Outsourcing B2B Marketing Resources And Initiatives
The idea behind outsourced marketing isn’t so complicated. It’s the strategy of hiring a marketing agency to aid with your marketing campaign.
By outsourcing, you allow a marketing agency to manage various aspects of your marketing efforts. How much control you give the agency is up to you.
No matter how much marketing responsibility you give to an agency, they will work closely with your team to ensure that your specific marketing needs are met. The agency will tailor their services to achieve your particular goals.
However, before you decide whether outsourcing B2B marketing resources is the best course of action for your organization, it helps to know precisely what you can outsource. The following is a breakdown of the various initiatives and resources you can outsource to a marketing agency.
Types Of Marketing Initiatives You Can Outsource
One of the most significant advantages of working with a marketing agency is that they can provide different types of assistance to help you complete your marketing initiatives. For instance, an agency has the staff to plan, develop, implement, run, and monitor various marketing initiatives on your behalf. Suppose you have an in-house marketing team that can handle the majority of the work. In that case, an agency can help by either providing you with professional consulting services or by augmenting your team with specialists to fill in any talent gaps you might have. Keeping that in mind, here are the two examples of marketing initiatives that an agency can help with:
Long-Term Team-Based Marketing Efforts
Inbound marketing consists of numerous strategies, many of which are long-term. Long-term marketing efforts need to be regularly tracked and adjusted—for instance, SEO. A comprehensive SEO strategy requires routine keyword research and optimization adjustments based on performance. Whoever is in charge of SEO must also work closely with those in charge of content creation and website design. For many small and medium-sized businesses, maintaining such long-term, team-based marketing efforts can be an enormous strain on the resources they have, which is why outsourcing is such a perfect solution.
Short-Term Marketing Projects
If a specific project that you’ve planned requires high-level skills, outsourcing is an excellent option. Many organizations choose to outsource for specific, short-term projects to avoid spending on more FTEs (full-time equivalents). If the skills you need are only required for the project and nothing more, hiring a full-time employee for that project is not cost-effective. A marketing agency can provide you with the resources or talent that you need for any specific marketing project that you’re planning. For example, they can provide web developers, programmers, and graphic designers if you’re planning a website redesign.
Types Of B2B Marketing Resources That Can Be Outsourced
No matter the project duration, a marketing agency can be depended on to assist with almost all of your B2B marketing efforts. The following are a few examples of various inbound marketing strategies that a reputable marketing agency can consult on, develop, implement, and (or) monitor on your behalf.
Content marketing is arguably the foundation on which all of your inbound marketing efforts depend. The creation of relevant content helps you attract new leads, educate those leads, nurture your leads, and convert them into sales. Effective content marketing can also help generate brand awareness and build brand authority. However, content marketing is an extensive, long-term process that never ends, which means it can be very time-consuming. Content marketing includes all the following steps:
A lot of research is required to create content relevant to your brand and your audience. Not only do you need to research topics, but you also need to do audience research so that you can develop your buyer personas. On top of that, competitive content research can help guide you in the right direction as well.
A variety of content needs to be created to ensure that you reach every part of your audience at every buyer’s journey stage. You’ll need both content writers and editors, as well as graphic designers and SEO managers involved. You may also require the assistance of individuals with technical expertise, such as solutions engineers or film production personnel, to help stream webinars or shoot and edit video content.
Content needs to be published on a regular schedule. Depending on the campaign, many people may be involved, from the team manager to the paid search manager, the social media manager, and even web developers.
Your content needs to be promoted or amplified to ensure that prospects and customers see your content. The brand specialist, social media manager, and paid search manager are often involved in promoting your content via social media, PPC ads, email newsletters, or elsewhere.
A CRM strategy is essential to organizing prospect and customer data, ensuring that customers and prospects are engaged at the right time, and ensuring everyone in your organization has access to up-to-date information. Developing a CRM strategy involves:
Choosing the best CRM solution for your business and customizing it to fit your specific needs is critical to getting the most out of it. A customized CRM will make it easier for your marketing, sales, and customer support team to monitor and use customer data effectively.
Not only is it crucial that you choose the right CRM solution, but it must be integrated throughout your organization to ensure that there are no data silos. Implementing your CRM and integrating it with your existing software solutions can be a complicated task to take on yourself.
