Michael Reynolds in General on Monday, November 21, 2011
Lead generation is a critical part of any business or non-profit. In order for an organization to serve customers or constituents, that organization must first identify, attract, and retain them. This is what marketing does. For this reason, it is arguably the most important department in your organization.
However, marketing is sometimes a misunderstood and often neglected department. For one thing, it looks easy. Just run some ads, print some brochures, send some emails, and call it marketing, right? This is not quite the case. Marketing is hard work, and includes careful planning, measuring, content creation, and optimization.
Some organizations assign the task of lead generation to one staff member who may or may not be qualified and who may or may not have a strategy. Marketing is easy, right? Anyone can do it.
Not so fast. Modern marketing takes skill, effort, and perseverance. Some of the most effective forms of marketing use digital tools, like websites, social media, email, video, and other tools. For this reason, the majority of organizations who want to compete effectively need to embrace the technology that drives today's marketing.
If lead generation is so important, why do so many organizations neglect it by making it a side project or giving it to an overworked employee who also has many other responsibilities? Often times, these organizations would be better off outsourcing their marketing departments in order to ensure that it gets the attention it deserves.
Why should you outsource your marketing? There are a number of advantages and here are just a few:
Stay current: By outsourcing to an agency with expertise in this area, your organization can stay on top of current trends and best practices. The digital landscape changes quickly and a marketing agency's job is to live and breathe this stuff.
Cost effective: It can often be more cost effective to outsource this part of your business when compared to the cost of of a full-time employee.
Better strategy: Your marketing strategy can often be more effective because you are buying an entire team that can pool resources together to execute a plan better than a single person could.
So, how do you know if you're a good candidate to outsource your marketing?
If your organization is a non-profit that employs a busy, overworked staff. A non-profit? Marketing? Yep... non-profits needs to market, too. Non-profits and associations need to attract members and donors and this requires marketing. Many non-profits aren't comfortable thinking about lead generation and marketing because it feels selfish and overly commercial. However, non-profits need money to survive, and this money comes from members and donors. Non-profits often lack internal marketing expertise or resources and therefore can benefit a great deal from outsourcing these activities.
If you are a small business with no marketing director. Many small businesses lack a formal marketing director. They might have sales people but this is not always enough. By subscribing to outsourced marketing, these small businesses can benefit from a lead generation system that helps support the sales team. This leaves the owners and other employees free to do what they do best.
If your marketing director is trained in traditional strategies. Many organizations are seeing great benefit from outsourcing the digital components of their marketing plans. Often times, a traditional marketing director will do a great job of overseeing the big picture, but may lack training in how to use specific technologies or how those technologies relate to the overall plan. This is a great opportunity to supplement your marketing activities with service from a digital agency.
If you don't have a clearly defined marketing plan. As mentioned before, printing some brochures, handing out promotional products, and posting status updates on Facebook is not a marketing plan. These are individual activities which may or not be producing results. Without a plan, they don't mean much. If you're not sure why you are doing these things and how they fit into the big picture, then you don't have a plan. This is a great opportunity to get some help from a digital agency that can create a plan for your organization and help you execute and optimize it.
Many organizations are seeing great value in outsourced marketing, especially since technology changes so quickly that it can be difficult to keep up. As you might expect, SpinWeb creates and executes digital marketing plans for organizations of all kinds, so please send us a note to learn more.
If you are not sure how effective your marketing plan is, lack internal time or resources, or don't have the time to keep up with the latest trends in technology, outsourcing may be a great choice for your organization. Please feel free to continue the conversation in the comments below.