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Consultancy

In the ever-competitive business environment, more and more companies are looking for a little bit of extra help with their marketing. If your company is looking to the raise the bar, this short article may be for you!

Check out capabilities, internal verses external

A great deal of pressure has been exerted on staffing costs over the past two or three years. This has lead to a cap being placed on recruitment and in some cases, the staff are not being replaced should employees choose to leave. This can place some critical restrictions on operational capability and it can often become a necessity to augment existing internal capability by outsourcing key skills. The nature and breadth of skills required will vary depending on the nature of the marketing activity.

Pitfalls with doing everything in-house

Some companies try hard to keep all marketing activity in-house. This can be a false economy as it only becomes apparent when external marketing takes place. Poorly executed marketing is not only a missed opportunity; it can be a potentially costly, brand damaging activity. It is important to make sure you have the best team in place to deliver high quality marketing activity. How that capability is produced (part time/full time) is another question.

Growing trend of freelancers

There is a growing network of high quality freelance capability. Whilst many companies may not wish to engage directly with individual freelancers (because of specialist activities), it can be a very valuable source should the company have the requirement.

Using the talent pool

Accessing the network of freelancers can be problematic for internal marketing teams. This can be for a variety of reasons but fundamentally, we are crossing the divide between planning and implementation and it requires different skills, capability and industrial knowledge. A useful example is a primary contractor who builds the team on your behalf (just be careful they don’t just employ their friends).

Keeping focused

Make sure that you remain focused on what you require. Freelancers, consultants and agencies can have a nasty habit of convincing companies that they need to do something different. This is OK providing that it doesn’t turn out to be just the kind of thing their company does lots of. A top tip is to ask a company what internal resources they have and keep an eye on how the conversation progresses. Design companies with lots of designers for example, normally end up suggesting design is the way forward!

Measuring everything

Once you have a team in place make sure you set very clear targets, objectives and a method of measuring their success.

Learning from action

If you have effective measurements in place, you can gain valuable insight and learning from your activity. Don’t let it drift - where you can see learning, make sure you implement that insight into the ongoing campaign.

Reinforcing success

It is important however, that you don’t develop any sacred cows. Sometimes testing and learning will take the campaign in a way that you may not personally like – but if it works, support the results and go with the flow – remember its not personal!

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