Choosing A Marketing Partner For Your Small Businesses’ Needs: A Quick Guide

For small businesses, marketing plays a crucial role in attracting new customers, increasing awareness of their brand, and driving business growth. However, marketing is often the thing that many small business owners struggle with most. In fact, a lack of consistent marketing strategy, limited ability to execute that strategy, and minimal marketing budget are listed among the top hurdles for small businesses to overcome. But fear not! There are steps you can take to overcome these challenges, keep reading for a comparison of your options.

DIY Methods – Cost Efficiency & Complete Control

Perhaps the most cost-efficient option, do-it-yourself (DIY) methods empower small business owners to take charge of their own marketing efforts. It requires setting aside time to tap into your creativity and seeing your services and industry from your client’s perspective. Executing marketing in-house provides the greatest amount of control over the strategy and budget as it avoids the costs of outside consulting. If you or your staff have the time and resources to identify your target audience, clarify your message, develop a marketing plan, and execute consistently, this might be a viable solution for you. However, the primary challenge of doing it yourself is having the time, expertise, or internal resources to accomplish this successfully.

Freelancers – Specific Expertise & No Overhead

If the biggest threat to your business’ marketing is lack of expertise or internal resources to execute, hiring an individual freelancer may be an option to consider. Freelancers are skilled professionals who work independently and, due to their lack of overhead expenses, can be a relatively low-cost resource financially feasible for small businesses with limited budgets. The challenge of course is finding a single freelancer with expertise in multiple areas to address all your marketing needs – e.g. marketing strategy, copywriting, social media management, graphic design, and search engine marketing. Another potential challenge may be availability or bandwidth limitations that come with utilizing a single-person shop.

Full-Service Agencies – Comprehensive & Complete

For those small businesses with access to an established and well-funded marketing budget, hiring a full-service marketing or ad agency might just be the best move. Full-service agencies provide just that –a full array of services including market research, marketing strategy, branding, design, copywriting, public relations, digital marketing, SEO, website services, and even media purchasing. Their size and wide scope of expertise provides comprehensive resources and solutions for their clients. You can count on an agency to deliver everything from strategy to full blown execution. They do in-depth research to understand their client’s industry, market, target audience, and overall competitive landscape. And due to their sheer numbers, the creative content they produce is usually top notch and often award-winning. The obvious limitation is that agencies often require a significant up front and ongoing investment, usually considered out of reach for the majority of small businesses.

Striking a Balance With A Retained Partnership

While DIY methods, freelancers, and full-service agencies all have their share of strengths and weaknesses, finding that sweet spot is possible! Fuzzy Duck offers a unique retained partnership approach that delivers strategic, comprehensive and budget-controlled solutions. Working with each client, we help identify their individual list of challenges and goals and devise an overall strategy to overcome the challenges and execute that strategy to accomplish those goals. Learn more about our monthly marketing retainer offering here! Otherwise, just give us a call and we can work together to find the right marketing solution for your business.


  • Brenna Connolly

    As Fuzzy Duck’s copywriter, Brenna works diligently to make your brand voice shine. After graduating from the University of Minnesota, she honed her craft in the natural foods industry where she contributed to professional websites, industry-wide publications, and social media initiatives. Brenna has written for clothing companies and newspapers alike; she’s even edited a novel. A bona fide wordsmith, Brenna is eager to help you tell your story.