How Outsourcing Your Marketing Team Can Save You Time, Money and Risk

How successful are your current marketing initiatives and programs? Do you have a marketing team to launch and execute your marketing plans? Many small businesses struggle with making their marketing program effective because they don’t have the in-house talent and expertise to manage marketing projects such as a new product launch, a website redesign, SEO or even the creation of a well-researched and comprehensive plan. Putting all of this together takes time and money and drains valuable resources from other areas of your business.

Consider outsourcing these responsibilities to a third-party marketing consulting company. Here are several important benefits to outsourcing:

1) HIRING A PROFESSIONAL MARKETING CONSULTANT SAVES YOUR BUSINESS TIME AND MONEY:

· Your business saves money in reduced overhead costs (no internal team to hire, manage, provide office space for, etc.).

· You agree up front on how much you want to spend and can cap costs at a certain amount – no more unanticipated expenses or marketing budgets run amok!

· You spend less time spent on daily marketing management, trying to find the right people for an in-house marketing team, and task delegation.

2) OUTSOURCING YOUR MARKETING FUNCTIONS TO A WELL-VETTED MARKETING EXPERT HELPS YOU REDUCE YOUR MARKETING RISK AND BUILD BUSINESS PARTNERSHIPS:

· Your marketing consultant wants and needs their programs to be effective. They will work hard to bring you marketing success, as this reflects positively on them and encourages their continued work with your business.

· Access to an enormous network of skills, talents and capabilities, such as graphic designers, copywriters, website developers, and SEO consultants, to name just a few.

· Knowledge is transferred between both businesses. A savvy marketing professional will get to know your business inside and out. As a result, they’re flexible enough to adapt your marketing program to meet shifting objectives (such as industry trends) quickly and effectively.

Here is a helpful example of a company who outsourced the creation and distribution of a direct mail marketing program:

MARKETING CASE HISTORY:

Opportunity/Problem:

A realty company agent wanted to revamp its quarterly postcard-marketing program to generate new listings. Their company’s previous program’s impact was fading and no longer produced any measurable benefit.

Solution:

The budget for this project was defined, and a cross-platform marketing program was custom created for the realty company. A direct mail postcard would be sent to about 10,000 recipients in the target market. The postcard included individual website landing pages personalized for each mail recipient. The target market was segmented so that each group would receive a more relevant and specific message and personal URL. The landing pages were created for each market segment and were hosted to receive visitors to the website.

Each time a recipient landed on their personalized page, a real time lead was created, and the client was notified of the lead for immediate follow up. The actual return on marketing investment for the first year of this program was 108%, bringing incrementally increased sales revenue and a bottom line profit that far exceeded the cost of the entire program.

Why Direct Mail Marketing?

Direct mail has long been used as an effective marketing tool for various products and services. If you target your audience well, you may have an excellent return on your direct mail investment. Therefore, it is very important to send mailings to only the correct demographic of potential customers. One way you can target your direct mail campaign is to purchase a list of names and addresses of people who have purchased a product or service similar to the one you are advertising. This ensures you have a warm and receptive market. Be sure the list is fresh. You do not want leads that are too old.

However, if you are selling something the customer might not need or want very often, such as automobiles or computers or other major durable goods, you might want to select leads that are a bit older to target folks who both have interest in what you are offering and who may be ready to upgrade or replace their previous purchase. There are other ways to collect leads.

If you already have a customer base, you have warm leads already to which you can send your direct mail piece. Ask your existing customers for referrals. You might be surprised at the new customers you can acquire. Direct mail is a good technique because it places something tangible in a potential buyer’s mailbox. The prospect will at least have to handle the mail piece and make a decision to read, toss, or act upon the offer. It is all too easy to ignore flashing banner ads on the Internet, which are not tangible and are often annoying.

Another benefit of direct mail marketing is that it is possible to get a bulk mail rate which is cheaper than regular postage rates if you are sending a large enough quantity of mail pieces. Even with all these possible benefits, be aware that the majority of your prospects, no matter how carefully you select them, will simply toss or recycle your direct mail piece. That is okay. Remember to target your leads, create attractive mail pieces that people will want to open, and mail in quantity to get good results.

Has the Internet Killed Off the Direct Mail Baron?

Over the past 30 years, direct mail has been responsible for generating vast amounts of money for businesses and individuals alike, but is it still an effective means of marketing?

The short answer, in the short term, is yes. But the Internet has without doubt diluted the power of pen on paper and will continue to do so, until only a few die-hard individuals and the glossy brochure brigade, are left to pick the bones of an industry once plump and ripe for plucking and plundering.

Today, the Internet offers the consumer a pure, unadulterated and convenient environment for buying goods, services, bill paying and browsing. And with more people logging on every day, it’s where businesses need to focus.

Compared to direct mail, marketing a business or service on the internet is simple, very cost-effective and can be just as profitable. If it’s the ‘right’ kind of business, offering the ‘right’ kind of product or service, it can prove to be overwhelmingly prosperous. And there’s many an Internet millionaire that will testify to that.

The big advantage, in terms of doing business on the Internet, falls right at the feet of the little guy. The one-man outfit, who has virtually no overheads and no employees. Better off still, is the little guy with no overheads, employees, products or services. He can make a phenomenal amount of money by selling other people’s products for commissions.

That’s quite difficult to do with direct mail and would likely prove prohibitively expensive to operate. And that’s another reason why direct mail is in decline. The overall expense of the operation.

When you add up the cost of stationery, printing, postage, mailing lists and the labor involved in the whole process, it’s clear to see that the ‘end is nigh’, for what was once a very lucrative marketing venture. That’s not to say that there isn’t still a place for some forms of direct mail. Some online businesses, especially the bigger companies, would do well to incorporate a direct mail strategy in promoting their online activities.

But generally, the opportunity of making a killing with direct mail is fading fast. So it’s goodbye to the direct mail baron and welcome to the Internet marketing guru. It’s the same animal but with different spots.