Outsourcing your marketing – when, why and to whom?
To outsource or not to outsource?
Very often companies decide to work with a marketing agency because at much less than the cost of one full-time executive, you get an entire team of experts. Good marketing agencies live and breathe marketing. They are on top of the most up-to-date tactics and trends and it’s easy to benefit from the experience they bring to the table.
There are also critical phases of your business growth – e.g. launching a new product or entering a new market – which require knowledge and experience you may not have internally at this stage. The smartest way in those times would be to find a strong partner and walk this path together. You know what they say – if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
But let’s take a closer look in what situations it might be worth looking for a marketing partner.
Your team is overloaded
It’s not unusual for companies to have very tiny marketing departments, with only a handful of employees. When there’s only a few people juggling all forms of marketing— sometimes for multiple locations— specialization is almost unheard of. This leads to a huge overload for the team and at the same time a lack of tangible results.
I’ve seen it in all types of organizations – the marketing function is so diverse and multi-faceted that it’s nearly impossible to build a team of experts that cover all marketing domains – from strategy, branding, demand generation to social, PPC, SEO, content, design. Even the largest corporations worldwide which have huge marketing departments, still rely on their marketing agencies to drive a significant part of their activities.
You don’t see the forest for the trees
The foundation of great marketing is developing a solid marketing strategy. Without long-term objectives to guide your actions, your moves become focused on setting and completing tasks. And that’s when you get trapped into day-to-day tasks. The right marketing partner will free you up from the operational burden and help you focus on the really important and strategic areas of your job.
Your ROI is not clear
How are you ensuring your efforts are worth the time and money? Have you clearly defined what metrics to measure or assign value to each task? In the digital space, for example, many people monitor traffic, form submissions, email click through rates, but what are each worth to you? Working with an efficient outsourced marketing agency will help you set smart goals, develop metrics (KPIs), and establish a process to consistently track and measure them. You will also get a better understanding how much time is being invested for each activity which can help you focus your efforts on the priorities moving forward.
You feel stuck
Some days it can just feel like no matter how hard you try, you feel stuck. You may be struggling finding new and creative communication ideas. Or feel like being a jack of all trades and master of none. Or perhaps you have just realized that the way you communicate to your customers and your story is simply not appealing enough.
And that’s when you need to take a step back and let some experienced minds assess your current efforts, with unbiased eyes. A carefully selected marketing partner can bring fresh ideas to the table that resonate with your customers and are aligned with your business priorities.
Who is the best marketing partner for you?
It’s not easy to find a good marketing agency that understands your business and is willing to invest into developing a long-term relationship. But there is one thing that usually sets apart the best partner – and it’s trust. If you can trust the people on the other side of the table, even if they may not have the longest experience or the best proposal at this stage, go for them. That will pay off in the long run.
Here’s also a few other things to consider when choosing your partner:
Accountability and Transparency
Strong domain expertise
Excellent project management skills
Understanding of your business and market
Scalability and global mindset
Finally, don’t forget that you should also enjoy the journey. And having someone to share it with, makes it even more fun