We are almost three full months into the COVID19 pandemic, and we are all looking for the new normal. Doing business in 2020 has become a challenge. As businesses begin to open back up, they will find themselves in a new reality.
- Can we continue to do business as we did at the start of the year?
- Will our in-person sales team be as effective in this new social distancing environment?
- Will we have the same marketing budget moving forward?
- Can we move our marketing operations online to be completely digital?
- Can we maintain a full marketing staff or should we look to “hire” an outside team of specialists?
These are the critical questions to ask as teams begin to return to workplaces in the midst of this crisis. Our 15-year digital marketing agency is here to help you answer the tough questions related to your marketing programs. We’ve dusted off one of our most popular blogs from years past to help you decide if you should work with an outside agency as you return to business in the new normal.
The Digital Marketing Funnel
To effectively generate leads for a sales team these days, marketers must set up effective digital programs to run continuously. What hasn’t changed is the traditional marketing concept of pushing potential prospects through the funnel to identify which ones might become customers. At the top of the funnel is the complete universe of potential clients. Using marketing, PR, and communication programs, it’s the marketer’s job to identify the potential leads that can enter the funnel, qualify the prospects, and serve them up to a nurturing team or salesperson. Of course, there are also marketing automation software systems that can help track the programs, score the potential leads, and analyze the results.
Do New Graduates Have What It Takes?
So, who should set up these programs? Should I hire marketing staff to create a dynamic team of experts? How many MBAs will I need? Do marketing graduates come equipped to run the latest in social media and marketing automation tools? Are universities cranking out ready-to-go marketers? Can I find employees who can write well? Can they use the latest automation tools and scheduling systems? How about social media channels? And then, of course, can my employee pick up the phone and call that editor at the trade industry’s biggest publication and get my article in it?
Finding the right combination of marketing talent within your budget is no easy task! You need a wheelhouse of experts with a vast range of skills to operate an efficient marketing engine. And you need to do more with fewer resources. When the pandemic started, many businesses shut their doors. Some stayed open but canceled their marketing activities. Now that things are starting to open up again, and businesses are getting back to work, your marketing budget will likely be much leaner than ever before. Now is the time to look at the total cost of operating your marketing efforts – and that includes the cost of the human resources involved.
Here’s the Quiz
With tight budgets and fast changing tools, you should ask yourself the following questions to determine if you should indeed outsource your marketing team:
- Are your annual sales less than $10 million?
- Do you have a complex sales cycle that requires more than 30 days to make a purchase decision?
- Is your marketing budget less than 5% of annual revenue?
- Is your company less than five years old?
- Has your overall marketing budget been cut due to the crisis at hand?
If you answered yes to three or more of these questions, consider outsourcing most of your marketing efforts to contracted specialists or an agency where you can control the actual spend of every hour worked.
The Right Answer
Truthfully, there isn’t one right answer. Each situation requires its own strategy based on budget, time, and resources available. I’ve worked on both sides of the coin. I’ve managed a team of internal marketers in a B2B environment and I’ve hired both agency and individual contractors to fulfill my marketing team needs. Both are great, but when budgets are tight, I have to go with the contracted/agency model. I get senior level experience with fewer dollars than a full-time employee!
We have put together a free ebook on how to work with an outside marketing agency. It’s also packed with great information on digital marketing and the important programs that fuel building new revenue for your organization. Fill out the form here or send me an email and I’m happy to send you a free copy. Reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May you remain safe and healthy as you navigate this new normal. Be well.