Once you have decided that you need some kind of professional at the helm of your marketing effort, you still have to look inside your organization and decide if you want to bring in outside help. This is the classic inside/outside question:
Do you manage your marketing effort from inside the company or outsource marketing to an experienced consultant?
The inside/outside question
Many factors can impact this decision; among them are:
- Time, and
- In-house marketing expertise
Each CEO’s situation differs.
Advantages of outsourcing
Think of marketing as you would any other crucial aspect of running your company. Some companies have an accountant on staff, or even an entire accounting department. Others outsource. No company would get very far without specialists working on its behalf.
If you or someone on your staff is a well-rounded marketing professional or is keen to dive into the finer points of business-to-business marketing best practices, you may have a great opportunity to use in-house talent to your benefit. If not, it’s time to look outside.
I’ll share with you something I keep handy, that bears on the decision about whether to in-source or outsource: some time ago Peter Kim, an influential blogger on social media, reviewed two Forrester reports that point to a need for companies to work with an agency to leverage brand monitoring and social networks for business. In The Need For Services In Social Technology at the Being Peter Kim blog, he writes:
“To fully understand these technologies and capture value, you're going to need some help. In the future, this won't be the case…. During the long transformative transition in the meantime, companies will need help getting there.”
The same can be said of inbound business-to-business marketing. To fully understand what to do – and to do it – most CEOs will need some help.
How you manage that help can make the difference between a successful marketing investment and a waste of time and dollars.
Advantages of insourcing
Four secrets to efficient CEO-managed marketing
- Marketing Planning: Use a comprehensive marketing plan to determine goals, budget and methods
- Specialists: Pick trustworthy, affordable experts in the specific areas where you need help (more on this below)
- Coordination: Manage consultants daily or weekly for best results
- ROI: Have key performance indicators (KPIs) such as leads being generated, and measure using tools such as Salesforce, HubSpot and/or Google Analytics. Then you know more about what's working, and your return on investment (ROI)
Step 2 -- picking the right specialists -- is harder than 1, 3, and 4, which relate to managing B2B marketing activities. So the next Dealbreaker article will feature three questions to ask a potential consultant. What are your make or break questions?