Many small businesses leave a lot of their market intelligence strategy and implementation to outsourced marketing providers.
Outsourcing skills that you don’t have available within your business makes sense, particularly as you can access a broad range of skills that your small business doesn’t need on a full-time basis. However, not all outsourcing is a good idea. Here are 5 reasons why you need to revisit how you access marketing expertise:
One of the biggest problems with outsourcing marketing is that the nuances of a particular activity or campaign – what worked, what didn’t, split-testing different aspects – usually remain with the outsourcing agency or contractor.
This is often valuable information that can be used to tweak future campaigns, explore new opportunities and products and modify existing products.
Even if the outsourced agency provides reports on what they’ve done and the results they’ve achieved, these tend to be numbers based rather than containing detailed qualitative information.
One of the reasons for this is that many small business owners don’t know what information to ask for or how to make sense of the information they do receive.
An agency or a contractor will tend to guard the exact details of what they do. This is usually because they believe that if they provide detailed information on exactly what they’re doing and how they’re doing it then they will be giving away their intellectual property.
There’s always the risk too that you may just decide to do it yourself or shop the information around to another agency that is prepared to do it for a lower price.
Perhaps if they tell you too much it will become evident that the marketing they are doing for you is just ticking over and mostly running on autopilot.
Your customers or prospective customers could be giving you feedback via your marketing activities that would be meaningful to you if you knew about it. But the 3rd party you’re outsourcing to doesn’t know your business like you do. To them, the comments seem unremarkable and not worth mentioning.
If valuable marketing intelligence is being ignored then you’re not only giving away your power to react but also foregoing your ability to adapt to changing customer demands and market conditions. It can also hamper new product development and ultimately the future growth of your business.
I’ve worked with many businesses that outsourced marketing and when they switch agencies or the contractor working for them leaves, they typically have very little knowledge of how marketing works. Often this includes basics like being able to login to the backend of their website.
You might be happy with the results you’re getting from an outsourced provider and don’t feel like you need to know all the details. Afterall, if you were comfortable with the ins and outs of marketing you wouldn’t need to use them.
However, this approach is not a sustainable way to insulate your business from changes. So, where do you start? How do you tackle the confusion of modern marketing?
The first step is becoming better educated about the basics of marketing so that you can make knowledgeable decisions around what you need.
Create a plan to bring your main marketing activities into your business and begin implementing.
Get help to manage this process and ensure you have the marketing strategy, training, and support you need to make the arrangement a success.
By following the 3 step action plan above you can ensure you’ll be able to improve your business in ways that are meaningful to your customers and make your marketing more unique and dependable.
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