Posted by Murray Sye
on Thu, Oct 9, 2014 @ 10:13 AM
When I talk to companies, they're usually really good at their core competencies, but most struggle with their marketing, for the following reasons, I call this the "the 3-S syndrome":
- Short on resources
- Short on experience and
- Short on time.
Let's start with this understanding: if you're in business, you need all the customers you can get, because without customers there's really no need to turn the lights on in the morning. Getting those customers is one of the biggest challenges facing business owners and marketing professionals today. All businesses need to have an effective marketing plan in place, in order to survive and grow.
But, do they?
For many companies, however, this is a business truth that is easy to put on the back burner, citing the 3-S syndrome.
And it's what we hear a lot.
Many entrepreneurs and small businesses operate under the acronym DIY (do-it-yourself) ethic which refers to the ethic of self-sufficiency through completing tasks without the aid of paid specialists.
But, that can be dangerous.
The challenge with inbound and marketing in general is that the learning curve to business owners and marketing professionals is staggering. The number of moving parts to any inbound campaign can be quite overwhelming to the less experienced.
Below is a list of typical items that are part of today's modern day marketing:
- Brand research and analysis
- Brand positioning
- Unique value proposition
- Strategic roadmap
- Corporate identity
- Website development/redesign
- eCommerce development
- Content creation
- CTAs and landing pages
- Collateral development and production
- Video production
- PR specialists
- SEO/keyword research
- Social media specialists
- Metrics and analysis
As you can see, inbound looks quite different than your traditional. The once-upon-a-time placing ads in yellow pages and trade print advertising has shifted sideways making room for the internet. In comes inbound offering consumers, armed with mobile technology, real time access to information to make buying decisions in a matter of a few keystrokes.
Companies, now more than ever, need to ensure that their strategies and tactics are well executed, making it easy for your prospects to find you.
Which leaves organizations, that have neither the time nor inclination to DIY, with a choice to either insource or to outsource their marketing to an agency.
Assuming that you've eliminated the do-it-yourself approach, let's consider the other two more sensible options.
It is quite possible to insource your inbound marketing. However, businesses must be fluent with inbound marketing strategies otherwise they'll likely expense more DINERO (that's money) on R&D and trial and error. Expecting increased expenses doesn't make sense, except when you consider that creating inbound strategies requires expertise. And expertise comes with a price.
Many business owners lean toward hiring an employee to manage their inbound because that has been the de-facto process in the past to solve an immediate need. Additionally business owners may have the perception that an outside agency is far more expensive than hiring in-house staff. The problem with this rationale is that most of the time, owners don't have a true basis for comparison.
Before choosing to insource there is one additional factor that must be considered. I can almost guarantee that it will be exceptionally difficult to find one person that possesses each of the skills required to maintain and execute your inbound marketing strategy. This would most likely require your new marketing hire to outsource at least some of the the above tasks to an outside agency, which really defeats the whole purpose, right?
So, if the purpose of insourcing is to keep your marketing in-house and you simply can't, then outsourcing is the obvious choice. But, let me do some further convincing.
Hiring a professional agency to manage your inbound marketing is essential to improving your bottom line. A dedicated agency will be able to improve your online brand visibility and generate qualified leads that will convert into more new customers. And more customers is what you want right?
It appears that agencies really know their stuff.
According to HubSpot's State of Inbound 2014, more companies are running inbound than ever before. More are measuring ROI and more are enjoying improved ROI. Inbound is expanding into other lines of business, and those businesses are experiencing positive results. It's even driving revenue globally. But the group that's setting the standard is marketing agencies, who are outpacing vendors by sourcing nearly half (47% of all leads through inbound channels).
The point being, that if agencies are exceeding at inbound for their own companies, just think about what they could be doing for you.
Written by Murray SyeMurray is the CEO and Creative Director with the award-winning
Toronto HubSpot agency partner, WhiteSpace. You can
connect with Murray on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.