We’re all familiar with outsourcing. Regardless of what industry you’re in, you’ve probably had some experience with contracting work with an outside group. In marketing, it is common for teams to get assistance from videographers, designers, web developers, etc. to push forward with marketing initiatives. Working with outside groups can be a great thing, but it can also be a horrific experience for everyone involved… especially the people footing the bill.
So how can your team get the most bang for your buck when hiring from outside?
- It all starts with your mindset. Since my very first internship at my alma mater, I learned the importance of “flipping” your budget. We hear it in rap songs all the time. It was Quavo who said “I get the bag and flip it and tumble it.” Marketers everywhere, think of your investment into any marketing effort as flipping and tumbling your dollars into results like sales, and if you’re in Higher Ed like I am… increased enrollment is the result you want to see! You won’t make poor choices on your contract negotiation if you have this mindset.
- They don’t know more than your team knows… trust me! All marketers across the world went to a 4-year college or university majored in communications or marketing and possibly have MBAs. The thing that separates great marketers from mediocre ones is typically not formal education, but what they’re doing currently to keep with trends. *Innovation is the name of the game. Just because you hire an agency or a firm it does not mean they are the Jesus Christ of marketing and communications. Trust me, they’re not.
- Identify your weaknesses and needs. The first thing you should do before you draw up a contract with anyone is to assess what you really need. What can your team handle? What are your strengths? More importantly, how can you get the best ROI by putting in the minimal dollar investment to achieve optimal results? The answer to the latter question is to only contract out work that you can’t accomplish in-house. If you don’t understand that, you should reassess your capacity to be a successful business professional.
- Do your research! This goes along with the second tip. Please don’t hire any old body to help you with your marketing and communications. Don’t spend thousands of dollars to have a brainstorming session with an outside group. That is what conferences and twitter chats are for. If you just need ideas but your team is capable of doing the work, then don’t hire a group. If you truly need assistance, do your research! If you can locate and negotiate with a firm that is all about innovation, then you’re going to flip your investment. I guarantee it.
- Keep it collaborative. The last thing you want to do is put your brands in the hands of people who are not loyal to it or have not invested in it. These agencies do not care about your brand. They care about your money, their brand and their reputation. They will do what they want to do if you let them. Keep the discussions open, keep your team involved and work together to make the magic happen.
I am a young professional and it cuts like a knife when I see so-called business professionals wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars on outsourcing. I’ve done the research. I, myself, am an innovative marketer. I know great marketing when I see it and I know basic marketing as well. The last thing you want to do is get a bag and fumble it. For my non-rap fans, that simply means you don’t want to lose money on a deal. Follow my five tips for outsourcing success and I guarantee you will get the results you’re looking for.
Have any questions for me? Leave them in the comments below.