10 Golden Rules of Outsourcing Digital Marketing – Mike Gingerich

Business owners and entrepreneurs use a lot of resources to improve their digital marketing. Outsourcing digital tasks can prevent you from going into a financial black hole and is a viable option for a company of any size. Growing and promoting your business takes time, so doing it right the first time is the way to go.

1. Experience

Without experience, outsourcing digital marketing is no different than your own marketing department. There is no point in paying a third party to do something that you can do all on your own. An experienced marketing company will have differences in how they approach a project. Read the contract over, and make a note of the services they offer. Pay attention to the verbiage when they talk to you about the same services. When they actually get to work, you’ll see how they provide twice as much work than what was originally offered. Experience is a big deal, and you should always be on the lookout for it.

2. Competition

Exclusivity is unrealistic for a lot of third-party companies. But there is an expectation that they don’t simultaneously serve your competitors. This is a big deal that may dive deep into your own conflict of interest policies. There is nothing wrong with being blunt and asking if a digital marketing company is serving your competitors. If you don’t like their answer, then move on to the next on the list. But if they stonewall you with an answer, run for the hills. Transparency should never be in question when bringing on a company that will affect your business.

3. Meeting Goals

When outsourcing digital marketing, your goal is usually more exposure. But marketing touches on much more than that, and there is no guarantee that exposure will equal success. Take a long look at your own personal expectations and compare it to the reality of your current business endeavors. Does it match up, and will marketing be the key to bring it all together? Instead of defining your company’s success by exposure, look into the power of marketing as a way to explain your message. A clear vision is healthy, and keeps your business choices on the right path.

4. Metrics

Before signing the contract, ask the company if they will allow you access to metrics. The same metrics used for marketing is a valuable asset in other parts of your company. You can make a lot of corrections with this data to improve hiring practices, product surveys, customer reviews and more. Even a simple monthly report can do wonders to help out your company’s bottom line. Not every company will have access to these metrics on a timely basis. But like all things on this list, the worst they can say is no.

5. Price

The elephant in the room with any deal will always be the price. No matter how effective it is to outsource digital marketing, the price of these services will only make sense to those that can afford it. The budget you have set aside for your inhouse marketing may be small compared to the expectations of a third-party marketing service. For smaller companies, this becomes a problem since they have to axe their own marketing aspirations to make room for outsourcing. It may also be required to pour more money into the new marketing budget by moving resources from one part of the company to another. Prices are always flexible if you are realistic about the expectations of the services. Individuals and companies that are strapped for cash can still use outsourced marketing without breaking the bank. Go for a plan that makes sense but avoid cannibalizing your company to force a fit.

6. Look into The Future

Do you want to be in business with this company for the next few weeks, months, or years? Does the partnership look beneficial, or does it have some unworkable quirks? These are the questions you should ask before signing a contract. Outsourcing digital marketing ties your business to another business. Although the relationship is temporary, it is still a good idea to actually like the company. If the services are great but the people are terrible, move along.

7. Be Reasonable

Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket when outsourcing marketing. If you’re looking for an unknown company to save your own, then it is the wrong move. This includes outsourcing digital marketing to protect your company from bad publicity. That is a PR issue that takes time, not a marketing issue that can be wished away with a marketing campaign. Stay reasonable with your wants and needs in marketing, and always be honest about your expectations.

8. Team Size

The size of an outsourced company is not as important as you think. It’s still about experience, contacts, communication and price. If a three-man team can do the job, then it will get done. Size hang-ups only hurt your available options when looking for help. Depending on the type of marketing requested, sometimes a smaller team is better. Look at the results first before judging the number of people on the project.

9. Bad Advertisements

Look at the advertisements for a potential digital marketing company. Bad advertisements from a company are the biggest red flag possible. How can an outsourced digital marketing company create good content for you when their own is so horrible? Get a good sample size of their own advertisements to get the full picture.

10. Location

Outsourcing any service means you are usually getting a company that isn’t in your area. There is nothing wrong with looking for local outsourcing, but be prepared to miss out on 95% of the outsourcing services available. Sticking to local only for digital marketing will more than likely cut you out of 99% of the quality companies available. Outsourcing digital marketing is a worldwide service, so don’t be afraid to take a leap.

Become A Marketing Genius

Digital marketing is one of many ways to make your company stand out. By relying on experts in the field, you can avoid a lot of rookie mistakes. Kick back and learn from the best, and later on, attach those skills to your own ideas.

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