Taking the decision to outsource any area of your business isn’t an easy one and marketing is no exception. You need to find someone who has the relevant experience and expertise to help you achieve (or even identify) your marketing objectives. You also want someone you like and trust and you would be happy to represent your business. This article looks at how to maximise the benefits of appointing an outsourced Director of Marketing.
Once you have found the right person, there are a number of critical success factors which will enable your relationship, and your business to flourish. I have, for ease, written this piece as if I were your chosen person but, of course, other marketers are available!
Although one of the reasons you’re outsourcing your marketing might be to free up more of your time, you do need to put some hours in, especially at the start. You need to help me understand your business, where it’s grown from, and how it works.
When I am producing copy for your website or social media, I need you to review and provide feedback on that content, especially where it might be particularly technical. If I am delivering an event, I need your input on budget, the type of venue and wording for invitations.
Once we have agreed the strategy, supporting implementation plan and I have had time to learn about the business, you then need to trust me to get on with it. It will get easier for me to develop uncontentious content without needing to gain your feedback and you need to trust me to post on social media or publish blogs without your sign off each time or the purpose of engaging me becomes self defeating.
Depending on the scope of the engagement, I will need access to your CRM, social media accounts, your website and to any other marketing systems you are using. Putting additional layers in place whereby I draft copy but someone else posts it is a waste of time. I promise I won’t do anything malicious – that wouldn’t help anyone!
If you want me to conduct some client feedback, I will need access to your clients! If you have colleagues who are hesitant to open communications for me with ‘their’ clients, I need you to unpick this for me.
I need to know what’s happening. If you have spoken to a target client at an event and they mention your great social media content or if you’ve been invited to propose for a piece of work as a result of a relationship we’ve been nurturing, I would like to know! It helps me to gauge what activity is working and/or where we might need to make some changes. I always suggest regular catch ups but it’s also helpful to know in ‘real time’.
I need to know how our arrangement is working for you, if there are any issues (hopefully not but you never know!), they’re much better addressed at an early stage. And if I’m doing a great job, it’s good to hear that too!
This is where the word ‘outsourced’ is a bit of a misnomer. No, I am not a permanent employee, but I would very much like to feel like part of your team. The life of a freelancer can sometimes be lonely so, where possible, I’d encourage co-working – I don’t need much, just a desk and wifi and I’m happy to make tea and buy cakes (I wouldn’t inflict my baking on anyone!). Even if I am the only person focussing on marketing, working alongside others in the company is a great way to keep up to date with what’s going on, bounce ideas around and to embed marketing initiatives into the business.
As I said at the start, outsourcing your marketing is not an easy decision but if you do decide to do it, and you bear the above factors in mind, I’m sure it’s a decision you won’t regret.
If you would like to find out more about how I can help your business, please contact me.