What is outsourced marketing?
Outsourced marketing lightens the load for company owners and busy managers who are already wearing too many hats within their organizations.
Best practices across different marketing channels (social media, display ads, emails, etc.) are changing every day. Rather than divert time/money trying to learn the necessary tools and strategies, many companies are outsourcing the task. One survey of chief marketing officers found that outsourced marketing trends more than doubled in 2011.1 Is your company missing out on a good thing? Check out 7 Signs You're Ready to Outsource Your Marketing to find out!
What’s the advantage of outsourced marketing?
Outsourced marketing is a particularly good investment for organizations that don’t employ a large, in-house marketing team. You might have a few people (or zero people) dedicated to your website, your email list, your newsletter, your social media strategy—i.e. all those big items you keep avoiding. Understandably, you don’t want the overhead that comes with hiring a fulltime web developer, designer, copywriter, SEO or PPC consultant, etc.
Marketing agencies like PMG have all those experts on staff. You only pay for what you need, when you need it. And since you don’t need major redesigns every month, you can save a lot of money—without skimping on quality. Here are four more advantages to outsourced marketing.
How is outsourced marketing different from working with an ad agency?
Because so many people use the terms “marketing” and “advertising” interchangeably, you might think outsourced marketing isn’t anything new. After all, ad agencies have been around since the 1800’s.
But outsourced marketing is different in some very key ways—and most of them benefit small or mid-sized businesses like yours.
First, marketing is more than simply promoting your business. When you enlist the help of a good marketing agency, you aren’t just looking for jingles and taglines. Marketing agencies can research your target demographics, understand their online habits, and better align your company’s online presence with those habits. Marketing agencies can help you educate and “nurture” prospective clients—a strategy that modern consumers prefer over hard-sell tactics and tired rhetoric. Outsourced marketing lets you meet and engage prospects at many different stages of their buy cycle.
Another difference: marketing agencies are generally better hand-holders than ad agencies. At PMG, for example, we don’t drop the work on your doorstep—leaving you to figure out where it goes and how to get it there. The implementation side of what we do is just as important as the researching, writing, and designing. Even beyond implementation, we’ll help you test and measure the results of a marketing campaign, so you have a clear idea what’s working—and what you’re paying for.
What kinds of projects represent outsourced marketing?
There’s no limit to the kinds of projects and campaigns a marketing agency can produce. You can commission an agency to rebuild your website, plan and execute your social media strategy, design your print and digital ads, draft press releases and white papers, coordinate your tradeshow materials, ghostwrite all your blogs and newsletters, etc. You can contract projects and services à la carte, or as part of a comprehensive package.
Outsourced marketing is usually structured around an ongoing partnership. At PMG, you talk; we listen. We submit work; you either love it, or send it back with questions/revisions. You see improved web traffic, better-qualified leads, higher sales; we do cartwheels. Everybody wins.
What does outsourced marketing cost?
This is a tough question—like asking, “what does red wine cost?” “What does dinner for 200 wedding guests cost?” From these examples you might glean that a.) there are varying levels of quality that impact outsourced marketing costs, and b.) there are often package structures available, which can reduce the cost of plural marketing service vs. paying for pieces on an à la carte basis. Let’s look at both variables.
In 2013, just about everyone has a blog and a social media account. This doesn’t make them qualified to manage yours. You can find freelancers on job board sites that will do your blogging and tweeting for peanuts. You can also find boutique marketing/PR firms that will manage your accounts for upwards of $10K per month. Most small and mid-sized companies are looking for a middle-ground solution, which is what PMG offers.
Even though bottom-line cost is your chief concern, you shouldn’t expect any price tags before you’ve sat down and discussed your situation with a marketing team. Not every business needs an aggressive Facebook presence, for example. You may need more or less support to achieve the results you want. Outsourced marketers will often work with you to create a plan and a pricing structure that makes sense.
Hopefully that gives you some background, and maybe sparks some additional questions. For a more in-depth look at outsourced marketing, check out our comprehensive resource – The Essential Outsourced Marketing Handbook: Growing Your Business with an Agency Partner.