Are you pulling your hair trying to get your campaigns to work? Perhaps, you're clueless as to why your website isn't generating traffic. Or you're just getting started in business and don't know how to promote your products or services.
Marketing is the lifeblood of your business. Driving awareness about your brand ultimately leads to sales. Consequently, happy customers will tell other people about your business, further enhancing your marketing.
Nowadays, we don't have to hire in-person marketing personnel. The world is quickly becoming interconnected, and remote work is more common than ever. Instead of struggling to drive traffic, gather leads, and build your brand, you can outsource your marketing efforts to an expert.
Over 40% of marketers expect the use of agencies, which will provide superior performance and results to their business. In this article, we'll discuss what managed marketing is and signs that indicate your business needs it. Let's begin!
What are managed marketing services?
Managed marketing services is a third-party company that handles your marketing activities and approach. An agency or consulting firm that provides managed marketing services offers a wide range of expertise within the marketing field.
Here are some of the services that an outsourced agency can provide:
- Content marketing
- Lead generation
- Search engine optimization
- Product marketing
- Brand identity development
- Social media marketing
Signs you need managed marketing services.
Managed marketing services might not be for everyone. However, some signs indicate that hiring an outsourced party can help either jump start your marketing, provide a fresh perspective, or even take some of the responsibilities off of your team. Here are the main reasons why your business needs managed marketing services:
1. You perform marketing activities but have no real plan
Most business owners will execute marketing activities without having a clear vision of what they're trying to accomplish. For example, it's common to post on social media just because "everybody else does it." This becomes a game of "monkey-see-monkey-do." As a result, you're left with subpar results.
Instead, you need to look for marketing activities that move the needle in your business. This requires being strategic with your approach and activities. A managed marketing consultant wouldn't recommend a strategy until they first understand your marketing strategy.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Who is your target audience?
- Where do they hang out?
- What problems do they have?
- How does your product solve their problem?
- How is your solution unique from your competitors?
Once you have a clear vision about how your business can help customers, you can build strategies that align with your vision.
2. Your business is underachieving.
If you're struggling to acquire customers, you likely have a marketing problem. The key to finding the bottleneck in your marketing is stopping customers from buying from you. Some of the common marketing problems businesses face are:
- Failure to generate enough leads
- Don't properly nurture leads
- Struggling to convert prospects into customers
- Don't follow up with leads
- No differentiating factor in their brand identity separates them from competitors
A marketing consultant can help you identify what's holding your company back. Most firms that offer managed marketing services will track their success and provide metrics on your campaigns. You'll understand which marketing efforts deliver results and which ones aren't. Whether you're struggling to get visitors to your website or don't have a way to capture leads, a managed marketing consultant can help.
3. Lack of Subject Matters Experts (SMEs)
Marketing is continuously evolving, especially with new strategies and technologies launching every quarter. As a business owner, it's important to be aware of potential skill gaps and lack of expertise your in-house team might have. For example, your employees may be well-versed in one area but lack knowledge in another area.
A firm that provides managed marketing services can provide in-house training to your employees so that they're acquiring new skills along the way. Additionally, they can help you develop processes and strategies for your inbound marketing campaign.
4. Lack of Reporting
Business leaders must be aware of every detail in their company, including marketing metrics. Without metrics and analytics, how do you truly know whether your marketing efforts are working or not? Furthermore, how do you know whether your marketing efforts are improving or getting worse?
Gone are the days of using guesswork to run your business. If your marketing team lacks the technology to track, a marketing consultant can bring the systems to your business to measure your marketing activities.
Some of the common metrics your marketing team should know are:
- Customer acquisition cost
- Customer lifetime value
- Conversion rate
- Bounce rate
- Total visits or unique visits
- Return on investment
- Traffic to lead ratio
- Lead to customer ratio
- Customer retention rate
- Average time spent on site
- Email open rate
- Email click-through rate
Tracking key metrics provides predictability in your business. Once you know what metrics to track, you can predictably increase your monthly revenue.
5. Lack of Communication
Proper alignment and communication between departments are crucial. Often, companies are disconnected from different teams. For example, a sales team might not understand the marketing funnels, leading to miscommunication during the sales process. Or perhaps the marketing and sales team doesn't clearly define the difference between marketing-qualified leads and sales-qualified leads.
A marketing consulting firm can align your business by ensuring that your company achieves cross-department alignment. An effective marketing funnel should guide the customer into a single journey. The marketing team has a funnel that efficiently nurtures leads and directs them to the sales team to close.
