Did you buy the rights to a photograph? Did you write your own copy? Is your content exclusive?

This is what a lot of people might think of what you read that headline. But what I mean is actually quite different. It might more appropriately be asked, “Is marketing one of your core competencies?”

When I ask whether or not you own your marketing, the first thing that I want to know is whether or not the marketing work is done in-house or is it hired out? Do you use an agency to do any of it? All of it?

While I don’t think that marketing or design agencies are evil (in fact, quite the opposite, I think they serve a very important role), I do think that knowing how to market your company is something that every business needs. You should know the basics of how to drive traffic to your site, what costs are associated with each marketing channel, how they work, and what kind of response you’re getting.

Marketing drives businesses. It drives growth. It brings you sales, which allows you to do what you do. So it should be one of the things you do best.

And a great marketing agency can do wonders for you, but the incentive for them is always to get more business out of you. And so ultimately, it will be more profitable to do more of the work internally. This may happen years from now, when you’re a much bigger company. But it may have already happened, and you are so content not to worry about marketing that you don’t know it.

If you’re working for or running a business and you don’t do any of your own marketing, I recommend learning more about what your marketers are doing, or hire someone to manage it internally.