Companies small and large ask themselves if they should be outsourcing their Digital Marketing.
If you ask me, the quick and straightforward answer is, Yes you should.
Clients hire me to fix, train, and even run their digital and inbound marketing efforts. I am comfortable in explaining why I recommend outsourcing digital marketing efforts.
The Days when You just had a Webmaster
If you’re as in your mid thirties or older, you can remember when websites started popping up. It was fairly easy to attract attention to your website and even attract clients. There were a few business selling their services online.
People were captivated by the shiny new websites. Those websites were part of what they use to call the Information SuperHighway.
In those days all you needed was someone who understood a bit of HTML and could write a few sentences.
I fast forward from the 90’s to 2016 and I realize that it’s no longer cool to call someone who built a website a web master. In the 90’s having a webmaster was more than enough. You were way ahead of the game if you had a website and a webmaster.
As internet has evolved we can see that know the responsibilities of owning a website have grown. Making a website effective and part of the infrastructure of any business takes a team of people . Not just a webmaster.
If we look at social networks, blogging, video platforms, and all the other types of content. We see opportunities where a business can leverage growth. We start seeing that Digital Marketing is a mix of many disciplines. There are plenty of subjects to understand; it is challenging to master all of them.
Here are the reasons why I think you should outsource your digital marketing.
1. It's Cost Effective
It's Cost Effective and in simpler Words it’s Cheaper.
Many folks associate the word cheap with bad quality. Outsourcing your Digital Marketing to an experienced agency is one of the few occasions where cheaper is an exception. Using an agency can increase the success rate of any Digital Marketing Project.
Digital Marketing resources cost big money
Go ahead and take a look at the number. A company can outsource an entire marketing department. For less than the cost of one-qualified, in-house marketing professional.
Here are some examples of how much each resource of an in house Digital Marketing Team would cost:
- Experienced Marketing Manager, $120k+
- Web & Graphic Designer - $60k+
- Web Developer - $80k+
- Copywriter - $60K+
- Social Media Manager, $50K
You can also add some extras such as a Public Relations Professional and UI Expert. Every addition to the team will keep adding more to your payroll.
Can one person handle Digital Marketing?
As Digital Marketing continues to change it requires expertise in different areas and subjects. For that reason you might need subject matter experts that dominate the following:
- Content Strategy
- Website maintenance
- Social Media
- Email Marketing
- Landing Pages
- Sales Support
- Public Relations
- Web Design
- Web Development
Do you imagine an entire team? Yes, some experienced seasoned marketing veterans can tackle one or many of these disciplines. But I have not seen one entry level individual that will be able to tackle all. I would say not even half of these without sacrificing quality and a few deadlines.
An agency has the resources to tackle each one of those disciplines. While staying up to date on changes in behaviour and trends.
The Software Costs Plenty
In my transition from being an IT Security Professional to building a Digital Marketing Agency, I fought an uphill battle. The efforts we ran online had to either be built with in-house tools or manually run tasks. Over time we started finding the right partners and tools. We automated many manual tasks and invested our extra time in serving our customers.
We also found that most of the software required to do the job properly was expensive. As developers ourselves we tried to build to what was already there. We didn’t want to reinvent the wheel.
Our Solid Processes Require Premium Tools
Instead of building tools, we have done a better job in the past 5 years of identifying the right tools. We use the extra time to building the right processes to serve our clients and partners.
Our processes require a collection of different apps and software. We integrate these tools and apps and have them work in harmony to our benefit and that of our clients.
Software can run in the Thousands of Dollars a Month
But those tools, licenses, and apps can run you into the thousands a month. We are able to invest in more tools since we spread the load across many customers.
The cost savings is important. The biggest benefit is that each customer has trained professionals who understand the software.
If you add up the payroll and software costs this makes outsourcing the cheaper better option. You will increase significantly the probability of getting quality results by hiring an agency.
It’s the responsibility of any manager and business owner to compare the following:
- Quality of work
- Use of Resources
As in basic project management, you have to review the previous constraints. Understanding the constraints can determine if it’s cost effective to outsource your digital marketing.
2. Organized Teams & Proven Project Management Methods
Organization at Digital Marketing Companies allow their teams to handle multiple projects and:
- Make sure each task is done by a professional and a subject matter expert.
- Meet all the deadlines
- Quality Control Standards based on the highest of inter-industry standards.
Time is money
One of the biggest mistakes when I started my business was trying to do to much. I was shifting from working for SP100 and Big 4 organizations to all types of organizations. At those larger organizations I just had a few responsibilities.
