SharpMedia / Marketing Practices / 7 Outsourced Best Marketing Practices
Already preparing to hire an outsourced marketing agency? Great! Think you’ll never have to mention the word “marketing” again? Not so fast…
While it’s true that your outsourced marketing agency will take a huge chunk of work off your plate, you still want to sit at the table and be a part of the conversation. So here are seven bonus tips to help you effectively manage your outsourced marketing engagement!
1. Set Goals Together
When interviewing potential marketing firms, make sure to talk about the goals you have for your business, the general budget you have to achieve them and the timeline you hope to achieve them in. With an outsourced marketing firm, you will be setting and tracking goals regularly, so you have to be on the same page throughout this process.
2. Clarify Expectations Together
Decide how often and in what format you and your outsourced marketing firm will communicate with each other. Both of you must agree on the frequency and type of check-ins and accountability you need in order to be comfortable and successful. You may want to have a bi-weekly conference call to get an update on projects, a weekly email summary or a monthly face-to-face meeting, for example. When you’re mutually clear about the best times and ways to reach each other, you pave the road to success.
While an employee works exclusively for your company during his or her working hours, your outsourced marketing firm serves several clients simultaneously. You should expect a high level of response from any partner you work with, but it is unrealistic to expect that an outsourced partner will be able to provide instantaneous response to every question or request. By setting clear expectations on communication and response times, as well as project deadlines, you will avoid a frustrating experience.
The best outsourced marketing partner will not simply take your direction and execute. The right firm will be a partner in your business, a partner that brings new ideas to the table, suggests new ways of doing things, gives you information and insights to make decisions, and pushes back on your ideas when appropriate. This is what you want in a successful marketing relationship.
Top marketing teams are collaborative and cooperative, with several people offering their talent, ideas and insights. But there does need to be a designated leader, a chief marketing officer of sorts. For the most productive outcomes, the outsourced marketing firm serves as the chief marketing officer, owning all decisions, sign offs, etc. (with critical input from you and all appropriate parties) and having the responsibility to keep the marketing moving forward in the right direction. To be successful, your outsourced marketers need to have your trust and confidence so they can do their jobs and make decisions on behalf of your company.
A successful relationship with an outsourced marketing group relies on an open, steady flow of communication so that your marketers can use your industry knowledge and subject matter expertise to create meaningful, relevant content for your key audiences. Success is also dependent on providing feedback and sign offs to your outsourced agency – or assigning someone in your firm to handle them – so that your marketing will progress efficiently.
Much of marketing involves a creative process, and how much – or how little – you like a piece of copywriting or a design is highly subjective. While it’s critical to offer honest feedback, it’s just as important, however, to not give up on your creative team if their first efforts do not work for you. Give them the opportunity to rewrite, redesign, and rework as part of the process. You may be pleasantly surprised with how well a good writer or designer can take your feedback and transform a previous piece into something that works perfectly!