by Chuck Bankoff
Interns, Staff or Pros?
enerating leads consistent-
ly from the Internet doesn’t between maintaining the content knowledge, business acumen and
happen by accident. on an existing website and devel- visual aptitude. The challenge is
Someone has to be in charge. You oping and executing an actual that most individuals have a max-
need a great website that inspires digital marketing strategy. Simple imum of two out of three of these
conﬁdence in your products and content updates can be handled traits. That may present you with
services, and you need that web- by an intern or staff member some interesting choices. Should
site to be found at the moment on a part-time basis. When it you use multiple internal resourc-
big difference requires elements of technical
your customers are looking.
comes down to actual marketing es? Or outsource to a professional
To do that, you can hire an or design, whomever takes on agency that already has its team in
intern, hand it off to your staff or the job (novice or professional) place? Maybe you’ll need a combi-
work with a professional. Each of should have an appropriate work- nation of the two.
these choices has their own unique ing background.
Here are your different options
advantages and repercussions.
Successful internet marketing for marketing:
Option 1: Staff it Out
The obvious place to start is with those who work for you already.It’s tempt-
ing, but be sure to think this one through.
Outsource to an Agency
Disclaimer: I manage a digital
marketing agency specializing in the
glass industry, so if I come off biased
in favor of this solution, now you
They already work for you, so it’s the path of least resistance. Current
employees probably know the industry (or at least their part of it), which is a
But do they actually have the time, aptitude and marketing knowledge? Also
keep in mind this may become a part-time effort because it’s not their“real job.”
Sometimes your employee will view this new assignment as a vote of confi-
dence and rise to the occasion. Or they might see it as extra work with little
incentive for them to do more than make a passable effort.
The biggest issue, though, is knowledge. Just because you put someone in
charge of internet marketing doesn’t make them an internet marketer. Blogs,
webinars, guides, actual classroom instruction and hands-on practice is how
most people get skills.The knowledge is out there if you’re willing to absorb
their learning curve and are comfortable with unclear results.
Agencies can offer expertise, scal-
ability and time savings, and they can
keep you from making expensive mis-
takes. But not all agencies are created
equal. Some have more success than
others. Some may even have experi-
ence in your industry.
Here’s what to look for when
What does their online reputa-
tion look like?
Option 2: Hire an Intern
• Do they show up in the search
• Do they have any marketing expe-
rience in your industry or similar
Interns are cost-effective but mostly come on board to practice and learn.By
definition, that makes them inexperienced and a possible liability to your com-
pany image.This could be a great low-cost solution if all you need is someone
who knows your business and maintains your website.
Not all interns are created equal. Before you go hiring your nephew because
he’s got more followers than you,realize that this person will have an influence on
your company. Don’t confuse the comfort of technology with business acumen.
A college student looking to practice what they are learning in school is a bet-
ter choice. Since they’re going to be looking for a professional marketing career,
they’ll be more motivated and prone to absorbing the learning curve on their
own time. Just keep in mind that they’re not professionals yet.
The advantage of working with a
professional marketing team is typi-
cally broad knowledge,deep resourc-
es and the big picture to coordinate
and manage the campaigns.
The disadvantage is that this
option can get pricey.