Ready to Hire a Full-Time Marketer?

October 16, 2018

When you’re running an insurance agency, you wear many hats. There comes a time for any business when you need to hire help. So when do you know you’re ready to hire a marketing person? ITC's Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Becky Schroeder explains.
 

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Video Transcript

When you’re running an insurance agency, you wear many hats. You may be responsible for sales, operations, and accounting besides your agency’s marketing.

There comes a time for any business when you need to hire help. So when do you know you’re ready to hire a marketing person? And what kind of marketing person do you look for?

Here’s how to find the insurance agency marketing help you need.

Yes, you could outsource a lot of marketing responsibility. But, if you use any marketing automation, someone at your agency needs to manage the technology. If you have an outside SEO firm or content expert, someone needs to oversee their tasks and monitor results.

You could manage outside resources yourself. But, there may come a point when you need a dedicated marketing person for the task. 

If you don’t have the time or want to do something else, you might need to hire a full-time marketer.

So how do you know it’s time to hire a marketing person for your agency?

The answer is when you are financially ready.

A dedicated marketing person can have a big impact on your agency. But, there are expenses you need to be ready for besides a salary. Think offline and online marketing tactics you’ll want this person doing. Plus, the marketing tools and software they’ll need.

When planning your budget for a marketer, include these costs. Otherwise, the person you hire won’t be able to do much on the projects you need them to work on.

Another sign you’re ready for a full-time marketer is when your goal is more revenue and growth.

Some marketing metrics are easy to measure but are worthless at telling you how you’re really doing. Metrics like website pageviews, email open rate, or social media followers. They’re good to track, but the more important metric is how marketing affects your growth.

Increasing your agency’s revenue through leads and, ultimately, sales should be the primary objective for your new marketing person.

You’re hiring a marketing person to take that responsibility off your plate. But, you can’t let your new hire drift rudderless in the ocean of marketing possibilities.

If you don’t at least have an outline of what this person will be doing, you’re not ready yet

When you know you’re ready to hire that marketing person, the next step is to decide what kind of marketer you need. 

Marketers fall into two groups: Generalists and specialists. 

Marketing generalists have experience and knowledge in a range of marketing disciplines. This gives them better perspective, flexibility and adaptability. They tend to be creative, strategic thinkers who can handle a variety of marketing tasks. They know about a lot. But, their expertise doesn’t always go deep into any one marketing discipline.

Marketing specialists are experts in a certain area of marketing. Their experience, knowledge and skills go deep and specific. They focus on one area of expertise and can get a lot done in it.

A specialist could struggle if asked to drive your entire marketing efforts. Or, if a project is not their area of expertise.

So which should you hire? The marketing generalist or the marketing specialist? That will depend on what the person will be doing.

Are you asking them to oversee all your marketing efforts with you only approving budgetary spend and strategy? A generalist would be best.

Will you be driving the marketing plan and efforts and just need someone to focus on your SEO or your email marketing? A specialist in the discipline you need could help a lot.

To help you decide whether you need a generalist or specialist, you need to define the position. Do this before you publish a job posting and get inundated with resumes.

Look at your past marketing activity. What worked? What hasn’t? What’s your biggest marketing challenge?

What tasks do you want the person to accomplish? How much experience do you want in your candidates? What kind of skills and knowledge do you need from a marketer?

By thinking through what you want and need from a marketer, you’re defining your expectations. Setting them up for success from the beginning sets your agency up for marketing success.

Some of the best qualities in a marketer are not hard skills. But rather soft skills like passion, curiosity and willingness to learn.

The best marketers are ones who never stop learning. Marketing is continually changing. There’s always something new with technology, social media or Google’s algorithm. If a marketer doesn’t have passion or a dedication to learning, they’re not going to be very effective.

Does the candidate share your agency’s values and priorities? Can they get on board with your agency’s vision and goals?

One last thing. It may be tempting to hire an intern because the salary cost is far less than an experienced marketer. I’m not saying don’t hire an intern. But, understand that someone with limited to no experience will only be able to do so much.

Unless you’re going to spend a lot of time with the person to train them in business and strategy, it might not be worth it.

Hiring for any position can be hard. Hiring a full-time marketer for the first time is no exception. But, with a little bit of planning, you’ll know what skills and type of candidate you need. That will help you find the best person for your agency so you can find success with your marketing plan.

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