For entrepreneurs or businesses who are thinking of outsourcing their marketing for the first time, the task can seem intimidating.
If you google ‘outsource marketing company’, 1.5 million search results will come up. How do you know which company to go with? How do you know which one is the right fit for your company? Most importantly, how do you know if it will work? Here are 3 simple tips to help you with the process!
Define your marketing strategy
The worst mistake you can make is to go out and outsource your marketing without knowing exactly what you’re after. Businesses of all sizes have different marketing objectives and you need to define these clearly before you can seek support from an external company. If you’re an entrepreneur, you might simply be after getting your company logo done, building a website and making sure there’s traffic to the newly built website. If you’re building your first eCommerce website, you could be after analytics to understand visitors to your site and the products they are looking at. And if you’re a busy mother working from home selling crafts, you could simply be after someone who can help you put together regular newsletters and send series of emails to your fan base. Whatever your objectives are, make sure you are clear on what they are before you outsource the job. Cause if you don’t know what you want, how can they give you what you need?
Interview the company
Once you have your strategy, speak to at least 3 companies to get a feel for what each could provide. Ask for a sample of prior work and proof of success with other clients. Interview the company for what they can offer your business specifically. Some companies might only be good with digital – SEO, analytics, and user experience. While others are good at writing content or creative design. Understand how they work. How many employees do they have? The number of employees could indicate how quickly they can respond to your need. Do they only employ freelancers? How many clients do they have on-the-go? Also take your time telling them about your business, your product and the size of your audience so far. Share your challenges and what you’ve tried and failed. Give them a verbal brief and see if they understand what you’re after. Just like hiring someone to work for you, make sure the company is invested in your business and generously give their time to understand your need. That you’re not just one of their many clients.
Set metrics to measure success
Once you set your objectives, you can ask them to provide you with a Reverse Brief. A Reverse Brief is a document your supplier send you after they have taken the initial brief for a campaign or a project. The Reverse Brief should include their interpretation of the deliverables, scope, metrics, timeframes, and costs. By seeing their reverse brief, you can tell if they can deliver what you need or not. At this point, it’s very important that you determine how success will be measured. Be specific by using quantifier and setting how long it will take to achieve each of the goals. For example:
- Increase traffic to the website by 10% in 30 days.
- Increase open rate of EDM by 5% average.
- 1000 new leads generated in 60 days.
- 5000 new newsletter subscribers after edition #5.
You can’t know for certain if they will deliver their promise. But by setting specific metrics at the beginning, you can determine whether they have or have not delivered by the deadline and you can hold them accountable. Bonus tip: Remember to search for at least 3 quotes from different companies to get a comparison. Ask if there any additional hidden costs. Then choose the one that will get bang for your buck! Have you outsourced your marketing before? What was it like? Leave your tips below for others to learn!