t changed in its rankings.

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So many analytics....

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....only so much brain space. 

What he doesn’t understand is that he didn’t create a strategy and do the keyword research needed to see where his company could win traffic—and leads.

Liam also made a big mistake by neglecting to set up 301 redirects for links on the new website that came from the previous one. This results in broken links all over the new site, which is a big problem that will take extra unplanned time for him to fix.

Then Liam works on: 

Marketing Automation Tools

Liam sees marketing collateral for marketing automation everywhere. They promise so much! He knows the tools are helpful and will improve his digital marketing strategies, but he isn’t quite sure where to begin.

Liam starts with Hubspot. They are an industry leader. And what is great is that Hubspot offers a lot of different courses and videos to help him improve his marketing. Liam sees the value and knowledge in these videos, but watching them eats up a considerate amount of time in his work day.

By the time Liam is familiar with just 30% of the platform, he has put in some serious work over several weeks.

And after all that, Hubspot’s analytics have shown Liam that his campaigns aren’t even working.

Liam's big problem is: 

Hindering the User Experience

Liam thinks his website is pretty user-friendly. He can navigate it and knows where all the information is, and he finds it easily.

The issue that Liam is missing is the friction. Just because it worked for him doesn’t mean it works for everyone else.

The lack of easy viewing and searching on the site is the result of a few different things.

First, visitors have to click too often. Instead of putting more information on one page and having people scroll, Liam separates it into different pages of the site that must be clicked on from a drop down link. Getting to certain information this way takes more work and is causing a lot more people to leave Liam’s site than he realizes.

Second, Liam offers a free guide on his site, in hope that it will garner leads. To get the guide, prospects must fill out 10 pieces of information about themselves. What Liam doesn’t know is that is way too much to ask of prospects, and it is causing most of them to quit when the see the form.

Liam has also never watched someone use his site. He knows the benefits of doing so, but he has been so busy learning Photoshop and Hubspot that he doesn’t have the time, and he doesn’t have the budget to hire a testing service.

Liam tries to make it work with: 

Pay Per Click

Finally, something Liam knows he’s good at: pay per click!

Liam is great at advertising. His outreach and Facebook ads are getting a lot of clicks and pulling a lot of traffic through to his site.

But people aren’t staying on the site or converting. The time spent on the page by visitors is low and the bounce rate is high, so Liam’s site isn’t making a great impression. The content and quality of the site isn’t stellar and the appeal that drew prospects in on the ad just isn’t there.  

Liam’s amazing advertising skills are wasted on a website that can’t get people to stay.

The Moral of Liam's Story: 

Avoid the 1-Person Marketing Team

It is clear that Liam is having a difficult time handling all of the aspects of marketing by himself. And it is not because he is inexperienced or is bad at his job, but it is impossible for him to have complete expertise in all of the areas he needs to cover. There is not enough time in the day to learn all of the essential parts of marketing, and even less time to consistently keep up to date with changes to ensure that the knowledge is fresh in his mind.

If Liam’s CEO had a bigger marketing team, Liam could have focused on advertising, his strongest skill set, while others managed SEO, or writing, or any of the other areas he had to cover on his own.

The moral of the story: Don’t attempt to rely on a 1-person marketing team. You’ll never find someone who can handle all the responsibilities of digital marketing alone.

And if you can’t—or don’t want to—put a team together yourself, consider hiring a marketing agency. That way, you can be sure you cover all the facets of digital marketing that would be lost with a 1-person marketing team.

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