Dashboards And Reporting
An agency can help customize your dashboards and reports to fit your needs. For instance, dashboards can be customized for different users on different teams to monitor essential KPIs in real-time. Reports can also be customized and automated to meet the needs of your organization’s stakeholders.
Successful marketing efforts don’t stop with the sale – they continue well past the initial purchase. The majority of your sales will come from existing customers, which means you will need to continue engaging with them following their purchases. Customer marketing is critical to maintaining customer relationships; however, this also means that the more customers you convert, the more work your team will have to do. Here are just a few examples of customer marketing tactics that an outsourced B2B marketing service can handle on your behalf:
Identifying Cross-selling And Upselling Opportunities
An agency can use your customer’s purchasing history and online behavior to determine whether specific cross-selling and upselling opportunities exist. Missing out on such opportunities means that you’re missing out on potential sales. Not to mention that presenting such opportunities to your customers can help improve your relationship with them.
Ensuring Customer Satisfaction
Continuing to engage with existing customers and monitoring their actions is critical to determining where your relationship stands. The bigger your customer base gets, the more difficult it will become to keep track of customer satisfaction. Maintaining customer satisfaction is the key to retention. If you are unable to identify and address satisfaction issues, it can increase customer churn.
Implementing Referral Marketing
Implementing and maintaining a referral marketing program can be a challenge, but it’s also one of the most effective ways to keep existing customers engaged and attract qualified leads. It’s also a great way to increase brand loyalty if your program rewards customers for their referrals.
You cannot increase your sales or grow as a business without a robust, long-term demand generation strategy. Generating demand requires a significant amount of effort. There are also many tactics that you can employ to boost demand generation. Of course, you will need to carefully monitor your strategy’s performance and make adjustments to ensure that your efforts are cost-effective. A professional agency has the marketing talent to help you develop, implement, monitor, and improve your demand generation strategy. Such a strategy will include the following elements:
You can’t generate sales without leads, and you can’t generate leads without traffic. An agency will develop a comprehensive traffic generation strategy to help put your website into a position to be found by your target audience through various methods, including implementing a social media strategy and an in-depth SEO strategy.
Countless tactics can be implemented to help generate leads, which is why a good lead generation strategy must include buyer personas, high-quality content, offers that provide value, effective web forms, and more. As such, a successful lead generation strategy requires a substantial amount of planning, not to mention monitoring, all of which are time-consuming and labor-intensive.
Poor lead management can result in your marketing and sales personnel wasting time on low-quality leads while high-quality leads fall through the cracks. An agency can help you develop and implement an efficient lead management process. Doing so ensures that the flow of leads from marketing to sales isn’t hindered. Additionally, a properly constructed lead management process will ensure that your leads are correctly qualified at every funnel stage.
Conversion Rate Optimization
Monitoring your conversion rates allows you to identify what inbound tactics are working and what tactics are underperforming. Improving your conversion rates results in a higher ROI. Consistently tracking conversion rates will help you identify roadblocks that may lead to low conversions and address those issues to optimize your conversion rates. Not only will you need to monitor specific KPIs, but you’ll also need to be able to discover the cause of any low conversion rate, which requires a high level of expertise that an agency can offer.
Paid advertising is a great way to target a specific audience and to generate high-quality leads. However, because you are paying for clicks, you’ll want to make sure you’re attracting the right audience. An agency can tailor your PPC ads on Google or social media to target the right leads based on extensive keyword research and carefully developed buyer personas.
Branding is a critical component of building your brand identity, brand reputation, and brand awareness. Consistency is key here, which is why you need to track all of your marketing efforts across all channels to ensure that all of your marketing tactics are aligned with your brand. Good branding never ends, which is why it’s helpful to have a marketing agency to assist you with the following branding strategies:
Everything you do on social media is public, which means that all of your social media efforts will affect your branding. These efforts include any content you post on your social pages, any comments you post, any conversations you have with followers, your social profiles, and more. Managing your social presence requires daily attention, not to mention that a social media strategy must achieve specific branding goals.
Poor website design will result in a poor first impression of your brand. You need to have your site designed by professional web developers, programmers, and graphic designers to ensure that it provides a positive user experience and accurately reflects your brand’s look, tone, and messaging.
Your brand is very much dependent on your reputation. Your reputation is affected by many things. An agency can help damage control and find ways to improve your reputation across channels by collecting feedback from existing customers, addressing complaints on social media, boosting your brand authority through content generation, and encouraging positive customer reviews testimonials.
