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Outsourcing: Tips to choose a Marketing consultant

11 Apr
Published by gruti
outsource

Today we talk about outsourcing the marketing function in any organisation, but in particular in the IT industry.

Since the global economic downturn started, it's a fact that many companies that downsize, re-prioritize or expand consider outsourcing as a cost effective strategy to run certain company’s functions. In the last decade or so Outsourcing has become more and more a fundamental aspect of business strategies and marketing is the function within any size of an enterprise to be outsourced.

Outsourcing, as we all know, allows a company to focus more on its core business. The use of many marketing agencies is to help companies market their products and services without hiring and training full-time staff. They can often provide the same or even better service as an in-house marketing department, but at a fraction of the cost.

There are essentially two main benefits when outsourcing?

  • o Specialized skills and expertise
  • o An external independent perspective

In order to avoid disappointments and higher costs, there are aspects to consider when outsourcing. When choosing a marketing consultant or an outside marketing company, our advise is to conduct some investigation and due diligence, but above all, by asking some evaluating questions should assist you in finding a marketing firm that is right for you.

Let’s have a closer look of each of these questions:

Area of Expertise

What do they focus on?

There are many components to marketing. Below some common areas of expertise: 


  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)   
  • Branding
  • Affiliate Marketing Development and Management
  • Marketing Strategy and Plan Development
  • Internet Marketing Strategy
  • Lead Generation
  • Sales and Marketing Campaign Development
  • Marketing Classes, Seminars, and Workshops

You need to understand what they focus on, what areas you need help in and look for agencies with expertise in those areas of interest.

Industry Expertise

What is their industry expertise?

Find out what industry they are specialised on is. There are many marketing agencies that take on board any project regardless the industry and business of the commissioned company. It is important to always select marketing firms that have an expertise in a specific industry so that they can relate to your business.

 Achievements

What work are they most proud of?

Ask what the notable goals that the marketing firm has achieved. This leads to the next evaluating question.

 Client References

What feedback do we have from their previous clients?

Never commission a project to a marketing agency without contacting client referrals. It is very easy to get excited about the power point presentations and the marketing brochures we've been sent when looking for a consultant, but the only proof of goodwill that really counts is in the achieved results. It is obvious that if they could not succeed with other clients, what makes you think they can conduct a successful marketing campaign for you? Call those references, it only takes a few minutes and it is worth your time. If you don’t want to call those references, ask the agency to give you evidence of achieved results signed off by other clients.

Evaluate the costs

What are the costs and the fee structure?

Before committing to any contract or agreement, make sure you understand well the fee structure. Check if it is based on man-days with milestone payments, paying everything up front, or if it is based on the final product by applying the pay-for-performance structure?

With the power of the Internet and with a huge number of marketing firms out there, it is not an easy task to find the one right for your needs. But there is one criteria that should be considered as a bad signal: if they are in a rash to have you sign the contract without taking the time to listen to your needs and to understand the business your are in, run away from them and find someone else.

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