At first glance, outsourcing business services isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. However, there are many benefits to outsourcing services your company doesn’t have the time, or capacity to do – or do well. Marketing is one of those services.
In fact, outsourcing marketing is particularly important in the B2G market, as opposed to the B2B and B2C markets, because there are rigid rules about data confidentiality, data sharing, and regulatory compliance.
Experienced B2G marketing agencies can navigate these rules in their sleep, ensuring you are always on the right side of data usage and don’t suffer the adverse effects of non-compliance.
Developing marketing campaigns is resource and time-intensive at the best of times. SMEs find it even more so because they only have a small staff complement and their budgets don’t stretch to include an in-house marketing team.
Budgets – there’s the rub.
Some private sector SMEs think that hiring marketing specialists is too expensive, and that’s why they try to manage an in-house team on their own.
The truth is that keeping your overall marketing strategy in-house when you don’t have the experience or the time to do it properly, costs you more in the long run.
It’s far more cost-effective and makes more business sense to outsource marketing services. We’re going to look at why B2G marketing is best left to the experts, as well as how to tell which outsourced marketing agencies are the best fit for your business.
Why Should Public Sector Suppliers Outsource Marketing?
Outsourcing marketing services to a specialist marketing agency frees up your employees to concentrate on their core business activities – the reason you hired them in the first place. This accomplishes two things:
1) It relieves the frustration, annoyance, and perhaps even resentment that employees feel when they’re made responsible for tasks that aren’t in their wheelhouse.
2) It returns employees to the jobs they enjoy, which improves mood and motivation, which ultimately improves productivity, output, and your bottom line.
When Is It Time To Outsource Marketing?
It’s always difficult handing control over to a third party, but there comes a time when you have to say, “Enough is enough,” and get a digital marketing agency on the phone.
Here are six signs that you should seriously consider the merits of marketing professionals.
1) Your business is going from strength to strength
The great news is that your business is growing, but now you have even less time to concentrate on marketing efforts than normal.
An outsourced marketing agency can create a strategy that keeps the momentum going through a range of marketing channels (e.g., content marketing) and carefully determined KPIs (key performance indicators).
You carry on with core business operations and leave the momentum to professionals with the best marketing techniques.
2) You have limited resources
Due to budget constraints, you have limited resources, for example, limited bandwidth and infrastructure.
A professional marketing agency isn’t bound by these limits.
Your access to resources depends on whether you choose a niche digital marketing services provider that specialises in social media marketing only (for example) or a full-service marketing agency that provides the whole range of features, from email marketing to webinars.
Whichever suits your needs best, you should still have access to all the latest marketing tools and technology to drive your business forward.
3) You want an expert touch
You recognise that you’ve reached the limit of your capabilities and your marketing efforts are becoming very stop-start with limited or no continuity.
You need to outsource marketing services from an agency with the industry expertise necessary to take your advertising campaigns to the next level – and beyond.
4) A specialist marketing company has been recommended
You might be umming and ahhing about hiring an agency with digital marketing expertise but you’re not sure who you can trust. Then, friends, colleagues, partners, and people in your business network recommend an agency they’ve worked with and which delivered spectacular results.
The logical next step is to have a quick look on Google and then set up an appointment to discuss whether they’re the right company for outsourcing your marketing services.
5) You have access to a well-rounded marketing team
Digital marketing strategies have many branches, including content marketing, SEO, email marketing, and even graphic design (in line with technical SEO requirements) for new advertising campaigns. While not impossible, it is challenging for a start-up or SME to get the expertise necessary to cover all of these branches in B2G marketing.
However, competent marketing agencies will provide a range of services, if not all of them. If they can’t provide full services, they can likely recommend an agency that specialises in those marketing disciplines to make up the shortfall.
6) You can’t keep up with trends
The world of marketing changes quickly and that applies to the private and public sectors.
Unless you have a dedicated in-house marketing team, it’s very difficult to stay current and incorporate new trends into your marketing strategy.
It’s better to engage an outsourcing marketing expert, who has the marketing materials and resources to solve that particular problem and ensure your marketing strategy is always up-to-date with target audience trends.
What Are The Most Commonly Outsourced Marketing Services?
It’s possible to outsource any marketing task, but there are a few that, due to their complex nature, are a little bit more highly recommended than others. Here are a few examples.
1) Marketing strategy design.
2) Content creation, especially when it comes to webinars, case studies, and infographics.
3) Digital marketing lead generation, reporting, and email marketing campaigns.
4) Social media engagement and scheduling.
5) Website design, especially technical SEO and site maintenance.
6) Analytics that covers traffic, conversions, and keyword research efficiency.
7) Brand awareness, promotion, and target marketing, which includes creating buyer personas and market positioning.
8) Public relations tasks, including getting industry influencers on board to help promote your brand and reputation as a thought leader.
What To Look For In A Marketing Partner
You want to engage an outsourced marketing agency that doesn’t just specialise in the B2G sector but also creates a strategy tailor-made to your requirements. A marketing campaign that delivers high-quality services that meet your business objectives.
The trick is to tell realistic expectations from extravagant promises that are impossible to keep.
To this end, we’re providing seven tips on how to go about outsourcing marketing tasks specific to your business.
Does a Google search deliver good reviews and positive recommendations for the marketing company? How do the marketing services rank on Trustpilot? Are there client testimonials to give you a picture of the company’s services?
Don’t underestimate the value of a good reputation for quality marketing services. But, don’t discount agencies new to the market that haven’t had the time to build their brand online. They could still provide creative and effective outsourced marketing campaigns.
