Running a business is a tough gig! Managing the countless demands on your time and resources, while ensuring smooth operation day in and day out, is a mammoth task for any leader - But what happens when what you're trying to achieve is just out of reach? Do you invest into building your own team? Or do you outsource?
The reality is, there's no straight yes or no answer to the question of outsourcing. It all depends on the specifics of your business. The outsourcing model may very well be a perfect solution, if you're an affirmative for the majority of these 8 key considerations. In fact, an outsourced marketing team could be the absolute best decision for your business.
Get your pens out and start the tally! It's time to answer the crucial question: is outsourcing right for you?
Signs Your Business Should Start Outsourcing Its Marketing:
1. You Don't Have The Technical Know-How
If you’re a startup, small-medium business, or a company focused on growing your product or service within a relatively short period of time, bringing in an inbound marketing agency that has the know-how to strategise and execute across multiple channels could be key to your success.
“...it’s critical to do what you are good at; sticking with your core competency is an absolute must” - Erik Huberman
Truth is, there are only so many hours in a day. Giving 110% to your core business could be the best decision, rather than spreading yourself thin.
Here’s why outsourcing could be the key:
- Marketing agencies are good at what they do
- ...and can probably do it faster and to a higher standard should you add it to your own to-do list.
- Inbound marketing agencies are always looking for the best way to convert your visitors
- This is how you get awesome campaigns like inbound marketing with video or personalised email workflows - stuff you couldn’t achieve efficiently on your own because you would likely spend more time catching up rather than getting ahead
- It reduces your workload (or would-be-workload)
- Leaving you to focus solely on your own tasks and the daily functioning of your team
A very simplified way of making the decision can be done by asking yourself, “Do you plan on becoming experts in digital or inbound marketing?” No? Then maybe it’s time to initiate a conversation with a marketing agency.
2. Neither You Nor Your Staff Have time To Do Marketing Activities
So maybe you or a few key staff members have the skills required for creating marketing campaigns, but you just don't have the time to do it with your schedule.
Maybe you've already tried squeezing it in, but that's resulted in an overloaded and overworked staff. While you might think that getting your staff to get more and more work done is a step in the right direction, they're going to hit the wall with exhaustion at some point.
"Mental stress costs Australian businesses 10 billion dollars per year"
— Safework Australia
This is much more costly to your business than a couple of sick days. Physical and psychological stress has outstripped other forms of injury and illness, contributing to 50% of the total workplace bill.
No doubt, this is a path you want to avoid. It's important to remember that it's okay if you have the skills but not the time to include marketing tasks in your role. At the very least it will work to your advantage when you outsource marketing activities because you'll be the one that can ask all the right questions when working with an agency.
3. You're Working From Multiple Platforms That Aren't Integrated
One of the most brain-scattering problems business owners are faced with — what platform should you use?
There's Highrise for contact management, Salesforce for CRM, Xero for accounting, Buffer, Hootsuite and Sprout for social media management, Trello or Asana for project management, Google Analytics for traffic...I could keep listing them but I think you get the point.
Since the introduction of free cloud software and SAAS companies, we've never had so much choice — but it's a double-edged sword. It's great because we have access to some really amazing platforms that are usually free or cost very little for what we get in return. However, it's also a pain in the neck to try and be across everything that's going on within these platforms — whatsmore reporting the results at the end of a campaign or specific time period can become a hassle.
If this sounds like one of your daily drainers then you're certainly not alone. We've been there too. Obviously the solution is to move everything onto one comprehensive platform. For us, this all in one platform is Hubspot. The power of this platform is continuously growing and evolving not only here in Sydney but all over the world.
A good inbound marketing agency should be using this platform for both their marketing and sales needs. Be sure to ask when you first start talking with them.
4. You're Not Reporting On A Regular Basis
Data. It’s the essential of every campaign — and a lack of data driven marketing and regular analysis of results is a key sign that you’re not hitting the mark. It could be a result of constantly jumping in and out of platforms that things are slipping through the cracks.
Or perhaps you’re across everything but simply don't measure, evaluate and report because you're already working on the next thing. Regardless, both are bad for your business.
When you outsource marketing, your agency will include reporting as an essential part of their process. As well, you as the business owner will always reserve the right to hold the agency/team accountable for their work.
5. You Don't Actually Know Your Conversion Rates
Most businesses owners are actually pretty good with knowing how many of their online visitors convert into paying customers and from where most of these visitors come from; whether that be from high search rankings, Google Adword campaigns or social media referrals.
But if you're sitting there and thinking "Well I don't actually know my conversion rate at all" then perhaps it’s time to outsource your inbound marketing. Of course you can get across this yourself by implementing more thorough and regular reporting in order to find out those conversion rates.
If you don't get across it, it's more than likely that you'll be putting money towards a cause that might be bringing back return...or it might not.
6. You're On Social Media... But You Have No Idea Why
With a majority of businesses claiming and using a social media profile, you would be challenged to find a business that's not on social media — especially Facebook and Twitter.
But it's absolutely crucial that you understand why your business is on social media. You're reasoning cannot be "It's just for the sake of it". Some companies are doing amazing things for the customers via the socials such as HubSpot who use Twitter for customer service queries.
"64% of teams using social selling attained their quota, as compared to 49% of teams that hadn’t incorporated social media into their sales processes."— Aberdeen
By knowing exactly who their buyer persona is, they’ve been able to identify that they don't want to wait on a call for an undisclosed amount of time. Nor do they want to send an email which might not ever gain a response. Their customer want help and they want it immediately. By using their social channels, they have been able to create a service that is direct, instant and satisfactory to the needs of the customer.
7. Your Budget
If you’ve taken the time to learn inbound marketing and some of the key elements that you must implement in order to achieve success, you might be starting to think that you could structure your own inbound marketing team from the staff you have already.
However, if this is a path that you’re considering, you must be aware of the total time and budget that it will cost to bring the talent in-house. If your business is on track financially to be able to support the hiring of new full-time staff members then congratulations, that’s a huge win for you. But it’s only one half of the equation. The other half is about the time it takes to attract top talent and training them in their role at your company.
Ilya Pozin sums it up perfectly:
“It is not only expensive to attract top-tier talent, but also nearly impossible to lure amazing hires to your business in competitive markets where opportunities are plentiful. If you are a newer brand that hasn’t yet distinguished itself from other players in the market — or even an established brand exploring a new space — bringing on the top-notch talent you need can be time-consuming, expensive, and impractical.”
8. You're A Franchised Business With A HQ Located Elsewhere
At You&Co, we’ve had some businesses approach us that want to start doing inbound marketing but they’re part of a larger organisation with their headquarters located either elsewhere in Australia or internationally.
This generally means they do not have the permissions to introduce things like content offers, new landing pages, and email workflows. However, by using full-service marketing and sales platforms like Hubspot, this actually isn’t a limitation — if anything, it’s an encouragement. It’s actually possible to partially set up your website so that only blog pages, landing and thank you pages are within the Hubspot COS - perfect for scoring local leads for your local headquarters.
Ready to tackle this?
If you’re an ambitious business brain with nowhere enough time on your hands, then outsourcing may be your go to help make your website and your marketing work for you. We’ve compiled a straight talking marketing ebook to get you started on even smarter marketing. Keen to talk more about business and marketing? Drop us a line — we love to chat!