Crisis? Outsource your marketing operations ten times more carefully!
I’m sure all of you are looking for a gateway to save the sales results you’ve had so far, and get through 2009 without any major turmoil. Today, marketing outsourcing has become an essential aspect of business strategies and has very good potential to help you get through the crisis and still have good business results.
Many marketing consultants help companies market their products and services without extending their in-house marketing staff. They can often provide the same service as an in-house marketing department, but at half the cost.
Benefits aside, there are things to look for when choosing a marketing outsourcer that you can really trust. Here are a few aspects you should evaluate when choosing the right marketing outsourcer.
Area of Expertise
Find out what their expertise is in. There are many components to marketing, such as: search engine marketing and optimization, branding, positioning lead generation etc. What do they focus on? Figure out what areas you need help in and look for consultants with expertise in those areas.
What type of training and/or education is important to you? I will tell you that education is important, however experience and hands-on expertise can far out weigh education when it comes down to success in marketing. Ask for case studies, referrals, and experience in the areas that you need assistance in.
This will also tell you how active theoutsourcer is in the marketing community as well as if they’ve been certified in certain areas of marketing.
What are the notable achievements that the marketing outsourcer has achieved? What work are they most proud of?
Never hire a marketing consultant without contacting former or current clients for referrals. You can get very excited about the sales presentations and the marketing brochures you’ve been handed when looking for a consultant, but the proof is in the achieved results. If they could not succeed with other clients, what makes you think they can succeed when it comes to marketing your products and services? Call those references, it only takes a few minutes and it is worth your time.
Before signing any agreements make sure you are clear in the fee structure. Is it based on milestone payments, paying everything up front, or are they working on a pay-for-performance structure? Be clear about what you will be charged and how those fees are determined.
There are many marketing outsourcers out there, so make sure you are comfortable with their experience and that you also feel they understand your marketing goals. They should take the time to listen to you before they ever present to you a fee structure. If they are in a rush to have you sign the contract without taking the time to understand your business, run away fast and find someone else. They should be patient in the process of gaining your business, so if you feel rushed it will only get worse after the agreement is signed.