Great marketing is key to the success of any business. A well-planned marketing strategy can get you noticed, help you attract and retain customers, and generally take your business to the top of its game.
Marketing has always been a specialised skill – but as technology alters our communication channels, it’s becoming even more so. The marketplace is noisy and crowded, and getting a clear message through to potential customers requires expert manipulation of the growing range of marketing avenues.
If you’re running a small to medium enterprise (SME), you’re probably either managing your marketing yourself (possibly with poor to average results), or trying to find room on the payroll for dedicated marketing staff. But there’s a third option here – both cost-effective and results-driven – and that’s to outsource to a specialist marketing agency.
Outsourcing is rapidly gaining momentum with switched-on SME owners because it works brilliantly, it makes great economic sense, and enables you to focus on the core of your business – the stuff you’re good at – while a team of experts take care of telling the world all about it.
So if you’re running a SME, here are the top ten reasons why outsourcing could work for you:
1. You’ll save money
The most obvious advantage of outsourced marketing over hiring staff is that it’ll cost you far less money. Hiring and retaining staff can be expensive: after the initial recruitment outlays, a marketing manager’s salary will cost you between $80 and $150K a year, plus super. You also have to provide a computer, software licences, a desk, stationery, possibly a nice new iPhone and maybe even a company car.
Marketing outsourcing will reduce this large annual outgoing to a vastly smaller figure. You can budget it into your expenses and pay monthly or on a per-job basis. Far more manageable.
2. You’ll save time
Hiring new staff is an onerous process. Advertising, reading CVs, interviewing, checking references – it’s time-consuming. And worse, there are no guarantees that the person who ends up on your payroll will be as good in reality as they appeared on paper. By simply shifting the marketing responsibilities to an outside agency, you can continue working without interruption. Plus, the ongoing marketing operations will all be carried out externally.
3. Access to a broad, high-level skills set
Marketing covers an incredibly broad range of areas: from maintaining an SEO optimised website, blogs and social media, managing email campaigns, to producing brochures and steering PR campaigns and sales promotions. It requires creative and strategic thinking, an eye for detail and another for the big picture.
No matter how proficient your marketing staff is, there’s no way they’ll have expertise in all these areas. And if you can only afford a junior to mid-weight employee, you’ll be hiring an even more limited skills set.
By contrast, outsourcing to a specialist marketing firm buys you access to an entire team of experienced specialists, experts in all aspects of business marketing – SEO to web development to event planning and more. They’re established in their fields, with ready access to a network of industry contacts.
4. You only pay for the work that needs to be done
When you’re outsourcing your marketing to an external agency, you’ll only pay for the work they actually do. If all you need is a few press releases written, that’s all you’re going to pay for. You’re not paying them while they’re at lunch, on holidays or faffing about over coffee.
5. Outsourcing marketing can broaden the skills set of your existing team
If you have an in-house marketing team who are working well and simply need to extend their capabilities, outsourcing is a good solution. For a fraction of the cost of hiring a new employee, your marketing team will have access to a pool of experts, making up for the shortfall in their own skills set. Plus, external input can help give your team a fresh perspective on stale or ageing strategies.
6. Simplified administration
Rather than wading through the red tape associated with hiring staff, administration is reduced to signing off on an invoice.
All businesses exist in a state of flux and, let’s face it, circumstances can change. You may need to pull back on your marketing budget or sudden growth may require you to increase your online presence – these changes can be accommodated quickly and easily by a outsourced marketing agency. Or, if you feel your marketing company is underperforming, you’re free to simply take your business elsewhere. You’re not constrained by those pesky employment laws that force you to retain incompetent staff.
8. No down time on your projects
Staff are demanding creatures. They want holidays, sick days, long lunches, afternoons off and long weekends. If a key team member is away, your projects stall and deadlines blow out. If your marketing is being handled externally, there’s always someone at the end of the phone ready to turn the work around.
9. Enhances your professional image
This is particularly applicable to SMEs, who can generally only afford mid-weight marketing staff. You want a professional image, underpinned by expert branding and driven by targeted, polished marketing. Every time a potential customer sees your name or logo on a brochure, online, or your shopfront, they’re judging your business’s professionalism. Glossy marketing creates a glossy image – and an agency full of marketing specialists all working together on your message and your image will provide that.
10. You’re still in control
Business owners often worry that they’ll lose an element of control if they outsource such an important operational sector as marketing. Or that the outsourced marketing company won’t have the corporate knowledge required to promote their services correctly. The truth is that the marketing managers at marketing firms are incredibly proficient at asking you the right questions to get a comprehensive understanding of your business and marketing requirements. That’s what they do. Furthermore many of them have previously worked in-house in business such as yours so have a really good in-depth knowledge from the inside out of how business like yours work. Most importantly marketing is a collaborative process – they’ll steer your campaigns and provide expert guidance in partnership with you.
In a nutshell, outsourcing your marketing to a specialist agency gets you more bang for your buck: a superior skills set for a smaller outlay and less hassle than hiring staff. It makes perfect business sense. To find out how outsourcing your marketing could help your business, call Blaze Marketing on 02 8005 4000 or emaill firstname.lastname@example.org