Today, many companies outsource some or all of their marketing efforts. This is based on the ever-changing competitive landscape, the economy in general, internal employee turnover, and sometimes a combination of all three. I am often approached by businesses who want to save money by outsourcing specialties such as graphic design, media planning and buying, and public relations – rather than as a means to upgrade their brands and move their business forward. These businesses may save money in the process, but it should not be the primary motivating factor in seeking an outside partner.
Keeping things in-house has its benefits, such as:
- Strong control over all products and assets
- The ability to integrate marketing into all company disciplines easily
But it also has its challenges, including:
- Acquiring and retaining top talent is expensive
- Turnover can create gaps in marketing output, leadership and product quality
- Office space, equipment costs and other support services are needed to maintain the department
If you are thinking about outsourcing some/all of your company’s marketing tasks, here are a few of the do’s and don’ts I’ve learned over more than 30 years in the business:
- DO: Consistently look for business partners that complement your business and provide services that you need now and might need in the future.
- DO: Make sure your partners have the ability and commitment to grow with you and have a track record of building long-term business relationships
- DO: Make sure your internal staff know their roles and profess the same level of partnership that you are asking of your outside marketing partners.
- DO: Incentivize both internal and external partners for exceeding established business goals and objectives.
- DON’T: Look for partners solely based on price, references from your mother-in-law, or big, fancy names and offices.
- DON’T: Hire someone just because they have expertise in your category of business. Marketing is a skill that is applicable to all b2b or b2c applications, not just specific to your business category.
- DON’T: Be afraid to be demanding, direct and establish high goals and expectations. Great marketing partners revel under pressure.
- DON’T: Sign long term contracts until a reasonable amount of “romance time” passes.
An agency the size of King Media, with the talent and expertise we possess, is built to be a long-term marketing partner. Our portfolio of services has grown over more than 16 years as our clients’ needs have grown. When the time comes for your business to outsource your marketing initiatives and bring in a strategic partner, give King Media a call. We’d love to show you what we can do.