The presenters noted that sales tend to much higher when business owners stop trying to do everything themselves. When businesses focus on the core activities that drive sales, there is greater success. The key insight is to spend the majority of your time on the vital functional areas and outsource the rest to experts. What a business should outsource depends on the type of business and the internal areas of expertise.
This is a great strategy, but the reality is quite the opposite, especially when it comes to marketing. So, I decided to talk with conference attendees to see how many actually outsource marketing and their results.
Informal Survey Shows Marketing Approaches Vary
“I wear all the hats”. More than half of the people said they do all their own marketing. Primarily because it saves money but also because it’s “fun”. Most acknowledged they don’t have a marketing plan and only focus on marketing when things are slow. That’s when they decide to try something new like creating a new Facebook post, starting a blog or an email campaign. The results are great initially but there is little to no follow-up activity since marketing gets put aside when things get busy again.
Successful but time-consuming. The owner of several retail stores ran email marketing campaigns promoting in-store events and price discounts. This successful campaign increased sales and store traffic. Now the owner wants to target her best customers, but hasn’t had time to segment the list and develop custom content. She’s thinking of outsourcing her marketing to save time but has cost concerns.
Referral-Driven business. Several business owners said they don’t do any formal marketing as most of their sales come through referrals. Two of these business owners want to significantly increase annual sales without working a lot more hours. They liked the idea of outsourcing marketing so they can focus on selling. But, didn’t want to interview a lot of agencies or freelancers in order to find the right partner.
One person with Two Jobs. One business owner has an employee who handles both marketing and billing. She noted this is not ideal because although the employee is a whiz with numbers, his marketing skills are lacking. This business owner was excited about outsourcing but unsure how to get started.
Inbound Marketing Experts. The most memorable conversation was with the owners of an air conditioning company that had record growth after hiring a marketing firm 3 years ago. They knew exactly which tactics from their recent online ads produced the best conversion rates. Their budget didn’t increase as their marketing partner reallocated funds from yellow page ads and random newspaper advertising to online advertising with targeted social media. And, once the owners knew which tactics worked, they shifted a lot of social media activity in-house. Now they actually spend less on marketing with greater sales results.
It’s evident that business owner marketing strategies are as diverse as their business types. But while their marketing varies, one thing was quite clear – all were weighing the benefits of outsourcing to drive business growth.
5 Reasons Outsourcing Marketing Leads to Greater Business Success:
Outsourcing a key business function like marketing, may seem challenging initially. But if you take a strategic approach and find the right partner, it can pay off in the long run. Clearly defined goals and a strong partner will bring more effective and turnkey marketing solutions which in turn will grow your business.
Diana is a content marketing strategist and virtual marketing director specialized in financial services. She has 20 years of marketing expertise, including campaigns for top brands such as Johnson’s Baby and Band-Aid.