How to choose an outsourced marketing partner
When it comes to your business, we can all agree that marketing plays a pivotal part in its success. But in some circumstances, a dedicated internal marketing resource is impractical. Or you may need to supplement your internal team with an additional skillset or additional resources.
That’s when you need to consider an outsourced marketing partner.
Working with an outsourced marketing partner is now common practice for businesses looking to free up time and space for internal resources. It’s also an effective and flexible way to implement new technologies with the right support and skillsets, without overspending, and to maximise revenue and brand awareness.
To recap, we’ve outlined here the top seven reasons our clients have found outsourcing marketing beneficial to them. But once you’ve made the decision to go down the outsourcing route, who you choose to put your marketing faith in can make or break you.
Like any relationship, it’s important that you think about what you need from your partnership first and make an informed decision about who you want to work with and why.
To help guide you, we’ve put together a summary of the key things to think about when it comes to choosing your outsourced marketing partner.
Does the marketing partner provide a full service?
Today’s marketing environment is a constantly moving feast of innovations in technology and the way consumers access information about businesses and services.
Honestly, if you don’t have a passion for the trends and digital advancements, you’ll feel like you’re at the back of the slow pack during a marathon. By the time you reach the finish line, chances are the line has moved again and you’ll need to muster all your strength to give it another shot.
A well-rounded marketing effort covers a lot of ground (did we mention it’s a marathon, not a sprint?). Consider for a moment the following marketing channels that we believe must be considered in any marketing strategy:
Now, did we mention automation, remarketing, chatbots, user experience, phygital, funnels, omnichannel marketing and guerrilla marketing? No, we didn’t make those words up.
If your business is like many others, and your internal marketing resources consists of a marketing manager only or business owner trying to wear multiple marketing hats, it can be challenging implementing all your ideas. And it’s a lot of different channels for them to have knowledge of and expertise in to implement.
A better approach is to give your staff the opportunity to focus on the tasks they specialise in and complement their output with an outsourced marketing partner. After all, the key to successful marketing is quality over quantity.
If your business has a limited marketing capability, you need to be sure any marketing partner you engage delivers all the tasks listed above. Engaging an expert in only one or two marketing niches means finding others to plug the gaps. That equals lost time and increased costs. And a lot of headaches when one of your partners doesn’t deliver in time for the other to commence.
Engaging a full-service, but still boutique, agency like The Marketing GP as your marketing partner will mean all your marketing elements will work in unison. We are a strategic marketing agency that will help you find, attract, convert, and keep the right people for your products and services through a marketing approach that is strategic, integrated and leveraged.
And we have specialists who work across different channels and know their craft, so you don’t have to!
Do they cover strategy and implementation?
If you do a Google search for ‘marketing strategy’ you’ll receive approximately 1,060,000,000 hits in 0.8 seconds. What that says is there are a huge amount of marketing strategy resources, plans, and opinions online.
But 21st Century marketing is not simply about coming up with a plan based on some strategic objectives. It’s no longer a case of paying a marketing guru a tonne of money to write a strategy and be done. A strategy means little if its creator isn’t invested in implementing it and delivering tangible outcomes.
An outsourced marketing partner must be committed to not just planning but seeing it through, including making any necessary adjustments along the way.
Otherwise, chances are the strategy you paid good money for will find it’s way to a forgotten section of your office bookshelf after serving as a nice coffee coaster for a few months.
Do they ‘get’ you and your business?
A prospective marketing partner will have done their homework. In your first meeting, they should demonstrate at least some level of understanding of who you are, what you do, and the sector you operate in. Any marketing agency that comes in blind should be shown the door.
Of course, getting a root and all picture of what you do and why will take time, but the key to building a relationship is the desire to get to know every aspect of your brand, company personality, and values. And if they have experience working with businesses like yours, that’s the cherry on top of a fruitful partnership for you both.
Similarly, there needs to be a cultural fit between both businesses. An outsourced marketing partner that has previously been engaged by a business or group that has conflicting values to yours could spell disaster. It’s best for both sides to be open and honest about any concerns from the start.
Can they back up their experience and credentials?
Your first effort in establishing the bona fides of a marketing partner is to check out their website.
Is the website functional and easy to navigate? Is there spelling, grammatical or formatting errors? Is it easy to understand the content? Does it display properly?
Similarly, their social media channels. If new content is few and far between, contains errors, or simply doesn’t give you any reason to engage with them, consider this another red flag.
Also, testimonials are important. If you can’t find any kind of review or legitimate information that confirms the business delivers on its claims, ask for references. Seek contact details for past or current clients and pick up the phone to speak with them about their experience. Any sign that the potential marketing partner is unwilling to provide public proof, it is time to walk away.
A few final considerations
When researching and speaking with potential outsourced marketing partners, look for evidence of innovation.
As already mentioned, marketing practices are constantly evolving as new technologies come into play. A marketing firm that embraces positive change will keep your business at the forefront of marketing trends and give you the competitive edge you need to outrun competitors.
Importantly, though, a marketing partner that is responsive to your business needs and can scale up or down based on your needs is vital. Such agility shows a true understanding of your business and a commitment to always putting the clients’ needs first.