If this is the case, arrange for a face-to-face interview, either in person or via a video conference platform, like Zoom or Google Meet. You may be surprised by how much info a private chat can reveal, so you can go ahead and engage the digital marketing agency.
2) Partnership material
This isn’t just about how well you get on with the rep. It’s also about whether marketing firms, as a whole, work well with your business.
You and the rep could get on like a house on fire, but if the services just don’t align with your needs or even your values, you should extend your search for compatible marketing teams.
Furthermore, mismanaged marketing campaigns are likely to ruin your relationship with the rep, when you should be growing your business’s professional network.
Try to be objective about the decision, after all, the success of your business is at stake.
Experience counts for a lot, but it’s not the be-all and end-all that some people may think. For starters, a marketing agency could have been in business for over a decade, but have a patchy track record and a high client turnover rate.
What you want to do is outsource marketing efforts to an agency with lots of experience and an enviable track record.
However, as with reputation, lack of experience doesn’t mean you should dismiss an agency out of hand. A face-to-face meeting is, once again, a good way to get a feel for the firm and its people.
It also allows you to ask probing, perhaps even uncomfortable questions, and then watch their body language when they answer.
Body language and facial expressions can tell you a lot more about a business owner, and their in-house expertise, than mere words.
Good communication is arguably the most important factor when outsourcing your marketing initiatives to a digital marketing specialist.
Poor communication skills can sink the most promising partnership. It leads to misunderstandings, frustration, short tempers, and irreparably damaged relationships.
On the other hand, good communication (open and honest) fosters trust, builds goodwill and encourages collaboration with the marketing department so you are included in the marketing plan.
Transparency is about the process and how much your marketing agency is prepared to share with you.
An agency that is cagey about its marketing strategies is best left alone.
Transparency includes feedback about every step in the process (the content creation process, for example), including any potential problems. When you’re kept in the loop like this, it’s easier to avoid or mitigate problems and position your business to optimise opportunities.
Transparency is also an important factor in building trust, which strengthens the partnership.
You want to outsource your marketing to an agency that can adapt to changing needs as your business grows or the status quo changes. For example, you could move your headquarters to a new district which could affect keyword research terms for your SEO strategy.
A good online marketing agency can roll with the punches by scaling up or down as necessary and adjusting the marketing plan to meet new target audience requirements.
7) Data security
Data security is important regardless of whether you operate in the private or public sector. Public sector data, however, often contains sensitive information with strict confidentiality clauses.
An online marketing agency that specialises in the B2G market must have a rock-solid data security system that is as impervious to breaches as it’s possible to be.
When you’re outsourcing marketing services, look for ISO 27001 accreditation that ensures security protocols comply with industry standards. Also, find out about their data protection policies and security measures. Only stringent security measures will do.
Why Is Outsourcing Marketing So Valuable?
Outsourcing marketing services to the right agency is obviously valuable because it helps achieve your goals, for example, qualified lead generation or a more comprehensive social media strategy.
But there is more to it than that. Let’s look at four of the benefits marketing outsourcing provides.
1) A different perspective
We tend to have a fixed idea of our identity or character. We’re funny or creative or have a short temper. But different people have a different view of who you are.
It’s the same with your business. Sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in an identity rut. When you outsource marketing tasks, you invite the team to look at you from their perspective, which is new and hopefully fresh and inspiring for you and your new marketing agency.
It’s not just your marketing campaign that benefits. For instance, one of the outstanding benefits of a new perspective is the renewed vigour with which you approach your business operations.
2) Controlled costs
It’s not always easy to keep track of costs when you have an in-house marketing department. A little overspending here, a little boost to a campaign there … Expenses vary from month to month, making financial planning difficult.
However, outsourced marketing services have a set monthly fee. It’s far more cost-effective and easy to incorporate it into monthly budgets and financial forecasting.
The only time costs change is when you up or downscale your package as your needs change.
3) Idea exchange
Professional marketing agencies have a mix of clients, each with a unique strategy to achieve their goals. However, there are instances when an idea that worked for one client can be tweaked to work for another, even if they’re not in the same industry.
This is why marketing agencies with experience, and a proven track record, are favoured.
Although, once again, lack of experience shouldn’t count against an agency. Fresh faces, fresh perspectives, and fresh ideas are all benefits that can accompany an agency new to the market.
4) Marketing analytics expertise
It’s not enough to guess that a campaign mostly worked well. It’s necessary to know exactly what worked and what didn’t, how well it worked or how badly it bombed, what can be improved and what can be discarded.
The only way to get the data is through marketing analytics. Interpreting analytics, even on a platform that is relatively easy to use, like Google Analytics, is a specialised skill that you are unlikely to find in an in-house marketing team.
Outsourcing marketing analytics is one of the best things that you can do for your company, especially if you want to drive growth, increase brand awareness, and become one of the top competitors in your field.
Choosing A B2G Marketing Team
After taking all of the above into consideration, you have the information you need to create a shortlist of potential outsourcing marketing partners.
It’s at this point that you start contacting the marketing agencies for more information or better yet, book a free consultation or demonstration of their services.
Cadence Marketing specialises in B2G marketing for both the public and private sectors. One of our primary benefits is market research, so when you choose us as your outsourcing marketing agency, you’re immediately set up with a solid foundation upon which our marketing department will base your digital marketing strategy.
Contact Cadence and book a free consultation to discuss how our marketing services will benefit your specific needs.