In this podcast, SCORE mentors chat with Jami Schwartz of Kabbage and Jennyfer Crawford of Ask Jennyfer about using outside marketing assistance.

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When should a business consider outside marketing?

A business should consider outside marketing once they have a plan together as to what their business is and what they want to do and what their target audience is.

Would it be any difference if the business was in its planning stage versus an in-business client who's already operating?

Yes, it would be a little different because to have a marketing plan you must know what your actual business is and having all that together.

When we say marketing can you give me a definition of what you're referring to?

As far as marketing goes you want to know what your product is and who you're trying to reach. It could be something as far as marketing material, social media marketing, that type of thing.

Okay, would it include things like branding?

Branding, of course. Your logo, your website, those are all different marketing tools that you need for your brand.

How about pricing? Do you get involved with that?

Yes, pricing, but I feel that you must ... It depends on what your product is. A lot of marketing that you can start to do yourself and self-educate yourself to do it before you get involved in hiring someone on the outside. Most of the time when you're a small business you have a smaller budget, so doing some of the marketing and learning it yourself as far as what marketing is and your branding, then you can seek outside help, so doing some of the research yourself first.

What's the best way to research the market if you're a small business and determining what your needs are?

I read a lot of books and I feel like to self-educate yourself for marketing books is the best way. Also using any online services, ask Google, if you have a certain type of business you can research ways to market that business using the internet or reading books. I personally feel that reading books, it works a lot better.

I have to compliment you. I saw at the beginning you were in Crain's Detroit Business listed as the top 40 under 40, is that correct?

Yes.

Yeah. In the top 40, and Rance Crain is a friend of mine, just as a sidebar. They do a great job, of course they have Advertising Age, you know I thought I'd throw that in, because Advertising Age is a big part of understanding marketing, advertising, et cetera. Why is it important for a business to be involved with community events?

Community events are a great way to get your brand out there because a lot of people are involved in a community event. You never know who you're going to meet or bump into so it's good. It's a form of networking and it's a great way to get your business out there by being involved in the community. I feel like sometimes people recognize it more like, oh, this brand was involved in this activity that was going on or this program that helps the community. Overall your business, it's a good idea to have it involved in your community that you are in.

For more, click play on the video above to listen to the full podcast, and download the transcript.

About the Author(s)

Jami Schwartz

Jami Schwartz runs small business community programs for Kabbage including online and offline workshops and seminars with SCORE, SBDC, Chambers of Commerce and small business organizations.  She’s worked at both Intuit and a startup accelerator helping build community programs for entrepreneurs to network and grow. 

Community Programs and Marketing Technologies Manager, Kabbage, Inc.
Jennyfer Crawford

Jennyfer Crawford has more than ten years of project management and business planning experience. A major aspect of her company, Ask Jennyfer, is the Small Business Showcase.

Founder, Ask Jennyfer
marketing plan