6. You lack the capital to invest in a staff of full-time marketing employees.
Digital marketing channels account for almost 80% of the total company budget. Many new businesses fail due to an inadequate management team, lack of capital and unsuccessful marketing efforts.
The biggest risks for many small organizations come from finance. For this reason, although small businesses may face the same risks as their larger counterparts, they may be more vulnerable and therefore need to adopt more conservative mitigation strategies like hiring a marketing company that has resources to plan budgets based on company needs like online marketing.
Having a clear marketing strategy and marketing plan allows a company to understand what budget they need to allocate, specific activities, and the level of resources they need to implement them. For example, digital marketing after the pandemic changed the ways marketing strategy changed. 97% of marketers reduced their in-person engagement due to lockdown restrictions. It gave rise to new opportunities to budget in social media marketing rather than throwing cash into marketing in person (store visits, trade shows, etc.).
Entrepreneurs often fail to prepare for a company's marketing needs in terms of capital requirements, reach prospects, and accurate conversion rate predictions. Since marketing is a crucial aspect of any early-stage business, companies need to set realistic budgets for current and future marketing needs.
Hiring an outsource management marketing service can be much more affordable than building an entire marketing department yourself. You won't have to pay for the benefits and additional overhead costs associated with hiring. This includes healthcare, 401K, vacation time, sick days, and office space. Instead, you're paying a monthly retainer fee that is less than the cost of having multiple full-time employees. The employees' skill is often less than the expertise of a marketing consulting firm.
7. Marketing is the last thing in your mind.
As a business owner, you have to wear many hats. Sometimes, this requires you to be more customer-facing or focus on product development over marketing. Many startups rely on seed funding to throw money into brand partnerships or ads to generate awareness. Many local businesses mistakenly rely on their physical location to drive foot traffic.
Unfortunately, marketing has become sophisticated. Your audience is online, and they like to interact with businesses on social platforms.
Managed marketing companies can take the burden off of you. Instead of learning marketing, you can focus your efforts on the highest priority tasks like delivering a better customer experience or continuing to innovate your company. Hiring employees can help delegate the marketing responsibilities. However, they won't provide expertise as a marketing consulting firm could. They can provide big-picture solutions and align the marketing activities with your company's vision.
Benefits of managed marketing service
By now, you should know whether hiring a managed marketing service is right for you. But what benefits can you expect from hiring a marketing consultant?
Increased marketing effectiveness
There's no point continuing to execute the same marketing activities if they're not working. If you've been spinning your wheels and hoping for results, it's time to hire a marketing consultant. They evaluate your marketing efforts using metrics. As mentioned, metrics tell you a lot about how your target audience and customers are responding to your marketing.
A consultant can tweak your existing campaigns or propose new marketing strategies. For example, perhaps you've only been doing outbound marketing tactics. A consultant may suggest building an inbound marketing strategy to help you build a long-term sustainable business. That's because inbound marketing can provide a consistent flow of organic traffic that is much more cost-effective than paid campaigns or outbound strategies.
Provide a new perspective and true objectivity
A marketing consultant has in-depth expertise in the field of marketing and within your industry. It's easy to believe that you have the best products and marketing when your company employs you. A consultant can provide objective feedback on how your current marketing is performing. Perhaps, they perceive your brand as something entirely different from what you intended. Or maybe you've relied on only one marketing channel for years. A consultant can provide recommendations based on your situation and help you achieve your desired outcomes.
Avoid trial and error.
Experimentation in business can be extremely costly. Take advertising, for example. It may take thousands of dollars to test the best methods and channels to use for advertising. A marketing consultant may recommend the right channel based on their existing knowledge of the industry and how each platform works. They may even have experience running ad campaigns within your market and prevent common mistakes.
Let Universal Creative Solutions Help
Struggling to get attention in your marketplace and acquire customers isn't fun. Marketing is a key that unlocks your business potential. A thriving company has a clear marketing strategy and execution that consistently churns out new customers and increases its existing clientele's loyalty.
At Universal Creative Solutions, we're more than just an agency. We focus on being your business partner rather than another outsourced service provider. Our goal is to provide high-level thinking and give you a fresh perspective on your business. What if there's a better approach to take that is easier and less of a headache? We explore new possibilities with you, whether tapping into a new market or improving inefficiencies within your business. We bridge the gap between your current situation and the potential of your business. Book a free consultation to see if we can transform your business.