2017 is here. What does that mean to you? Most people I speak to seem to agree in their eagerness to close the books on 2016, though the jury is still out on whether it was or was not the worst year on record for celebrity deaths. Either way, there was more than enough tragedy last year, that’s for sure. Are you starting the year off with a set of new resolutions? Mine are mostly going to be recycled ones that are worth repeating, like eating better and getting more exercise. For myself, I usually begin the year with a good amount of gusto for those resolutions, though I often end up using the Old New Year (that’s the New Year from the Julian calendar, which currently fall on Jan. 14th of the modern calendar) as a backup, in case I’ve already failed by that point. For the most part, we think of a new year as a time of renewal, an occasion on which to leave behind the mistakes and failures of the previous year, and to begin the year with a fresh start and a new perspective.
Savvy business owners will, in a similar vein, make similar efforts to make use of the new year holiday to begin anew, even if their fiscal year doesn’t start on January 1st. Just as in our personal lives, the new year provides an excellent opportunity to reflect on the business successes and failures of the past year, and make a plan for how to improve things in the coming year. What are your goals for your company for 2017? Are you thinking about ways that you can upgrade your offerings, or streamline your production processes? If so, I applaud your motivation and wish you the greatest success in your efforts. Unless you’re one of those rare shops that already has more business than you can handle, chances are that you’re looking to increase sales as well, and that means improving your marketing efforts.
It’s 2017, and as we’ve pointed out before, the old school methods of marketing simply aren’t as effective as they used to be. If, for example, you’re considering increasing the size or distribution scope of your yellow pages ads, I’ve got to advise you to save your funds. I can’t say that there’s no longer any value in print ads, but suffice it to say, if you’re not doing digital marketing at this time, you’re missing the boat, in a big way. Recent research shows that 81% of shoppers do their research online before making a significant purchase. If you don’t have a presence online, you’re going to miss out on a very large percentage of buyers. Not sure of the best way to establish that presence? That’s all the more reason to for what we’ve been saying all along on this blog: you’re best off outsourcing your digital marketing efforts to an agency that specializes in that sort of work. We’ve discussed it at length on this blog already, but to start the new year off right, here are some of the main points to consider as you decide whether to outsource that work or keep it in-house.
Outsourcing to experts brings a comprehensive, competitive digital marketing strategy.
A big part of the challenge of today’s digital marketing efforts is the rapidly changing nature of the game. The implementation of a successful campaign requires awareness of the current trends in consumer behavior, which is, by its nature, something of a moving target. For example, what were valid SEO (Search Engine Optimization) methods even as recently as last year may no longer be effective this year, as Google’s algorithms continue to evolve. The best way to deal with these changes is to work with a team of experts, whose focus is entirely on developing competitive strategies that will win in the current climate of digital marketing. An in-house marketing professional, or even an internal team, if you have the budget for them, won’t have the depth of experience that you can expect from a “virtual marketing agency”.
Outsourcing saves money.
Marketing is important: it’s unquestionably one of the vital functions of any business, and I would never recommend that you settle for a cheap, cut-rate solution. But when we talk about digital marketing efforts, or any marketing campaign, it really all boils down to return on investment (ROI), doesn’t it? It’s going to be difficult, if not impossible, to find a single person you can keep on staff, who can manage your entire marketing campaign the way an agency, with a team of pros with diverse skillsets and background can. If you’re fortunate enough to find such an individual, it would have to be at least a fairly senior marketing executive, who will command a high salary. You’ll also be paying for that person’s benefits, vacation time, computers and other office equipment, and a variety of other expenses associated with in-house employees. Not so when you outsource to an agency who absorbs all of those costs, in exchange for giving you a full team of marketing experts at a fraction of the cost of one in-house marketing person.
Access to best-of-breed technologies, all the time.
Among the challenges facing an in-house marketing executive (or team) is that of keeping up with the latest industry technologies and tools. Chances are that your in-house staff won’t have the time or resources to research and test all of the available digital marketing software. But it’s another story when you outsource to an agency whose only line of work is marketing, and whose success depends upon the success of their clients. They’ve already done all the research, and need to be constantly on top of all of the latest and greatest technologies in the field. Outsourcing your digital marketing efforts to such an agency gives you access to those tools, all the time.
We wish you the very best for a successful and prosperous 2017! Give us a call to set up a consultation so we can show you how the marketing pros at Rhino can help you accomplish your goals for the coming year!