5 SCENARIOS WHERE IN-HOUSE & OUTSOURCED MARKETING ARE BETTER TOGETHER The question of whether to outsource marketing or keep it in-house is a common one. Both options have their advantages, and if your organization is currently examining this question, we have a great resource for you here. But this post isn’t about a clear-cut, either-or scenario. Because let’s face it. Sometimes, the best option is to forge forward and bring along the best of both worlds – an integrated marketing team that uses the combined talents of in-house and outsourced staff members. Some businesses and nonprofit organizations have an excellent track record of using this combined approach. Here are 5 ways this best-of-both-worlds scenario could play out…
Building a strong customer base is critical to small business growth. But do you know how much your business is spending to get new customers? Maybe you’re underspending, and your business isn’t investing enough in marketing and sales. By not investing enough in marketing and sales, your business risks losing out on bringing in valuable new customers. This sets your business up for “field of dreams marketing”, where businesses are overly optimistic about their ability to bring in new customers, and underestimate the investment needed in marketing. On the other hand, perhaps your business has a problem with its sales or marketing efficiency. If revenue from a customer is less than your business is spending to acquire that customer, then you may have to price the product too high – which can further slow down the sales process.
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If you're like most builders and suppliers, you are eager for sales and marketing results that you can count on. You want more website visitors, more leads...and ultimately, more customers. In the minds of many business owners, jumping in to tactics is often perceived as the fastest way to achieve those results and growth. The truth, however, is that inbound marketing approaches that begin by focusing on tactics tend to end in failure. The good news is that there is an easier way.
My experience with marketing brochures Like a stereotypical millennial, I have a hard time doing what I'm told if it doesn't make sense to me. That was the case when I was asked to develop a brochure to market a new product. The company had put out brochures for all its products and services for time immemorial. But here was the problem: the new product was extremely high tech and sophisticated. Only tech-savvy people would be interested in buying it, and tech-savvy people don’t go browsing through brochures. So instead of drafting the text, pulling in graphic designers, and sending thousands of copies to print, I did something different.
How much did your company spend at the last industry trade show? I bet it was spendy. That’s why Janna Erickson, Field Marketing Manager of HubSpot, keeps a close eye on the ROI of events. “My goal is ROI,” she said at the Twin Cities HubSpot User Group gathering on September 7 at the Minneapolis Central Library. “Events are very expensive.” As such, Erickson and her team focus on educating colleagues as to why certain events are important to attend, what their goals are for each event, and how everyone in the company can help her team reach those goals. In her discussion with the group, Erickson provided 4 main steps to achieve success at your next trade show.
Being a marketing manager in the digital age is an exciting, yet challenging role. On the one hand, you have so many tools available to give you insight into what you’re doing and to automate some of your tasks. But on the other hand, the tools and strategies change and evolve so quickly that it’s difficult to know if you’re using the ones which will give you the best results. The other challenge you have is that because of the complexity of digital marketing, there is a good chance that no one else in your company really understands what you do every day. Especially perhaps, your boss.
Business Model Evaluation When evaluating the decision to outsource marketing versus build an in-house team, a business model review is a worthwhile exercise. Some questions to initially ask about your organization are: Is your organization selling products or services? Are you operating in a well established market segment? Is demand for your goods and services consistent? What are gross margins on sales? What is the projected growth for your company? How important is timing in scaling your marketing functions? What is the competitive landscape like? As you start to answer these questions about your own business, clarity will begin to surface on whether outsourcing is right for your company.
What is Revenue Marketing? For many years, business leaders have thought of their marketing departments as cost centers. Marketing people buy ad space, generate creative, engage on social media, etc. - all activities that generate awareness and are usually never tracked to sales. Sure, they generate leads that become sales, but most companies don’t track marketing dollars out/sales dollars in - at least not well. Revenue Marketing, a term coined by the Pedowitz Group in their book, The Revenue Driven Marketer, is the idea that marketers should be held accountable for more than awareness and leads. It's a way to turn your marketing cost center into a profit center. They define revenue marketing as: “The combined set of strategies, processes, people, technologies, content and results that: Drop sales ready leads into the top of the funnel Accelerate sales opportunities through the sales pipeline Measure marketing based on repeatable, predictable and scalable contribution to pipeline and revenue Improve the ROI of the sales and marketing continuum” With the availability of marketing automation tools like HubSpot’s attribution reporting, it’s now easier than ever for marketers to prove their value by demonstrating how their efforts contribute to revenue. It’s now possible for marketers to measure what touchpoints move leads down the funnel so they can optimize their efforts and accelerate sales.
If you’re at all familiar with inbound marketing, then you’ve probably come across more than a few “inbound vs outbound” blog posts and infographics. In fact, we’ve even contributed to the inbound vs outbound discussion. Often, these discussions present the two marketing approaches as a dichotomy at best, and diametrically opposed forces at worst. As for our take, we’re definitely huge fans of inbound marketing, but not to the exclusion of outbound strategies and tactics like trade shows. After all, at the end of the day, it’s about quality marketing methods that get results. And for many B2B marketers, trade shows get results. So the important question becomes: How can we get stronger results from our trade show marketing? And THIS is where inbound marketing fits in. To get more out of your trade show investment, be sure to come prepared with a strong inbound strategy. Here are several before, after and during trade show ideas to help you integrate inbound marketing into your next event.
Everyone knows you have to spend money to make money, but how much is too much to be spending on marketing? How do you develop a budget that yields maximum returns and revenue growth? The answer is in the metrics. There are several key metrics you should calculate in order to understand how your marketing and sales costs affect revenue, and how you can create budgets that optimize returns. The first one will help you in calculating the others: Cost of Customer Acquisition (CAC).