I had the support of the full organization when it came to delivering results to our clients. Once on your own you are responsible for creating those support teams. For some strange reason I thought I could handle more than I could. I paid the price many times and I had some pretty interesting and harsh lessons.
Now I make sure that I have the right team and I use my time effectively to make more money. By having a support team I get to focus on what I think are priorities for the business and delegate the rest.
I invest resources in training my team to make sure they can become subject matter experts.
It takes time to train individuals in:
- The Latest Software
- Learning the necessary experience
- Successfully learning how to implement those strategies
So part of outsourcing your team to an agency is that they take care of training the experts.
So why waste time and have opportunities disappear taking those responsibilities.
Flying blind is the easiest way to throw away your money.
3. You'll Have a Competitive Digital Marketing Strategy
When I first start a relationship with a client I try to understand who their competitors are. Usually my client’s competitors have decided to do the opposite of what i'd recommend.
In my assessments, I usually find it easy to competitively position my client. Their competitors are not up to date on new trends and changing consumer behaviours. They lack the understanding of what it takes to succeed online.
Misunderstanding of SEO is the#1 Issue Hurting most Digital Marketing Efforts
A good example is understanding the many components of how SEO actually works. Outdated SEO Tactics are the number one issue I find hurting many websites.
Since the website is part of the business infrastructure, it also hurts the business. Let’s say that by optimizing SEO I can get a small business 100 more customers. If those customers spend at least $100/per month that can adds up to an extra $10k in revenue per month.
How much money are you leaving on the table because prospects can't find you? How long will it take you to learn how to fix the issue? How long will it take you to implement what you learned?
Once again an experienced professional will get you smoother and more effectively.
Agencies Use Reputable Sources
Over the years we have created solid relationships with industry experts. In our list of Strategic Partners we can include industry respected names such as Chris Brogan, Rob Hatch, and Jillian Vorce.
Those reputable sources keep up to date on the latest trends. We don’t go by what some random, inexperienced blogger has written. For agencies validating the experience and trust of the source is critical.
Agencies are also putting that advice into practice. Even when they experiment, it’s with a vast understanding of how the ecosystem works. How that eco-system interacts with what they are working on.
An Agency Combines the following:
- Big Data
- In-Depth Knowledge of the:
- Industry (Provided by Agency and Client)
- Company (Provided by the Company Management)
This results in targeting prospects with precision and acquiring better clients.
Learn from other’s Successes and Failures
An outsourced team has experience and is also constantly working on many campaigns. We work with budgets ranging from small to large. As an agency we don’t always hit a homerun, but when we miss, we are better equipped with an action plan to fix it.
Those misses have provided us the knowledge to learn from our failures. This increases the probability of success on future campaigns and projects.
4. Minimal Management and No HR Stress
Who is going to manage the resource? Does this go under the CIO of CMO? These are some questions we get often. Especially when an organization has the idea of building their own digital marketing team. In the past we've collaborated with organizations, trained and supported their internal teams. In most of these instances organizations learned that they we're better off outsourcing.
No Clear Team Structure In Most Organizations
The questions are not easy to answer on who should report to whom. Digital marketing covers so many disciplines that it create issues in the structure of an organization. It can also paralyze your internal resources from being able to make the right decisions. The right timing is critical to push along any digital marketing effort.
It’s not as easy to define where is digital marketing stand in an organization. Digital Marketing is a mix of marketing creativity and the science of computers. If you add a few more factors it can confuse the most forward thinking organizations.
Less Risk and Less To Worry About
A digital marketing agency requires some planning and coordination. A business owner or the marketing director needs only to contact one or two people at an agency. Bringing the accountability down to just two individuals, the project manager and account manager.
No On-Going Training Expense
Most digital marketing agencies that offer Inbound Marketing take Training very seriously.
They have to make sure that their staff can:
- Communicate Effectively
- Be Creative
- Show Results
Motivated to Deliver the Best and on Time
Your Digital Marketing Agency will be more motivated in delivering great results for you.
If you feel the relationship is not working for you can easily say goodbye. It’s easier emotionally and legally to end a vendor relationship than an internal employee.
It’s usually cheaper and less stressful also.
5. Established Processes
Agencies like mine invest heavily in improving their processes. Having been in the Military and for KPMG, I am a fan of processes.
My experience working with multiple international firms, brought me to create, audit, and review plenty of Business Process Improvements projects.