Market research is critical to understanding your industry, audience, competition, and place in the market. In-depth market research will improve your decision-making and help guide your marketing efforts, thereby improving their success rate and making them more cost-effective. Market research can, however, be very time-consuming. It must also be performed regularly to keep up with evolving trends, changing audiences, and new competition. Extensive market research includes:
The ability to analyze your data will affect how well you can monitor your inbound marketing strategy’s performance. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of data analytics tools available. Not only do you have to identify the right ones for you, but you’ll have to make sure that they are correctly implemented and integrated with all of your data sources. On top of that, because of the massive amount of data you’re likely gathering, you need to know what data will benefit your inbound marketing efforts.
Doing competitive research consists of much more than just keeping track of who your competitors are and what they are doing. Thorough competitive research involves identifying what types of strategies both competitors and non-competitors are using within your industry, staying up to date with the latest industry trends, and keeping track of new marketing trends. All of this information also allows you to identify your place within the industry, helping you identify realistic goals and implement more effective marketing strategies. Extensive competitive research is time-consuming, especially when you consider that it has to be performed regularly.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
A comprehensive SEO strategy includes technical SEO, off-page SEO, on-page SEO, PPC advertising, keyword research, and more. It’s also important to note that SEO is vital to your company’s online presence, including its website and social pages. An agency can help develop a comprehensive SEO strategy and work closely with other marketers (such as content creators and social media managers) to align with all of your different inbound strategies. On top of executing the plan, efforts must also be regularly monitored and updated when necessary.
Sales And Marketing Integration
One of the biggest challenges that small and medium-sized businesses face, especially as they begin to grow and expand, is the lack of alignment between their marketing and sales departments. If marketing and sales aren’t correctly aligned, it can result in all types of inefficiencies and miscommunications, hindering your ability to drive growth. An agency can help in these ways to improve your sales and marketing integration:
An agency can help establish proper funnel management, ensuring that both the marketing and sales funnels will function independently while still aligning under common goals. As a result of effective funnel management, you will identify where your leads are within the funnel and optimize every funnel stage to boost conversions. Constant monitoring is required as well to identify potential issues within the funnel and to address them successfully.
Creating relevant content and offers to nurture your leads requires that you map out your buyer’s journey. The buyer journey can be different for everyone, which is why you must engage your leads at every stage of their journey, no matter where they are. Understanding your buyer’s journey will make it easier for your marketing team to engage with leads in a timely and relevant manner.
Job Aid Development
Job aids help to enable your sales team to close deals. The critical component for developing job aids is that marketing and sales are on the same page. Otherwise, the job aids developed for marketing may not align with what your sales team needs. An agency can work closely with existing marketing teams and sales teams to produce useful job aids.
Marketing automation can be used throughout your marketing efforts for tasks that are time-consuming and repetitive. Not only can automation save time, but it can also prevent errors and improve efficiency. For instance, using the proper automation tools, an agency can automate your lead management process using lead scoring applications. Then leads can be automatically qualified once they meet a custom score threshold and automatically assigned to sales personnel.
Improving sales enablement requires proper marketing and sales alignment. After all, your sales depend on your marketing. A successful marketing strategy must be aligned with the needs and goals of your sales team. Developing targeted content, job aids, and resources and implementing a sufficient lead qualification and lead management process are all long-term strategies requiring consistent monitoring.
A straightforward email marketing strategy is needed to achieve any goals you have. Such a strategy requires constant effort, including targeted content creation, personalization, segmentation, and more. An effective email marketing strategy should be customized for your specific goals and audience. Not only can an agency help develop such a strategy, but it can also help you identify achievable and measurable goals.
Supplement Your Marketing Team By Outsourcing Your B2B Marketing Resources And Initiatives
There are many short-term and long-term marketing initiatives that you can outsource. While outsourcing B2B marketing resources can be done piecemeal based on your needs at any given moment, you might want to consider working with a consulting firm on your entire marketing strategy. Some of your initiatives may be short-term projects, but every marketing effort you make should have a long-term outlook.
A B2B marketing agency can help ensure that you always have the resources you need, whether you need them to take control over specific initiatives or you need to supplement your team with rented marketing specialists. Building a relationship with a single marketing agency also means that they can help you develop and implement a more holistic long-term B2B marketing strategy, which will help drive better overall results.