Outsourcing for effective marketing

Today’s marketing environment is constantly evolving. And for many businesses, particularly smaller businesses, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to devote the […]

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Today’s marketing environment is constantly evolving. And for many businesses, particularly smaller businesses, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to devote the resources and time needed to maintain a consistent, strategic approach to marketing and customer communications.

Relieving marketing pressure and allowing a business to focus on its core competencies are the obvious benefits of bringing in specialists. If successful, the cost of outsourcing is offset by the increased value from a more concentrated marketing effort, plus increased productivity within the business due to resources being freed up for other operations. Long term, this can have a significant impact on the business’s growth.

The Melbourne Brick Company, an Australian-owned supplier of bricks, pavers and retaining walls, made the decision to outsource its marketing several years ago. Prior to that, the company’s in-house marketing was reactionary and lacked a strong, consistent customer outreach, according to Managing Director Matt Curtain.

“We decided we needed a group of people dedicated to our marketing program and systems, not just ad hoc reactions to the market or business at the time,” he says.

According to Curtain, the decision to outsource reaped numerous rewards.

“We now have a dedicated marketing team working on the plan at all times and constantly generating schedules three to 12 months in advance,” he says. “We have been able to grow our customers, increase business with existing customers and increase revenue.”

While many businesses can see the benefits of outsourcing, one of the biggest hurdles is knowing where to begin with the procurement process. Hunter Leonard, Managing Director of BlueFrog Marketing, outlines the top 10 tips to help in the agency selection process.

  • Understand the difference between advertisers and marketers, as the two skill sets are very different – look for the business principals to be proven strategic marketers, preferably accredited Certified Practising Marketers (CPMs).
  • Look at the results the agency has achieved recently.
  • Speak with some of the agency’s other clients.
  • Be realistic in your expectations in the agency pitch – for example don’t expect a marketing plan as their pitch.
  • Ensure there’s a cultural alignment between the agency and your business.
  • Meet the people who’ll manage your account and be confident in their ability to be able to plan, implement and measure a marketing program.
  • Once you’ve outsourced, provide the agency with your strategic business plan so they understand your overall objectives.
  • Communicate regularly with the account manager at the agency.
  • Trust the consultancy to do the work – don’t second-guess the methods but retain oversight and be sure agreed deliverables are met.
  • Evaluate the consultancy on the results they achieve in their area of influence – not on things in your business that they can’t control. Be objective, not subjective, in assessing their performance.

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