I gained know how in building processes that are practical, seamless, and secure.
You would be amazed if you went on our backend. We have documented thousands of our hours to make sure we can deliver the best results.
Time Saving Marketing Processes
We use our experience to save time and leverage the right tool. We want to bring results quickly and effectively.
While some internal teams are navigating and testing the waters. Most agencies already have proven and effective procedures in place.
How long does it take you to get the Information You need?
By the time you built it you probably took time away from critical business tasks.
Agencies also use and know how to apply marketing automation tools. This makes it easier to evaluate results and take action on those results quickly.
It’s simply easier, more reliable, and quicker to outsource your digital marketing to an experienced team.
6. Fully Equipped & Experienced Creative Team
To kick start your digital marketing plan you’ll need to start with a website design or redesign.
You will need:
- A developer to code and take care of the functionality of the website and apps
- A copywriter or two to develop content.
- Staff to:
- Distribute the content
- Optimize them for search engines
- Manage your content
- Create successful email campaigns and sent out regular newsletters.
An average team at an agency can include a mix of the following: (six team members instead of only one)
- Web & Graphic Designer
- Copywriter/Content Writer
- SEO expert
- Advertising Specialist
How practical is it to outsource your digital marketing?
7. Is your Reporting Sophisticated or Practical?
- Can you take action on the reports you and your organization creates?
- Does everyone in your company understand all the marketing Jargon?
- Can you take action on the statistics and data presented to you?
- Are you establishing too many KPIs?
- Are you not able to keep track of established Metrics?
- Can you use these metrics to steer your company in the right direction?
I have advised clients with someone in charge that clearly did not understand how complex the digital marketing ecosystem is. That lead to poor decision making. From throwing dollars away in efforts that were not bringing in the right results. It was even less probable to a Return on Investment (ROI) in those efforts.
In the past some of my clients bought into local business directories. These sales people use complex marketing terminology. They are good at convincing their prospects that they are in the right hands. With time I have taught clients what results they should demand from these vendors. These vendors misdirected the attention away from the goals by adding complex metrics.
The Right KPI’s can Help You bring in the Expected Results
When we create reports we try to focus on one or two things. I learned how to explain this from our Strategic Business Partner Chris Brogan.
In one meeting Chris Brogan asked one of our clients, once he gets in the car what does he pay attention too. The client was a bit confused but he quickly said how much Gasoline he has in the Tank. The client was right, we move through life focusing on what is clearly important.
If you’re driving a car you usually focus on a couple of things. The main two might be how fast you are driving and if we have enough fuel to get from point A to point B.
However, most modern cars overwhelm you with so many metrics which we no longer pay attention too.
How many times a day do you check your tire pressure, your motor oil, your mileage, or the list of many other metrics your car can give you? If you're a normal person, we do these things periodically and many might even forget to do that.
For that reason, when we create metrics and reports for our clients, we want them to focus on a few key goals. We want them to exclusively focus on what is driving the business. What few chances they can quickly put in place to make their organization stronger.
More focus, less worry.
8. Big Brands and Organizations Use outsourced Teams
If a big organization has a large budget, why do the outsource their online marketing efforts?
They do it for many of the same reasons we have written about above.
In my 16+ years working with technology with big and large organizations. It’s common to have the management of these organizations understand that they need help. They know how hard it is to equip and get the resources to deal with all the challenges of running these efforts.
Although the organization is still responsible. They rather assign a manager to oversee an Outsourced Digital Marketing Agency. It helps to keep every internal resource focused on the business goals. Instead of wasting precious time on what the latest trends are in SEO. Or having a manager trying to understand how to use snapchat for the business. They prefer to hire professionals and demand results from those experts.
9. Knowledge Transfer. Filling in your Knowledge Gap
A benefit of outsourcing digital marketing is to close gaps in your business. For every business it’s different.
You might have a solid sales team that does not understand how to use LinkedIn. Or a breakdown in communication between an awesome customer service team and the marketing department.
In our case, we usually come in to transfer the knowledge and experiences. We also look for ways to improve the communications to make your organization stronger.
An organization with the right tools, good communication, and right resources will succeed. It’s just a matter of how much time it will take.
I am sure many of you are capable of doing and learning any of these disciplines but do you clearly have the time.
The biggest reason to outsource your digital marketing team is to gain knowledge and become stronger.
If you don't have the time, contact us to talk about how we can help.
Think about the value in us transferring our knowledge to your management . We can also working with you in creating the right plans and strategy for your organization.