Chapter 31: Establishing Business Development Marketing For Your Company
So far we’ve talked in detail about how to guide your team through the best thoughts, concepts, strategies and practices the 21st century has to offer. It’s a lot to take in, and a lot more to implement.
For some companies — usually those large enough to afford a dedicated department, and those run by people who find this stuff fascinating — the best bet is to do all the work in-house. For the rest of us, all of that thought leadership, customer generation, content writing, search and social optimization, community building, lead production and sales funnel creation represents a lot of hours people spent doing things they’re not specialists in.
If your team’s energy and expertise would be better spent doing other things, you should seriously consider hiring an inbound B2C or B2B marketing agency to do that part of the work for you. It’s a big decision, so let’s start this conversation with the tell-tale signs that it’s time for you to outsource this part of your company’s operations. If you answer “yes” to three or more of the following questions, it’s probably time to find help.
- Are sales stagnating? This is a top-level, canary-in-a-coal-mine indicator that your marketing isn’t working. Professionals can help you figure out why, and how to fix it.
- Is your marketing just not getting done? Whether it’s because nobody has the time or nobody wants to, you’re going to need to hire somebody to make it happen. An outsourced agency has advantages over in-house staff.
- Do you hate marketing tasks? Entrepreneurs and technicians are often terrible marketers. If you resemble this remark, go with the entrepreneur who loves this stuff.
- Does your team lack the specialized knowledge to succeed with modern marketing? You have three options here. Pay to train your team, hire somebody who knows in-house, or find a knowledgeable agency.
- Are your sales people complaining about low lead quality? This usually means the marketing is off-target or the nurturing is off-kilter. Time to find somebody who can tell you which, and what’s gone wrong.
- Do you have trouble making sense of your sales metrics? This is often a species of #4, above, or could mean your marketing people are specialized in one area but not the other. Time to contact somebody who knows the metrics side.
Did you answer “yes” to three or more of these questions? Do you recognize the symptoms of Digital Marketing Deficiency Disorder? Then you know what you need to do.
Which brings us to the question of how to do it.
We start by identifying a few pieces of information you will need to compare against the proposals from marketing agencies:
- What is your current marketing budget? Both your all-in figure including salaries and benefits, even supplies and office space currently going to the folks who do your marketing and the amount that directly goes to ad spend. You’ll use this to compare against what marketing companies are proposing.
- What marketing metrics are you currently measuring? By now you know what you should be measuring. Compare that to the list of what you’re actually measuring. Compile a third list showing what metrics you’re measuring and using to direct marketing strategy.
You’ll use this to inform the conversation you have with potential marketing agencies.
- What do you define as success using those metrics? For the metrics above, what performance would you like to see before slapping your marketers and high-five and breaking out the champagne?
You’ll compare this to the promised improvement on metrics potential marketing agencies offer.
- What is your marketing ROI? Self-explanatory to somebody at your level who’s read this far in this book. I’m frequently surprised, though, by how many high-end business owners and managers know what a marketing ROI is but don’t know what their marketing ROI is.
You’ll compare this to the track record of ROI marketing agencies show for companies with similar business models to your own.
With this information in hand, you can start really analyzing the offers and proposals from potential marketing partners so you can figure out if hiring is the right decision and who you should hire if it is.
One more big question waits at the top level before we dive into more detailed considerations in later chapters:
Are you hiring a marketer or an agency?
It’s a big decision with no 100% one-size, fit-all answer. Nuanced Media is a premier Phoenix marketing agency, and our experts are always willing to answer your questions about outsourcing your marketing efforts. Tune in next week and we’ll look in detail at the best questions to ask for your own business.