Whether you call it digital marketing, internet marketing or online marketing, you know that even small businesses need to keep up with the times and old school marketing tactics are quickly giving way to digital. There are a lot of reasons to outsource digital strategy as it is becoming increasingly less effective to reach your target audience unless you reaching them online. Your customers are online and on their mobile devices so you need to find them there and you need to nurture your audiences there too.
Digital marketing channels offer companies new ways to find customers and these tactics also allow you gain deep insights about your customers and deliver your messaging in ways that businesses never could before. Companies that haven’t adapted are falling behind their competition and need to take action quickly or get crushed.
Reasons to Outsource Digital Strategy
If you own, manage, or do some marketing for a small to medium sized business one or more of the items below probably applies to you.
Reason #1: Your Company Lacks of Internal Expertise
It is rare that a small business employs capable marketing staff. There are just too many other things that need to be done to run the business effectively. So marketing often falls in the lap of entry level employees who wear many hats and simply don’t have the expertise to run successful digital campaigns. Basic competency with the various digital marketing channels can take years to obtain and when this responsibility is thrust onto someone with several other responsibilities your campaigns are likely to be mismanaged and ineffective.
Reason #2: Lack of Time or Bandwidth
Small to medium sized businesses tend to be resource challenged in many areas but especially in marketing. Even when you have internal staff to handle some of the marketing these people are often forced to wear many hats and simply don’t have the experience and/or expertise to effectively manage the complex and ever changing marketing landscape. Even when companies that have an employee with a high level expertise in one tactic, that knowledge doesn’t always translate when you want to test new channels.
Reason #3: Inability to Scale Campaigns
So you’ve dipped your toes in the digital marketing pool and had some positive results. Maybe you’ve done some paid search or advertised on Facebook. You also know that your current staff is not experienced enough to take things to the next level. Or you may have realized that taking that next step will require additional investment in tools, technology, and time. Hiring a consultant or agency allows companies to be more agile and proactive while not taking valuable time and resources away from running the core business.
Reason #4: Cannot Accurately Measure
Analytics give companies the ability to accurately measure the effectiveness of your marketing channels. The data that is available to marketers is expanding which sometimes makes accuracy difficult to attain. Implementation of an accurate measurement & analytics framework is a critical element for companies to make data driven decisions about expanding high performing channels or eliminating ineffective ones. More complicating is the fact that most small to medium sized businesses often don’t have a firm grasp of attribution models which makes the impact of multi-channel campaigns difficult to assess. Hiring an outsourced strategist to become an extension of your internal team can help you bring clarity to the data and make better decisions about future strategy.
Reason #6: Your Competition is Way Ahead of You
Business is war and you’ve been outflanked. Your competitors are cutting into your business and taking market share. If you have internal staff handling your marketing the quickest way to catch up is to add more troops and artillery. This can be extremely expensive and take up a lot of valuable time that you really need to run your business. Bringing in outside help is a great way to jump start your online marketing efforts and eliminate the learning curve that new staff requires to make things happen.
Reason #7: You Want To Leverage an Outside Expertise
Your company is having some success but you believe you can do even better. Maybe you even have a strong internal marketing team. This is when you may want to strongly consider hiring in an outside consultant to bring an external perspective. Outsourced experts can often identify the channels that your competitors are using effectively and outmaneuver them or they may even identify new channels that your competition hasn’t entered into yet.
Reason #8: Results Are Below Expectations
The majority of companies that hire an outsourced digital marketing consultant or agency have already tried one or more digital marketing tactics. Most have also had their fair share of successes and failures too. Ultimately marketing ROI is the driving factors that most companies use to determine whether or not to continue in any channel. Working with an outside consultant can often bring new life to stagnant campaigns and improved results.
What are some of your biggest marketing challenges and how do you deal with them?