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An Insider's Guide to Outsourced Marketing

By Emma Johnstone

Many companies outsource their marketing.  When executed successfully, it can be a fantastic way to secure ongoing strategic direction, support and additional resource.  It can also be more forgiving on the budget sheets than taking on a dedicated in-house resource whilst giving you access to a team of experts from different marketing disciplines.  So if you’re contemplating outsourcing, here’s an insiders guide to what you can  expect and some factors to consider.

1. You’ll need to put your cards on the table
For a marketing agency to be fully effective, they need to become an extension of your team…which means they’re going to need to get to know your brand inside and out. A good agency will come armed with the questions they need to ask to get the info they need to create that all important marketing strategy.  So be prepared to come ready to share – the good, the bad and the not so pretty.  The more we know, the better.

2. You’ll still need to talk about marketing
When you engage an agency, it’s not quite a case of set and forget on the marketing front.  Whilst it shouldn’t be long before an agency is fully immersed and running your marketing, regular client contact is important. An agency should be accountable, setting objectives and reporting frequently against them.  Regular meetings (whether that’s fortnightly, monthly or quarterly) are a great way for an agency to stay on top of what’s happening in your business and identify new opportunities for marketing activity.  An effective agency relationship should give you peace of mind that everything is under control whilst getting you genuinely excited about your marketing and looking forward to your next update with the team.

 3. You’ll need to set measurable goals
Think about why you’re engaging an agency.  What are your key business objectives?  What does success look like to you?  We can bring out the bells, whistles and performing monkeys but all activity needs to relate back to those objectives.  And as nice and fuzzy as they make you feel, if they don’t, then an agency shouldn’t be doing it. 

 4. You’ll need to do your homework
Finding an agency that is the right fit for your business is incredibly important.  Of course you need to check their credentials (what is their current and past client list? How long do they retain clients for? What campaigns have they done in a similar space? Are they happy to supply contact details of past and current clients for an informal chat?) … but over and above that, I’d argue that finding the right cultural fit is even more important.  You don’t want to feel awkward when your next meeting is conducted on hoverboards if that’s not your thing.  Much like any good relationship, ensure there’s a spark there. You’re going to be working closely and making important decisions together.  Do you like these people?  Can you see yourself working with them? If you wouldn’t employ them in your business, don’t employ them as your marketing agency.  Do you respect them? And do you trust them?  If so, hand over that red rose, this relationship is ready to go next level. 

Outsourcing marketing can be a cost-effective solution for businesses looking for marketing direction, strategy, support, resource and accountability.  Just ensure you know what you want to achieve when you start the conversation. 
For a no obligation chat about your marketing needs (hoverboards and batteries not included), contact PIER Marketing on hello@piermarketing.com.au / 03 5975 3742.