As an agency that has provided outsourced marketing services for 15 years, we’ve seen a variety of marketing team structures within organizations.
Sometimes a company has a small—maybe even one-person—team tasked with handling all the marketing.
Or one marketing coordinator manages the execution of programs that are driven by the business owner or a VP/Director of Sales and Marketing.
We also still see business owners attempting to market their firms themselves during those fleeting moments in time when they’re not selling, servicing, hiring, or managing finances.
When we talk to business owners or leaders who have hired a marketing director, we often hear frustration. They wonder why, if they have made this investment, their marketing still does not seem to be moving forward as fast as they’d like. “What is taking so long?” they ask.
The marketing directors, however, have their own frustrations. They don’t understand how their bosses can expect them to do it all – “Don’t they know I’m only one person?” Even with the support of some individual freelancers, they struggle to keep up.
Both parties have valid cases. When you invest in marketing, you should expect results. And when you are one person responsible for marketing an entire company, it really is impossible to do it all.
The skills required to market an organization have multiplied exponentially in recent years. It used to be that if you advertised to build awareness and then did a good job delivering your product or service, you’d be a marketing success.
Today, things just don’t work that way.
Marketing has changed dramatically in the past 20 years, and 76% of digital marketers in a recent study say it’s evolved more in the past two years than it has in the past 50 years.
Here are just some of the things that have transpired:
Marketing automation tools and analytics platforms have made it easier than ever for marketers to take data that was formerly understood only by the techies and to use it to see trends, make marketing recommendations and pivot their directions when needed.
Things are simply moving faster as businesses adopt these technologies at a rapid pace, and while the technology does a lot, you still need people to feed it and distill what it’s saying.
The growth of content marketing has led organizations to see the value of content to drive their brands and their businesses.
While in the past, content was driven by marketers exclusively, today the C-Suite is participating in the creation of content strategy and programs, and more content than ever is getting created.
The key to success amidst all the noise is having consistent, high-quality content. Producing, distributing, and promoting top-notch pieces takes time and talent.
Inbound marketing has moved purchasing power into the customer’s hands more than ever before.
Companies that learn to provide the right information at the right stage of the buyer’s journey will engage more prospects who are doing research and evaluating vendors in their space.
Doing this right requires a deep understanding of the buyer enablement mindset- including understanding buyer personas, clear strategies for the desired conversion paths, and excellent execution.
And while there is a lot of technology available to aid the process, you will still need brain power and people to implement it.
When asked about their top marketing priority in the coming year, 70% of companies that responded to HubSpot’s State of Inbound survey said “converting leads to customers.”
Marketing’s role has extended into the sales side of businesses as buyers respond to strategic lead nurturing that demonstrates an understanding of their needs, outlines competitive comparisons and offers social proof.
Companies that align marketing and sales are seeing greater success than those who maintain silos and simply pass leads to sales. Strategic alignment requires strong marketing talent to work with sales teams.
There has been an explosion in tactics that are available to marketing teams – paid search and social programs, mobile marketing, video marketing, and social media marketing, to name a few.
Simply keeping up with all of the tools can be exhausting.
And if you decide to go a certain route – like incorporating video into your marketing strategy, which you should, by the way! – you’ll need resources to create and execute your program.
The good news is you have options. It rarely will make financial sense for a small to mid-sized business to hire a full-time specialist in every marketing area.
Given that reality, every structure is likely to include an outsourced marketing component.
Here are some choices:
If you are feeling frustrated by the pace of your firm’s marketing efforts or feeling overwhelmed by all the marketing your team is managing, it may be time to rethink your structure.
Before Maureen Condon became one of the Principals of PMG in 2006, she was a writer and a business owner – which explains why she specializes in content marketing and strategy. Covering topics that will help businesses get real, measured results from marketing – success you can see in numbers – Maureen likes to back companies in their efforts to create a strategy, a compelling message, and programs that connect with prospects, clients and influencers in ways that drive sales. And she does so, with panache!
Tags: Outsourced Marketing