Many companies that are changing their priorities, expanding, or, on the contrary, are narrowing their activity, look at outsourcing as an effective method to cut costs. One of the departments that companies outsource more and more often lately is marketing. Outsourcing allows companies to focus more on developing their own products and on their basic operations. Other important benefits are:
- Access to specialized workforce
- Cost and time savings
If, from this point of view, the benefits are obvious, you should know still that there are also risks in choosing the best B2B marketing services provider. To avoid these risks, here are some aspects you should clear before deciding to outsource your B2B marketing operations to a certain services provider:
THE EXPERTISE FIELD
Learn what is that provider’s specialty, because B2B marketing is a very complex domain. Establish clearly if the provider’s expertise domains can help you develop your business. Here are some of the most common expertise domains of the outsourced B2B marketing services:
- Search Engine Marketing and Search Marketing Optimization
- Developing marketing plans and strategies
- Leads Generation
- Developing marketing sales campaigns
- Marketing courses, seminars and workshops
Determine which are the areas you need assistance in and find the providers with the relevant experience in these domains.
Although the level of education of the potential provider’s personnel is very important, when it comes to success in B2B marketing, practical experience can be much more important than all the diplomas and attended courses. That is why you have to ask the provider as many study cases, references and, in general, any sort of information that refer to his/her experience on a specific domain or market segment.
CERTIFICATIONS/MEMBERSHIP TO PROFILE ORGANIZATIONS
These can offer you an idea about how active that provider is in the B2B marketing community, as well as about the certifications he/she received on a certain domain.
Gather here as much information as possible; both from the provider, as well as from the market, about the greatest achievements or the most successful projects of that provider.
This way you will be able to get a view over the span and success of the projects accomplished by that provider, and you will be able to understand more easily if his/her working style matches yours.
TESTIMONIALS/REFERENCES FROM CLIENTS
Never sign a contract with a provider of outsourced B2B marketing services before receiving references from other clients. You can become easily enthusiastic over the provider’s sales presentations or over the company brochures, but the accurate results should be the most relevant evaluating instruments you should use. If they didn’t have good results with other customers, what makes you think they will succeed in developing effective B2B marketing campaigns for your products and services? Call the clients from the provider’s reference list and find out as many details about their collaboration.
EVALUATE THE REQUIRED FEE
Before signing any sort of agreement, make sure you realize the costs involved in this collaboration. Is it an installment payment; is it that the project will be paid beforehand or will it be paid when results are achieved? Understand very well what you are asked to pay and how those tariffs are calculated. It is very important that, when choosing a provider you outsource your B2B marketing activity to, you make sure that he/she understands your marketing objectives. The provider has to listen carefully and learn what you want to accomplish from the B2B marketing campaign’s point of view, before presenting your cost structure. If you see the provider is in a hurry to close the contract without taking the time to understand you business and business style, the best alternative is to start looking for someone else. The services provider should be patient in the pre-signing process of the contract: if you feel that he/she is pressuring you to make a decision, then probably things will go worse after signing.