Despite the economy or world events, here’s why businesses that double down on marketing will come out ahead in the long run:
- People are still spending money, even if they’re spending less than before.
- The competition for business is stronger than ever!
- Your customers want to do business with people they trust.
While there are certainly areas where you may want to hold back on spending right now, marketing shouldn’t be one of them. One of the top reasons businesses fail is a lack of attention to marketing.
Many manufacturers and industrial companies look to a third-party marketing agency because:
- They don't have the internal resources to strategize, plan and execute marketing.
- Their website is outdated and difficult to use, and they don't know where to start to fix it.
- Their salespeople are frustrated because they don't have the digital tools and sales resources they need to prospect and nurture leads efficiently.
The right agency can cost-effectively provide strategy, implementation, marketing coaching and documented results.
How Can Outsourcing Marketing Help My Business?
Outsourcing to fulfill your marketing and sales needs is safer and less risky than bringing on a new employee. It’s much easier to outsource than to hire a completely new person, and it ensures you’re still reaching your potential customers.
Just about any form of marketing activity can be done by an outside agency, although some agencies may specialize in certain areas. Agencies can also help with new initiatives and ongoing campaigns related to:
- Customer retention
- Automated lead generation
- Brand awareness
When it comes to sales, an outside agency doesn’t replace a skilled salesperson at your company. Where they can step in is to help support the salesperson’s efforts, ensuring they work more efficiently and effectively, especially when their usual sales process has changed.
With an agency experienced in virtual sales techniques, you can teach your sales force how to do things like prospect online, nurture leads digitally and humanize their virtual connections. In essence, they’re learning how to work more efficiently in this world of modern sales.
How Much Does Outsourcing My Marketing Cost?
There’s no one magic number when it comes to the cost of outsourcing because it all depends on your goals and needs.
Sometimes your needs would be one-time fixes that must get done, like updating and maintaining an existing website. And sometimes they may be things like coaching to help your internal team handle tactics more efficiently on their own.
For example, what I’ve often seen in this situation are clients with an employee who doesn’t come from a marketing background and is now handling a lot of marketing activities. An outside marketing agency could help coach the employee in performing the new tasks and ensure her time, energy and efforts are being spent wisely.
Again, keep those goals in mind. If your goals are branding, that's one thing. And if your goals involve lead generation, that's a little more complex. More involved projects equal a higher price tag - but could also reap a bigger potential ROI.
I always use the analogy of building a house. If you need one new tactic or piece, it’s like adding a room to your house. And if you’re planning on starting a whole new project, like a website, it’s like demolishing the building and starting over. Envisioning it this way can make it easier to estimate how much a project will cost.
Paying for a sales and marketing agency’s help isn’t like buying a widget; consider it an investment that will help grow your business and produce ROI over time.
How Can I Find the Right Agency To Partner With?
As you search for a marketing agency to partner with, look for an agency with a broad range of digital marketing services, one who will take the time to understand your goals and who will work with you on a custom plan - not a cookie-cutter strategy.
Below are five questions I recommend asking as you evaluate sales and marketing agencies:
- Did they just try to sell me something, or did they really take the time to understand our needs?
- Do they understand our business and industry, and grasp the concept of what we do?
- Are they nimble and agile, able to change and flow with us as our needs change? Can they show me examples of similar clients who’ve had success?
- Are they transparent about costs and the work they’ll be performing? Do they make an effort to present a realistic cost that’s in line with our budget? Make sure you fully understand what their statement of work (SOW) includes. Ask for ROI calculations.
- Did we have a feeling of “connection” when we met? Can I tell they really cared about helping us? (Sometimes a gut feeling can tell you a lot.)
In the end, every agency is different. Take the time to really think about which one works best for you and how they’ll help your business succeed.
Next Steps: Finding an Agency
As the uncertainty in the economy continues, companies are still trying to figure out things like who to hire, what to do differently and how to do it. And it's going to continue to change dynamically.
As you begin to research marketing and sales agencies, it’s helpful to know where your current marketing program stands and how an agency can help fill in the gaps. Reach out to us for a free consultation where we can begin to uncover your gaps and opportunities.
This blog was originally published in 2021. It has been updated for content and relevance.