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Just how expensive is do it yourself marketing? In an age where technology has everything accessible to pretty much everyone the question begs to be asked… is this smart or not… and how costly is it? Today business owners can create their own logos, tagline statements, ads and websites all on their own. But like everything else in life, you have ask yourself… just because you can… should you? Just like speaking English doesn’t necessarily make you a writer, knowing software such as Photoshop or InDesign doesn’t make you a designer and understanding your market doesn’t make you a “creative thinker”.

Many businesses, B2B, B2C, retail or service proudly give out their business cards or show off their website with “I did it myself” attitude. This always surprises me. Businesses who hire carpenters, electricians or decorators to do up their offices, or even pay extra in rent to be at the right location, will skimp on designing a proper logo, establish a proper tagline and develop a proper site. What is it about the creative part of the Marketing field that makes business people think that it’s just an optional expense when establishing a business? What’s the point of having a website if it isn’t user friendly or it isn’t optimized for user experience so when people actually get to your site they get to access the information that they require effortlessly? How about the copy –  if your site isn’t written properly for your target, and more importantly, if the copy written doesn’t take into account keywords for ranking optimization what’s the point of having the site up anyway? Isn’t the whole purpose of having a website to inform and get found on Google in order to call or come to your store?

I once went to a spa that charged me $175 for a 1 hour massage and then gave me a brochure with all their services. The brochure was a mess! Not only was it poorly designed, but it was riddled with typos… words were cut off and even the folding of the brochure was uneven. I felt that charging that much for a massage, the least that the spa should have done is offer their customers a brochure that has the same “upscale” feeling as their pricing! It left me with the feeling that they didn’t want to go that extra mile to sell me… to convince me that they were worth those extra dollars. In this case, good enough just wasn’t.

Most people wouldn’t even consider doing major repairs or transformations to their homes. I too can swing a hammer… most times I even hit the nail. And sawing a 2×4 piece of wood shouldn’t be too complicated, at least I don’t think so… just don’t ask me to saw a right angle! I’ll get it just about right, but not quite. Ask yourself this – if every time you walk into the kitchen and see the work that you did yourself, that isn’t just so… can you live with it?

Contrary to home improvements, the creative part of Business Marketing isn’t something that you can or should ‘live with’. First of all, it isn’t just you living with it… it’s your potential clients and customers that will be subject to it. Designers, writers, and professional marketers don’t just know how to use the tools… they know how to think marketing… they know strategy and market assessment. They do their homework for your business, looking at the competition, evaluating the market, understanding your business. Each of these professional designations (writer, marketer or designer) think in a process to determine the best way to market your business or brand, visually and cohesively… dare I say strategically?

I do understand that designing a logo, developing a tagline and creating a website can get expensive and ultimately it is an expense. But ask yourself how expensive is it to get it all wrong? To ruin your business’ first impression? Or not have the desired result from your website? Before you throw your hands up in the air and tell designers and writers how expensive they are, think of how expensive it would be not to have your business seen in the best light possible, or be found? Sometimes $1 spent poorly is a lot more costly then $1000 spent wisely.