How to determine if a company needs to outsource marketing
A company decides to outsource marketing after conducting a thorough analysis of its current marketing operations from various perspectives. Often, the company will look at what specific parts to outsource. For instance, the vast majority of companies already outsource aspects of their marketing such as advertising. However, companies should look into what they need in their campaigns and do not have such as lead generation, lead management, customer and market analytics, as well as direct mail campaigns. Similarly, the marketing teams of companies may be creative but lack “left brain” characteristics, which include numbers, analytics, and detailed analysis. Most companies decide to outsource these parts to more expert outside firms.
Furthermore, the concept “inbound marketing” is gaining prominence. With many consumers are now blocking out most of the advertisements that they come across daily, some companies can no longer effectively use mass marketing to effectively reach customers.. Inbound marketing involves generating content that drives the consumer to the product or service by using social media, blogs, and SEO to attract new customers. The goal is to create content that will attract customers yet will somehow be linked to the product or service the company is trying to sell. Often, companies will need help in generating a marketing campaign that will adhere to the goal of inbound marketing while avoiding the traditional marketing methods.
What specifically do Marketing outsourcing firms provide organizations?
A typical marketing outsourcing firm can provide a variety of options to hiring organizations. The majority of the outsourcing services can be grouped into five categories. Some hiring organizations may use an outsourcing firm for one, some, or all of these categories.
- Research- The outsourcing firms will do research on markets, customers, products, competitors, and usually other options if requested. Through researching target markets- (target customers, most profitable areas, competitor analysis) the outsourcing firm will generally be able to provide marketing objectives that will suggest changes to produce the best business outcomes.
- Strategy- Through research and critical analysis, the outsourcing firm will be able to develop a strategy for the company so their competitive advantage and position is unique and different across the market. In this strategy, the outsourcing firm should suggest how to communicate and contact potential new customers or business partners.
- Planning- Through planning, the outsourcing firm will create an in-depth and detailed schedule, budget, and possible deadlines for the marketing plan. The marketing plan will connect the research and strategy in the earlier step and will adhere to the hiring organization’s goals.
- Execution and Management- Depending on the level in which the hiring organization is using the marketing outsourcing firm, the outsourcing firm should have an infrastructure in place to carry out the marketing plan. The outsourcing firm will conduct the plan and manage it using their resources.
- Review – After the marketing plan has been executed to its agreed upon lifetime, the outsourcing company will be able to provide analytics and numbers to showcase the results of the marketing plan. The hiring organization should work with the outsourcing company to evaluate the success of the campaign and see what can be done differently or better in the future.
How to increase the probability of having a successful outsourcing marketing campaign
Hiring organizations should keep close scrutiny on the outsourcing firm in order to maintain the best results with a marketing campaign or research. They should pay attention to specific details and chart the outsourcing firm’s progress. First off, outsourcing firms should be responsible when it comes to ROI. The firm must be able to understand how every decision will ultimately affect the end goal. Secondly, the outsourcing firm must put the right people in the right roles for the work. The hiring organization should examine this aspect both for internal and external roles. Third, the hiring organization should question the strategy the outsourcing firm plans to take. The hiring organization should ask strenuous questions and attempt to find flaws in the plan in order to increase the chance of it being successful. Lastly, the hiring organization should make sure the marketing firm is being respectful in its marketing campaign. The firm should be honest, honor privacy, and avoid spam when performing campaigns. Failure to do so will not only result in a failed campaign but loss of brand respect and recognition from consumers.
How can different size companies use marketing outsourcing?
Small and start-up companies typically will use marketing outsourcing in order to gain access to resources, expertise, and technology that they cannot afford to spend time or money on. Small companies often do not have the manpower to devote to a marketing campaign, and it may be a cheaper and a more efficient option for them to outsource the marketing. Small businesses may feel the need to have a marketing campaign in order to have a level playing field with the larger and more established companies in the marketplace. Thus, many small businesses outsource some or all of their marketing.
Medium sized companies often already have a marketing staff in place. For the most part, medium size businesses will use marketing outsourcing to supplement their current efforts. The business may only use outsourcing to eliminate overhead its staff does not want to deal with, make sure marketing plans are met for time-sensitive deadlines, gain a wider range of expertise and resources, and obtain a different perspective.
Large companies will often use marketing outsourcing in order to explore new possibilities. They might hire a firm to conduct research on possible new markets, target customers, and products. Often, large companies have the in-house resources to accomplish this task, but they outsource in order to gain a different perspective and to obtain new ideas.
How to measure an outsourced marketing campaign’s success
If an organization decides to outsource a marketing campaign, then they also should look at several criteria once the campaign is over in order to determine how successful the campaign was in reaching the primary and secondary goals.
Lead generation- The campaign should noticeably increase the number of interested customers who turn into credible leads.
Increased sales- The marketing campaign should be able to turn more of the leads into sales.
Increased brand awareness- The company’s brand should be well established in the marketplace after a campaign is run. The target customer should easily identify the company’s logo and slogan.
Accurate analytics- The campaign should result in the company gaining insight into what does and does not reach the target customer. Furthermore, the analytics should show where the company could penetrate the market further.
Finding the right marketing outsourcing
With the needs of every type of business being as different as they are, those outsourcing need to find firms with experience in their fields. A search in the field should turn up lots of potential firms. Carefully screen for proper experience and their ability to meet the above criteria.