If, or when to outsource your marketing is probably on your mind these days. You’re probably used to having a large measure of control over your business, and that’s probably how you like it. Keeping business functions in-house puts you in the driver’s seat and ensures that everything gets done exactly the way you want it.
The ultimate goal is to grow your business, however, which means sooner or later, you’re going to need some help. Despite becoming the master of multi-tasking, you will reach a point where you simply can’t do it all.
When you get there, marketing may prove one of the smartest tasks to outsource. Hiring a good marketing consultant at the right time can work wonders for your business. How do you know when to outsource your marketing? Look for these six red flags.
You’re Always Behind
If you’ve designed a solid promotional strategy for your business but can never seem to put the plan into motion, it’s time to outsource marketing tasks. When devising your marketing strategy, you no doubt came up with a timeline for creating new blog posts, emailing customers about promotions and performing other important tasks. If you’re crossing those jobs off your to-do list promptly, kudos to you and your staff. If, however, your marketing staff is starting to look a little haggard and things are slipping through the cracks, it’s time for some help.
Not sure whether your marketing staff feels overwhelmed? Ask them. They can tell you how many hours of work they need to accomplish each week and how many they’re actually getting done. If your marketing plan demands 100 hours of work each week but you have only two full-time employees working on it 80 hours a week, it’s clear you’re in some trouble.
You’re Not Sure if Current Efforts are Working
Your marketing strategy isn’t an effective one unless you know whether and why it works. You can’t build on your successes if you don’t recognize them. It’s equally true that you can’t fix your mistakes without first acknowledging them. If you’re not drawing in new customers, you need to know why. If you are, it’s important to understand where they’re coming from so you can find even more.
A consultant can help you know which marketing statistics to track and how to understand what they’re telling you. Getting and interpreting this data can present a challenge, and many advertising venues have no reason to help you understand the statistics they give you. They only want you to see the results that make their service look good, so you keep buying ad space. Your success isn’t their ultimate goal.
You’re Budget is Tight
Hiring a marketing consultant when money is tight seems counterintuitive, but it can ultimately save you some cash. Hiring employees is far more costly and can easily run into six figures. Employees will likely want full-time, permanent work and not take kindly to layoffs when a marketing project wraps.
A consultant, however, will charge you only for the work they perform and doesn’t expect a full-time salary. He or she expects their work with you to be somewhat patchy and will happily jump in and out of the fray as needed.
Consultants are also far less costly than large advertising firms. True, many of these firms have excellent reputations and are incredibly good at what they do. Their services don’t come cheap, though, and only very large firms can afford to hire them. A few phone calls to some local ad firms will quickly prove this point. Not only are ad agencies expensive, but many are also quite large. So large that you may get lost in the shuffle where your vision for your brand and company get away from you.
You’re Too Focused on Tasks Than Ideas
The marketing process is a dynamic one that ought to change with some frequency. While there is certainly no harm in continuing to do what works, it’s important to stay nimble and ready to pounce on new opportunities. Perhaps an upcoming trade show could provide an opportunity for you to introduce yourself to a new market. Maybe a community event or volunteer drive could help make you more visible to potential clients.
Unfortunately, you can’t take advantage of tomorrow’s marketing opportunity if you’re still buried under yesterday’s tasks. The marketing jobs you perform should serve to execute your overall marketing strategy, not ultimately become it.
You’re in a Rut
If you can’t remember the last time your marketing materials changed or your website was updated, it’s time to contact a marketing consultant. Yes, your existing customers know your brand. They recognize it and trust it, so you may not need to reinvent yourself completely. Marketing trends and styles change over time, however, and you need to make sure you don’t find yourself outdated.
Is your website current and modern, or are you still using the one you built yourself with a now-outdated platform? Are your marketing materials up to date, or does your brochure show pictures of people sporting 1980’s hairdos and suit jackets with shoulder pads? If you’ve been using the same marketing materials and advertising in the same old places for the last few years, it’s time to outsource your marketing to someone who can pull you out of your rut.
You’re Not Getting the Results You Want
If any of the above statements hold true, or if you’re simply not getting what you want out of your advertising efforts, it’s time to outsource marketing.
Working closely with a consultant will help you devise a sound marketing plan while giving you access to professional graphic designers and writers. You’ll get help knowing what aspects of your plan are working and which parts need a tweak. Best of all, working with a consultant is an excellent way to retain control over your marketing efforts.
Although you may enlist the services of others along the way, your consultant will serve as your point person, making sure your wants and needs never get lost in the process. If you feel like marketing has become an uphill battle, call us today and let us take some of the work off your plate so you and your marketing team can breathe a little easier.