Marketing News from
PR Consulting
- May 2019 -

How to successfully outsource marketing

Marketing is hard. Knowing which tools to use is hard. Finding the right staff with the right skill set is hard. Heck, sometimes all the things feel hard, right?

You are probably reading this article because you’ve found it hard to manage marketing tasks in-house. Now may be the right time to explore new systems and resources.

If you’re on the verge of hiring a marketing partner and outsourcing tasks like social media management, blogging, graphic design, website copywriting and more, you’ll want to make the best choice possible. It’s totally worth investing time upfront to understand the options, identify your needs and consider a realistic budget.

Here are six things to do before you reach out to a marketing service provider:

1. Identify skills gaps and areas where you’re wearing too many hats

Write down a list of all marketing-related projects or tasks that you feel your business has fallen behind on. This may be due to skills your current team doesn’t have. This may be due to you wearing so many other hats that you no longer have time to tackle marketing projects.

The list may include things like developing a marketing strategy, managing social media accounts and consumer reviews, refreshing your brand with new visuals, taking new product photos, creating tutorial videos, updating marketing content or editing your website, writing informational articles for your company’s website, working on corporate branding, or even brainstorming business development ideas.

If you find you need help in only one area (like photography or video work), then hire a local photographer or a video production team for that work.

If it looks like you need help in a variety of areas (website, public relations, graphics and social media), then it will be more efficient for you to hire a service provider who can handle all those tasks for you – a one-stop marketing shop.

In that situation, building a business relationship with a full-service marketing agency will help ensure that your brand and messaging remains consistent across many tools and platforms. That’s important! Plus, you won’t need to keep explaining your business and your clients to a variety of service providers, because your agency will already be dialed into those things.

2. Ask yourself: Can you afford beer or champagne?

How much do businesses spend on marketing each year? Depending on the size of your company, the market you are trying to reach and how aggressively you want to grow, your annual marketing budget may be anywhere between 2 percent to 20 percent of revenue. Some experts say that the number is roughly 7 to 8 percent for businesses with less than $5 million per year in revenue (which includes most of us!).

Whether your marketing budget is $500 per month, $1500 per month or $5000 per month, disclose that budget to the service provider you are interviewing. They need to know how much you can spend on marketing so that they can tailor a marketing plan based on your growth goals and your budget.

The marketing tools available for use will vary greatly depending on your budget. Radio, video and roadside billboards might not be within your budget, while social media, copywriting and email marketing may be a better fit. Make sense?

They’ll need to know if you have a budget for champagne or beer!

What are the other four steps?

Google Search Console warnings

Do you ever get scary-looking emails like this from Google? It means that Google has run into some issues when reviewing your website for listing on search pages. The emails are probably not a sign that something catastrophic has gone wrong, as Google explains in its overview of these reports, but it's wise to address the issues Google is warning you about so your search ranking isn't hampered. PRC can do that for you! Just reach out.

How to retain customers

Two ideas:

1. Show appreciation. Now that you’ve gotten to know your customers, why not do something fun for them? Special events only for customers, such as open houses or preview events, can show them they are special and vital to your business success (and, let’s face it, they are). When you’re considering a business change (new product line, updated hours, new services, etc.), ask existing customers for their opinion. It’ll help them understand how critical they are to your success.

2. Stay in contact. It sounds simple, but it’s easy to overlook. Marketing to existing customers via email, social media, customer relations and promotions is one way to show that you value them. Plus, it has the added benefit of keeping your business on customers’ minds. Periodic newsletters can let customers know about new products and services; a monthly informational e-blast can show them how you’re adjusting in the market to meet their needs.

More ideas

How to write well

It starts with commas.

Honestly, a good understanding of comma usage can make a huge difference in how well you're understood. And that's the point of good writing, right?

Quick question: You’re writing an email to your mom. Which of these two sentences do you type out?

  • “Good morning mom.”
  • “Good morning, mom.”

Which is right? Could it be either one? Does it even matter? It does.

Consider the famous line, similar to the example above: “Let’s eat Grandpa!” You’ve probably figured out that it should be this: “Let’s eat, Grandpa!” One comma makes a huge difference.

Or consider these sentences, from which the title of a well-known book on grammar was taken:

  • “The panda bear eats shoots and leaves.”
  • “The panda bear eats, shoots and leaves.”

Again, one comma. Huge difference.

How to use commas
Connect with PRC on these social networking sites for tips & resources throughout the month:

What PRC has been working on:

Compiling our best networking advice. On the blog, we're giving away a freebie for folks who sign up for the PRC newsletter. Since you've already done that, you should be able to download it for free, too! Get it here.

Starting a Facebook group for local marketers. Maybe you work on a team in the marketing department of a large company, maybe you are a solo-preneur tackling it all DIY; maybe you're a WWU student who wants to learn and grow in the industry pre-graduation. All are welcome. Join us!

Recent blog articles you may have missed:

How to run a small business without running yourself into the ground
Copywriting tip: Pivot marketing messages in positive ways
Is it time to quit Facebook marketing?
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