For many small to mid-sized businesses that are looking to accelerate and improve their marketing functions, they have a decision to make: should they hire full-time staff positions with salaries, benefits and potentially 1,880 working hours in a year to dedicate to their companies? Or do they outsource all, or parts of their marketing function to a full-service agency, a fractional Chief Marketing Officer, or a combination of multiple marketing services companies each filling different roles? Every situation is different, and we’re obviously in the business of helping companies who choose to outsource part of all of the marketing functions for their business – but here are a few tips to help you navigate this business challenge.
Where to Start, No Matter What
You have to start with a marketing plan. If you don’t have a strategic marketing plan, you can’t have any idea of what skill set you actually need, whether for an employee, or a services firm.
As a business owner, your strategic marketing plan can come from 1 of 3 places:
Without a strategic marketing plan complete with a budget, goals, and expected results, you will have no idea what skills you’ll need to execute that plan. So before you worry about hiring that designer, or social media expert, or marketing coordinator – you need a marketing plan complete with business goals, marketing goals, messaging, tactics, roles, and expected outcomes, and a clear plan and budget for how to get things done.