If you’re outsourcing digital marketing tasks of any level to an agency or person outside of your company, there are many factors to consider.
As an outsourced partner of many brands big and small, we understand the dilemma you’re facing.
This is a big decision. Homework must be done and questions must be asked.
Here are the top three questions we think you should ask when it comes to outsourcing digital marketing.
Take Your Digital Marketing Temperature
First, some homework.
Earlier this year we wrote an ultimate guide for outsourcing your social media tasks, and the homework still applies.
There are some hard-hitting questions you need to ask.
- Which markets does your company operate in or want to operate in?
- Who are your target customers? What are their goals, motivations, needs?
- Which of your products or services meet those goals/motivations/needs?
- Have you identified your USP (unique selling proposition)?
- How do you differentiate; how do you connect that to what matters most to your customers?
- What is your pricing model and does that model create benefits or negatives for your business?
- Who are your competitors?
- Where do your target customers buy (and where do you promote your products/services)?
- What is working/not working with your current digital marketing strategy?
- Is there anything specific preventing you from executing/achieving your digital strategy?
As a result, you can move on to an assessment specific to outsourcing digital marketing.
Is Outsourcing Digital Marketing Right For Your Company?
First of all, there are many reasons companies decide to outsource digital marketing tasks.
A recent report from AdAge states …
“Digital, encompassing everything from creating a Facebook ad to digitally transforming how a marketer interacts with consumers, captured 51.3 percent of 2017 U.S. revenue for agencies of all disciplines, according to Ad Age Datacenter analysis. Digital’s share has nearly doubled since 2009.”
The short answer here is likely: yes.
With so many tasks now falling to the digital marketing department, it’s becoming harder and harder for internal teams to get it all done.
However, with all of these new directives, digital marketing teams aren’t hiring to cover the job expansion.
As Sprout Social’s 2018 Social Index shows, 69% are not hiring more staff.
If you are overworked and understaffed, it’s absolutely worth outsourcing your digital marketing tasks.
Other Signs For Outsourcing Digital Marketing Tasks
Question to ask: Will it cost me more or less to outsource digital marketing tasks?
The median annual Social Media Marketing and Communications Manager salary in the United States is $97,855, as of July 31, 2018, with a range usually between $82,460 – $118,92.
That’s one person. Add to that benefits, overhead, training time needed for special skills, etc. and you’re soaring into a quarter of a million bucks.
In contrast, when you outsource your digital marketing tasks, you’re likely
- Paying by the hour or project
- Not responsible for taxes, benefits, overhead, or special training
- Likely paying less than what it costs for one hire but getting an entire TEAM of people
Question to ask: Do our digital marketing tasks require special skills or tools?
It smart to think about the skills your current team has. Are they able to build SEO strategies, launch specialized advertising campaigns, and cultivate influencer relationships?
If they have the specialized skills, great. Now, what about the specialized tools needed?
Another area that Sprout’s 2018 Index uncovered was the lack of budget for software.
Does your team have the software it needs to complete digital marketing tasks? And if not, do you have the budget to support adding those tools?
Hence, if you answered “no” to any of the above two specialization questions, it may be time to consider outsourcing digital marketing tasks.
Will My Company Culture Support Outsourcing?
Another question we hear a lot surrounds working with several internal teams. Or, in some cases, working with other outsourced partners.
A professional agency should be very used to working with internal teams or other 3rd-party vendors.
For instance, we work with a large winery brand that has two internal marketing teams, plus uses an external company to help with their social media marketing.
We only run their advertising (social and SEM). But because social media and advertising go hand-in-hand, we not only work with this brand’s two internal teams, we often work closely with their social media vendor.
We call this a hybrid team since we work with several internal and external teams to get the job done.
Question to ask: Can we grow/scale our internal teams quickly, with specialized skills, and keep with up with our company culture goals?
A hybrid team approach can help keep costs low, turnover and delivery quick, and sanity intact!
Lastly, something your company should consider is not just what’s trending specifically, but with digital marketing as a whole.
The AOR, or “agency of record”, used to reign supreme. But even this trend is dying.
As axelerant puts it,
“Ultimately, companies found that the rise of digital services presented too many new specializations and channels for any one agency to handle effectively. Thus began the switch to a primarily project-based model.”
What many companies are doing now is embracing that hybrid team approach.
So, ask yourself:
- Is my internal team struggling to keep up?
- Is the AOR or one-stop-shop the best approach for us?
- Or, should we consider a hybrid team & agency model when it comes to outsourcing digital marketing tasks?
Only you can decide what’s best for your brand.
But, we’re definitely here to help! Schedule a free 30-minute consultation to discuss your biggest needs with me, the Owner of B Squared Media, and we’ll get you pointed in the right direction.
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