A 2015 study by Marketo of 478 senior marketers and CMOs from around the world conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit revealed that more than 80% of all marketers say that their organizations will need to undergo dramatic changes in order to keep up with increased technical and consumer demands. As the tactics and technology within marketing advance in dizzying ways, it’s challenging to stay afloat. With so many moving parts, it is more important than ever that you get the most out of your internal and external resources. Easier said than done, right? Well, here’s some food for thought on how to do it.
Acknowledge your Weaknesses
Marketers should be giving their entire strategy and all of its corresponding parts a good, hard stare-down. For example, maybe you’ve been hesitant to outsource your social media strategy because you feel it should be simple enough to be handled in-house by an intern. Check yourself. Is your intern qualified to oversee all of your social channels? What’s his prior experience that makes him a good candidate for handling such a public-facing part of your digital presence? Have you seen measurable results since she’s been in charge? If you can’t answer those questions, it could be time to admit you need an upgrade.
There are plentiful social media-centered marketing agencies that eat, sleep and breathe the nuances of attracting new followers, hash-tagging for success and aligning all social platforms to work in unison. The point is that expertise doesn’t have to reside internally – even for the most internally focused projects. You might be far better served handing the reins to someone with a third-party perspective and deeper experience than someone more junior who sits inside your office.
Measure Against your Goals
We’re about halfway through the year. As a marketer, you should know how your results are looking next to your goals. If you don’t, it’s time to get your hands on any analytics within your grasp and gauge your success. Compare the numbers from the previous year, and determine if you’ve made progress, maintained similar growth or are experiencing a decline. This will go a long way in telling you whether your organization is structured as it should be.
If you discover that you’re off base and need to reorganize, start by focusing on your organization’s needs. What are your biggest priorities? What weaknesses did you find within your walls? Based on these answers, you should be able to identify four or five critical areas that marketing can impact in order to move your organization forward. These areas can be outside of the marketing box, too. If one of your company’s biggest – and most costly – problems is high attrition, for instance, consider how to change this. Maybe the first step is outsourcing your online presence to an outside agency that can help improve your digital reputation and attract top talent. And the second step could be tasking your in-house marketing team with the creation of targeted internal communications to raise company morale. This is just one example of how your external and internal resources could work together to drive company goals.
Do a Little Research
I know you’re busy, but if you’re serious about striking an ideal balance between your internal and external resources, you’re going to need to get your hands dirty. Do some reading and research to determine what other successful companies are doing, and then think about whether their methods could work for you. Also, don’t disregard statistics. It was found that outsourced B2B lead generation is 43% more effective than in-house B2B lead generation. If you’re white-knuckling your lead gen program for no reason other than that you don’t have the heart to let it go, you might be significantly compromising your organization’s marketing results.
When you’re making organizational changes, try to remove yourself from the picture and stay objective. If you identify your weaknesses, turn to statistics, look for role models to draw inspiration from and check your progress against your goals, you’ll find the full picture becoming clear, little by little. With this improved insight, you’ll have a stronger grasp on which marketing functions to keep in-house and which to trust to outside agencies. Then you can start seeing the benefits of having true alignment of your resources, all working to move the company forward.