Every now and then, we all need a little help. When running a business or marketing department, it can be hardwired into your brain that you need to do everything yourself. Handling a company’s marketing strategy is a complex task that requires creativity, collaboration and consistency—which can be hard to come by when you’re juggling other responsibilities as well. Thus enters your saving grace: outsourcing your marketing to an agency partner.
While partnering with a marketing agency can be a huge relief, it’s also a big decision with financial, productivity and employee morale considerations. The ten signs below could indicate that your business could benefit from outsourcing some of its marketing efforts.
1. You aren’t doing any marketing
If you choose not to send a targeted message about your brand, other people will attach their own associations with it—which may not be positive. No marketing doesn’t mean your business automatically gets a neutral image, it merely eliminates the protections against a negative image. At minimum, every business needs basic branding, a functional website and a clear message. An agency partner can help you play up your business’s differentiators and tell your story in a way that makes an impact.
2. Your marketing staff is in over their heads
This is a common scenario. Many companies have tiny marketing departments that are responsible for developing, executing and monitoring large-scale outreach programs. Or, marketing falls onto the shoulders someone without specialized knowledge, like the business owner or IT department.
Enlisting a marketing partner doesn’t mean the agency will replace your current employees. Rather, they’ll act as an extension of your marketing department to help your internal team reach their goals. Outsourcing certain projects eases the burden on small teams and is more cost-effective than hiring more full-time employees.
3. Your marketing choices are random
Throwing money at random marketing programs without tracking the results is like playing roulette with your cash flow. Each marketing decision should be well calculated and in line with the business’s sales goals or long-term growth strategy. Without putting in the proper time and thought, campaigns can turn out to be a waste of money and may even cause a crisis.
To get the most out of your marketing budget, consider outsourcing the work to ensure there is an overarching strategy backed by research, executed flawlessly and carefully measured.
4. You haven’t refined your branding or optimized your website in years
Your brand—and particularly your website—should be a constant work in progress. Both should regularly evolve to be more customer-centric, more attractive, more interesting and above all, accurate. Neglecting updates for too long could cause you to wake up one day and realize you’re losing business because your brand or website looks like it belongs in the ‘90s and contains outdated information. Beyond brand aesthetics and user-friendliness, your website’s SEO could suffer if you don’t make necessary updates to accommodate Google’s constantly changing algorithms.
Part of the value of an agency partner is that they’re educated on new trends and critical changes in the marketing landscape. They can reflect the need for change to you and push your business to improve. Oftentimes, the objective opinion of a partner is needed to even notice a need for change.
5. You don’t have skilled writers on you team
Writing is a basic aspect of creating any kind of marketing content. Whether your team is creating website copy, email campaigns, brochures or blog posts, you need competent writers at the heart of the operation. Otherwise, your message is bound to fall flat and merely getting the copy to the point where it’s presentable could be a time-consuming effort. At minimum, invest in an external editor to check for mistakes in the copy.
6. Lack of business growth, or rapid business growth
If your current marketing tactics aren’t generating results that add value to your business, it’s time to bring in experts. Marketing agencies have a broad range of experience, staff several specialized employees and have unique resources that aren’t readily available to most businesses. Put simply, they can achieve better results faster. In addition, most agencies will track your ROI using your specified success metrics, such as website traffic, sales lead quality, social media impressions, or lead conversion rate. Therefore, the results will speak for themselves and if you’re unsatisfied, you can choose not to do business together anymore.
Conversely, if your business is experiencing rapid growth, your focus is likely shifting toward accommodating demand and managing your strategy for continued growth. Despite its importance for attracting and retaining customers to uphold business growth, marketing can become a low priority. To continue the momentum without disrupting operations, marketing can easily be outsourced so it’s one less thing to manage.
7. Your business or industry is changing
When transitioning the focus of your business or weathering a major change, strategic marketing is your life raft for staying afloat amid the wave of chaos. Marketing secures your relationship with existing customers and can garner attention from new prospects when your products, services, procedures or location is changing.
For example, if you’re a traditional book publisher switching to the world of e-books, the way you promote publications will fundamentally change to accommodate the new audience and buying cycle. Or, if you work at a bank and are adapting to the demand for mobile money management, you need to approach your marketing differently so it communicates what banking options will be available. Navigating this can be tricky, and an agency partner can make the transition smoother.
8. Your marketing efforts aren’t geared for the future
To keep a competitive edge as marketing technologies expand, your business must adapt quickly by implementing modern solutions like marketing automation, video production and content marketing. Also, if your data collection processes aren’t GDPR compliant, your business could face significant penalties of up to €20 million or 4% of its global annual revenue – whichever is greater. Haven’t heard of these new technologies or done any preparation for the GDPR? You’d best reach out to an external marketing partner to get caught up.
9. Your business is experiencing a crisis
When a crisis hits, how you respond in the first 15 minutes can either make or break your organization. This communication and every day after is pivotal to whether your reputation will bounce back stronger than ever or be irreparably tarnished. Having a communication partner guide you through crisis communications minimizes the impact of the crisis.
Reconstructing your marketing strategy after a crisis is also necessary to avoid doing further damage and reinstate confidence in your business. A marketing partner will provide valuable insights for developing your key messages post-crisis.
10. You want to take your business to the next level
You can’t expect new, qualified leads and a positive brand image to spring from going about business as usual. You need to make a major change to see major results. A marketing agency can inject the creativity needed for your business to disrupt the status quo and create an impact.