Outsource It! 4 Digital Marketing Lessons for Business
Many companies don’t see the point of outsourcing their marketing. For those who make the leap to an outside digital marketing agency, they set themselves up for failure by not doing their research, or not laying down the groundwork they need for clear communication and a positive relationship.
For a major financial decision like contracting your marketing through another company, it’s good to go in with your eyes open. Read on to learn why outsourcing to a digital marketing agency is such a great business move, and advice to ensure success in your collaboration.
The Importance of Outsourcing
Many businesses prefer to do their marketing in-house. They feel like this gives them more control over the process. But hiring internal staff is often a bad call. Think of it this way: unless you’re a very large business, you probably don’t hire full-time staff to handle your janitorial work, building maintenance, or even your IT. Instead, you contract these services through another company.
For many businesses, it doesn’t make any sense to keep someone on staff, and if you’re highly specialized on your mission, it will distract from other work. For a streamlined business, you need to focus on their strengths, and unless you’re a marketing agency, that’s likely not your strong point.
You’ll spend more money keeping a marketer on staff than you would keeping them on-call, and you may not have the resources to train them to succeed in their new role. Outsourcing your marketing allows you to hire experienced professionals who are at the top of their field, and will bring their expertise to your project.
Tips for a Strong Relationship
For many, hiring a marketing agency may feel like a leap of faith. Even if they have a long-standing track record of successful projects, the process of collaborating with the agency you choose and building a successful relationship may pose its own challenges.
Before you begin scouting prospective agencies, check through this list of collaboration tips, to make sure you’re maximizing your chances of success.
- Check how your respective goals and plans line up with each other. If you want to build a loyal base of hardcore fans, but your marketing agency thinks you want rapid expansion, you’ll find yourself butting heads. If you and the agency you hire have radically different goals for your business, you’ll find the plan stymied at every step, and you’ll see less success than you would otherwise.
Before you even begin contacting prospectives, sit down and determine why you want to hire them in the first place. There are plenty of solid marketing goals your company may have, and many will require radically different strategies. Don’t worry about how you plan to get there — that’s the marketing agency’s job. Once they know what you want, they’ll work with you to devise a plan to get you there. Make sure you go over things regularly with them, in case your plans change.
- Look for marketers with proven success when doing what you want. You probably know better than to hire the first agency that comes along. But you may not know what to look for. An agency that’s run several successful viral marketing campaigns may have outstanding skills within that area, but they may be unequipped to help you build strong ties to existing customers. Take your time and get to know their strong points, as well as their team’s experience and training. With this information, you’ll make a far wiser decision.
- Make sure their tools are up-to-date. Big data has revolutionized marketing. With the most current software tools, marketers have their finger on the pulse of audiences’ reactions to marketing campaigns, in real time. By examining analytics and engaging in sophisticated research like A/B campaigns, marketers can create a precisely-honed, highly effective marketing campaign. Despite all this, many companies haven’t invested in these sorts of tools. As part of your preliminary research, find out what marketing tools each company uses. If you find out that they don’t use the best types of tools out there, they may be behind the curve in other ways, too. Save yourself the trouble by choosing a company that’s using the software they need to succeed.
- Emphasize collaboration and communication. Occasional email check-ins aren’t enough. You need to be able to remain in the flow of what your collaborators are up to, and offer feedback at various stages of the process. Maintaining regular contact is important. Choose a strong, versatile collaboration tool, and use it. Don’t be afraid to speak up what you need from the company, and don’t make the mistake of assuming that just because they’re professionals, they will figure out what you want and give it to you! Marketing is an art, and all artists need direction. Make sure you’re having regular, productive meetings, too. A Skype or conference call may be necessary, but if possible it’s a good idea to meet face-to-face as regularly as possible, to keep everyone engaged. Weekly meetings with a quarterly report are best for many companies and make sure everyone’s on the same page and making consistent progress.
Once you’ve made the crucial decision to hire a digital marketing agency, it’s important to take the right steps to ensure a positive relationship. By creating solid goals and a good plan, choosing an agency that’s experienced and has the tools to succeed, and creating a strong bond with them, you’ll ensure great collaboration, and get the solid marketing campaign your business needs.