If your current marketing plan is to wing it, you’re definitely in the market for some outside help and should be looking for the signs you should outsource your marketing. You’re also not alone. Most business owners don’t truly grasp how difficult creating a successful marketing strategy truly is until they sit down to do it.
It’s easy to brainstorm some abstract marketing ideas, and you may have some truly good ones, but turning your plans into a concrete reality that adds to your bottom line is much more difficult. Getting stuck at the drawing board is an obvious cry for some backup, but there are three more subtle clues that you should consider outsourcing your marketing.
You’re Putting an I in Team
When you started your business, you wisely decided to do something that you’re great at. Of course, you weren’t good at everything, but you learned enough about human resources and payroll to get by. You had to wear many hats and you did, perhaps rocking it for some time as an army of one. When your business outgrew your knowledge, you hired yourself a guru and moved on.
Marketing doesn’t work that way. Long gone are the days when you simply threw together a mailing or film a 30-second television spot. Successful marketing today means making the proper use of social media and online marketing. You also need to understand search engine optimization and how it applies to your company blog and website.
Of course, you also need someone with the time and the writing skills to keep creating fresh content for these online platforms. The old marketing favorites still have merit, however, so you can’t focus so much on online efforts that you overlook trade shows, community events, radio advertising and other marketing classics.
Incorporating all of these different marketing tools into your advertising plan and getting them all right requires more time and skill than one person is likely to have. A truly diverse, hard-hitting marketing strategy requires the efforts of an entire marketing team like the one we’ve assembled at Outsource Marketing. You can, of course, hire your own dedicated marketing staff, and many business owners do. Eventually, however,most small business owners find their marketing needs outpacing what their staff and payroll budget can handle.
You’re Too Focused on Now Or Yesterday
As computers and technology shrink the world, business is moving faster than ever before. Both your industry and the marketing strategies you use to stand out in it move at light speed. It’s not enough to keep yourself current. You need to be looking toward the horizon at all times.
Focusing on the future ensures that you’re not missing out on any of the latest marketing techniques. It’s a safe bet that your competitors will hop onto new marketing vehicles quickly, and they could out-market you if you let yourself get left behind. Keeping your eyes on the road ahead also keeps your business legal. Online marketing and data-mining are powerful tools, but regulations can affect what you may do and how you may do it.
If you use telemarketing you should, for example, already be well-versed in things like the do not call list and know how to keep your business in compliance. If you do business in Europe, however, you should know exactly what General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance is. If this phrase doesn’t ring a bell, you’re already behind -and possibly in violation of the law.
This is another reason why outsourcing your marketing efforts makes sense. You know your own industry inside and out, but do you really have time to stay on top of the changes in your industry and in the marketing world? Honestly, motivation is also an important factor here. If marketing isn’t where your heart lies, do you really even want to follow the industry so closely? You should outsource your marketing for the same reason you outsource other aspects of your business: outsourcing tasks someone else does better leaves you time to focus on what you do best.
Speaking of time, outsourcing is a good idea if your marketing efforts focus on now, but it’s an even better idea if you’re focused on yesterday. A great marketing plan is a start, but its timely implementation is crucial. If you and your team are constantly missing deadlines and continually behind, it’s time for some marketing help. Big projects can cause extra stress and delays, but your marketing team shouldn’t feel overwhelmed all the time.
Is This Thing On?
One of the most common mistakes small businesses make is not monitoring or understanding important marketing metrics. If you’re not measuring the outcomes of your marketing efforts, there’s no way to know which strategies are working well for you and which ones aren’t worth your time and money.
Some small businesses do track their marketing metrics, but they fail to truly understand what those numbers are telling them. It’s great to know how many Facebook followers you have, but how are those followers impacting your bottom line? That answer is harder to come by.
To better understand how a professional marketing firm like Outsource Marketing can help with metric matters, think about your company’s financial reports. You can buy accounting software that tracks every penny you bring in and everyone that goes back out the door. These software programs will generate all kinds of reports, from basic profit and loss statements to more complicated calculations of debt to equity ratios and comparisons of your gross margin compared to your profit margin.
It’s good to know these numbers, but truly understanding them and what they’re telling you about the health of your business usually requires the help of an accountant. While any decent bookkeeper or software package can generate the numbers, your accountant can translate them into plain English and tell you what they mean.
The same concept holds true for marketing metrics. You can find all kinds of equations online that will tell you how to calculate your marketing metrics, but a professional marketing firm can serve as a translator, bridging the gap between raw data and helpful information.
Quite often, it’s humility that separates the good entrepreneurs from the great ones. It may sound cliche’, but knowing what you don’t know is often the best way to help yourself. Modern marketing is complex, dynamic and ever-changing. There’s no shame in admitting that creating a truly effective marketing plan is important but just not in your wheelhouse. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be. Give us a call to learn who we are and how you can use what we do well to promote what you do well.