Marketing, in one form or another, is a critical function of every business.
From your latest social media post to how you package your product, from the design of your exhibition stand to how you price the service you deliver – marketing is everywhere.
However, the decision to embrace active marketing and promotion is a little more nuanced. And, the choice to deliver it in-house or outsourced can have a big bearing on the demands and results.
So, let’s have a quick look at some of the considerations and options:
How important is marketing to your business?
This is an important question as it links directly to the amount of time, effort and resources you’ll need to expend on marketing.
For example, if your business has a steady flow of clients and limited ambitions to become any bigger, an active marketing campaign may not be needed.
However, if you want to grow or you’re subject to increasing competition, marketing is likely to be essential.
A common question is ‘how much should I spend on marketing?’ The answer depends on what you do, the level of competition and the speed you require results, so it’s often more concise to ask ‘are the results we need from marketing reasonable given the amount we are able to invest?’
If you’re expecting marketing to have a transformational impact on your business, it’s reasonable to say that the level of resource you apply should be suitable!
Minimising and controlling costs is an area which an outsourced marketing agency can help.
How much do you know about marketing?
If you’ve decided your business needs to invest in marketing, this next question helps you understand who is best to deliver it.
Successful marketing requires two things: skills and time.
Poorly delivered marketing is expensive as it is unlikely to provide the return you hope. It can even be harmful if it conveys the wrong message to your target audience.
Delivering your business’s marketing in-house not only depends on having the in-house abilities but also the capacity to deliver it. If any marketing you deliver is already an afterthought, adding to that burden without suitable resources is unlikely to deliver success.
If you’re a senior decision maker, managing your marketing can distract you and your colleagues from critical functions with your business.
You can of course entrust your marketing to a skilled in-house team, but they will again look to the senior team for direction and experience which might not be forthcoming.
What are the advantages with outsourcing your marketing?
Ok, so you’ve decided you need marketing and recruiting and managing an in-house marketing team is not the right solution.
What are the advantages of outsourcing your marketing?
Get access to a whole marketing team
Marketing planning, graphic design, brand design, content marketing, website design, user experience, SEO, PPC, public relations, social media, content marketing, advertising, events, brochures – the modern mix of marketing can be very broad!
Fortunately, a truly ‘full service’, ‘full stack’ or ‘full mix’ marketing agency will provide you with access to skills in all these areas.
But, arguably even more importantly, the right outsourced marketing agency should also provide you with the strategic knowledge and practical experience to know which marketing is best for your business!
Outsourcing to the right full mix marketing agency provides much greater ‘bang for your buck’ than directly employing a handful of marketing staff.
Hold them accountable
You pay the bill, so you pull the strings!
A good outsourced marketing agency will keep their promises and create positive results. Along the way, they will report back on progress and throw in new ideas.
If they don’t, you’ve the opportunity to demand change or cease the relationship.
Any good agency will be able to demonstrate the results they deliver. Often the biggest indication is the long relationships they’ve held with their clients and the case studies they’ve created.
Gain a different perspective
Ever wondered why the biggest and most successful businesses outsource so much of their marketing?
An outsourced marketing agency can provide a fresh perspective and be a critical friend.
Have you ever sat in a meeting where a colleague presents their latest efforts and the team congratulates them – despite feeling far from impressed? The ‘Emperors New Clothes’ is something which can dog many businesses. The boss loves the latest initiative, so others follow suit. It’s comforting in the short run but the cracks may soon show.
With an outsourced marketing agency, you get a third-party perspective. One which, if the agency has suitable varied experience of the business-to-business marketing world, is able to support your ideas, turn them into results and offer an alternative solution when their experience has shown them otherwise.
An outsourced marketing agency can be incredibly supportive and provide what’s asked to deliver the very best results.
However, they can also offer advice, spot new opportunities, find ways to overcome challenges and be the voice of the customer – or go and ask customers for you!
Even marketing agencies sometimes get too close to their own marketing and need another marketing professional to look upon it rationally…
Results, results, results!
Of course, the primary reason for using an external outsourced marketing agency is to realise the results you need.
Outsourced marketing agencies survive and thrive based on the quality of the results they deliver. If they help their clients to realise their objectives, exploit opportunities and increase their success, the relationship flourishes.
There are many factors which impact the success of marketing. Whatever the constraints, an effective outsourced marketing agency with a broad mix of skills and experience will give your business’s marketing the greatest chance of success.
Choosing the right outsourced marketing agency
Here’s our checklist.
Choose an agency which:
- Possesses the ability to deliver every aspect of your marketing needs now in future – the full mix, not just digital marketing or graphic design
- Has experience working with businesses like yours, in sectors like yours
- Is strategic, as well as skilled and creative, and can help you identify the marketing and communications which will reach your objectives
- Understands the differences between B2B and B2C marketing. Businesses act very differently to consumers when selecting products and services
- Is supportive, proactive, enthusiastic, keeps promises – but is also open and honest when it comes to helping you realise your businesses objectives.
At Full Mix Marketing, we’re East Anglia’s leading B2B marketing agency.
We’re a results-first marketing agency, delivering beautifully effective strategic, digital and creative marketing for businesses who mostly target other companies, professionals and organisations (B2B).
For some clients, we deliver all their marketing. For others, we help with specific areas. Whatever you need, you’ll be free to focus on success, knowing your marketing is in the hands of an experienced team who care as much about your business as you do.