7 Things to Look for in an Outsourced Marketing Team
An Outsourced Marketing Team can be a Smart Investment
Outsourcing your marketing is one of the best decisions you can make for your small business. Traditional in-house marketing teams are a great solution for larger organizations that have the resources available to employ experts in the 10+ roles that it takes to run an effective department. Unfortunately, small businesses face a shortage of time and staffing that often places marketing on the back burner.
An outsourced marketing team delivers many benefits.
Save Time: The most restrictive resource every business has is time. There’s never enough time in a day to handle all your business’s needs and still effectively market your services. With an outsourced team, you can focus on the best and highest use of your time as the business owner.
Reduce Costs: To make money, you have to spend, but how much you should spend is the real question. Marketing can become a costly endeavor depending on your industry and strategy, and the cost of hiring employees only adds to the monthly and annual expenditures. Outsourced teams typically cost half the amount of an in-house marketing team and can often produce better results.
Growth Management: Your marketing team needs to be able to drive and manage sustainable growth for your business. Outsourced marketing teams have more resources to dedicate to your marketing growth since in-house teams are limited to the resources provided.
Outside Perspective: It’s easy for business owners and in-house marketing teams to get stuck in a certain way of thinking and doing things. Working with an external team gives you a fresh perspective on your company, product offerings and branding. This will help create more robust marketing initiatives along with an ability to see aspects of your marketing that can be improved.
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What to Look for When Hiring a Marketing Agency
Anyone who begins looking for an outsourced marketing team will quickly become overwhelmed with the thousands of agencies available. Finding the right team for your business is challenging, but knowing what to look for will help you quickly narrow down the top choices. Here are some helpful indicators to look for when you’re ready to find the right outsourced marketing agency.
No. 1 – Reviews, Testimonials, and Case Studies
One of the quickest ways to determine how well an agency will fulfill expectations is through reviews, testimonials, and case studies. These types of feedback and proof will give you a good idea of what a prospective agency can do for your business.
There’s no better way to know if an agency will follow through on its word than by reading and hearing about the experiences of current and former clients. Understanding what an agency has done for businesses similar to yours will help narrow your search.
No. 2 – Staff Expertise
When looking for the right agency for your business, it’s important to understand who will be directly involved with working on your account. You want to know that the staff members who will be in charge of your company’s marketing campaigns have the experience, professionalism and skills to ensure that your business is taken care of effectively.
Many agencies make big promises but don’t actually have staff with the right expertise to follow through on those promises. Vetting an agency’s team will give you additional insight to determine if they are going to be the right fit for your business or not.
No. 3 – Specialties and Focus
Just as there are different types of marketing campaigns, there are also different types of marketing agencies that specialize in working with certain types of businesses or marketing campaigns. Do you need a pay-per-click campaign or a perhaps a content-heavy thought leadership campaign? An honest agency will be upfront about what’s in their wheelhouse and when they’ll make an introduction or bring in a strategic partner to ensure that the right minds are at the table.
No. 4 – Systems and Processes
There will always be more than one way to approach marketing for any business. Your prospective agency needs to have clearly defined systems and processes to execute a strategy that will get results. A scattershot approach is never effective. Agencies are responsible for attracting and helping retain customers through streamlined processes that allow the customer to move seamlessly through the buyer’s journey.
Thousands of different marketing-related cloud software solutions are currently available to help businesses streamline their processes. Researching the technologies an agency uses for managing their projects will help you better determine whether an agency’s processes will blend well with your own.
No. 5 – Communication and Availability
Marketing and business are non-stop, around-the-clock operations that can drastically shift directions at any given moment. How available will a prospective agency be for you when you need them most? Will they require you to schedule a meeting or will they provide a direct line of communication for you? Understanding the agency’s communication protocols and the accessibility of your marketing team is key to ensuring that you won’t be caught surprised in a critical moment.
No. 6 – Reports and Analyses
With the oversaturation of the marketplace with content and advertising of all kinds, basic or routine participation is not enough anymore. To see the fruits of your marketing labor pay off, you must consistently analyze your campaign performance to see what’s working, what’s not and make continuous improvements. Will your prospective agency show you monthly reports and analysis on their progress, or will you remain in the dark?
It’s imperative to know how well your marketing team’s efforts are performing, so you can see the direct return on your investment. A good agency is transparent about results and will show you that they’re serious about holding themselves accountable.
No. 7 – Access to Assets
When you start working with a digital marketing agency, it’s important to clarify which assets are already in place and which ones need to be built. Every activity generates data, graphics, content and more, and it’s important for you to maintain access to all your assets and channels. Access to historical data and insights can also help improve your business over time, no matter who you choose to work with. Be sure that provisions are made to give you access to all your social channels, website, graphics, content, data, analytics and so on.
No. 8 – Compatibility (Bonus!)
Do you enjoy conversations with a prospective agency team? Do you feel confident they’ll produce the results your business needs to grow? An important factor in choosing an agency is having a good rapport and to feel like you can effectively communicate with your marketing team. Outsourcing marketing will undoubtedly take an enormous responsibility off your shoulders, but it still requires collaboration and commitment from both parties to work.
Your Next Steps
Delegating your business’s marketing to an outsourced team will take a significant burden off your shoulders. You’ll enjoy the benefits of being able to save time and energy while experiencing growth from the results your marketing team will produce. Starting the search for an outsourced marketing team can be intimidating, but empowering yourself with relevant background information will make your choice easier.
We hope the tips above are helpful in improving your campaigns. Have more questions about partnering with an agency? Reach out to us directly.
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