Growth is a sign of success. When people find out about your product or service, revenues increase, books of business expand, and the work that you take on will become increasingly more demanding. These are all promising signs, but companies often fail to manage the infrastructure within their company to support the growth. What was once a highly functioning marketing department a year ago might today find itself in cramped quarters, struggling to meet the demands that are placed on them.
Hiring new employees in these cases is not always the wisest move – from the hiring process to onboarding and training, not to mention the resources spent on them, companies have increasingly turned to lean marketing strategies. Small and large companies have found that, with the right resources, they can do much more with less people. This is largely done by having superior asset marketing tools.
Is your company struggling with growing pains, or looking for innovative solutions to ease the stress on your marketing department? Below are some helpful tips for growing your marketing operations without adding to your headcount.
Step One: Start by Assessing Your Team’s Capacity to Deliver on Your Marketing Plan
Is your team understaffed, or is it not effectively utilizing all the opportunities available to it? Knowing the difference can be crucial for your success. An understaffed team might not be able to implement all the initiatives that they have planned for the year, simply because they don’t have the manpower to do it. Your team may be understaffed in overall capacity or may simply lack appropriate skills for a specific, planned initiative.
To determine if your marketing organization will have unmet need, identify the skills needed to accomplish both your short and long-term goals and then map your team to the needed skills. Next, tally the number of hours a week each project is expected to take and see how much bandwidth the team has to deliver. It’s very likely you’ll find some gaps, and even if your budget allows for additional headcount, it’s also possible that one or two new hires won’t have all the unique skills required to meet those gaps.
In today’s highly competitive employment market, it could also take many months to bring on new talent and even more time before that talent is ready to execute on key programs. If you sense that activities with the greatest potential to impact revenue may be stalled due to a talent or resource gap, it may be time to move to Step 2.
Step Two: Explore Outsourcing Marketing Functions
Are there tasks within your department that maybe better served with an outside partner? Now that your marketing needs are clearly identified, the gap could be filled by a solid partner who can collaborate with your team to increase the functions of your marketing operations without altering the strategy behind it – devising solutions without compromising the company’s direction. A good outsourced marketing partner may bring efficiencies through the access to fractional resource skills or through access to technology that can help you accelerate your marketing program.
Bringing in an outside source can accomplish two primary objectives when working alongside your company: understanding the challenges that your company is facing and finding the right solutions to solve them. When outsourcing marketing work, there are two common paths: approaching an advertising agency or using an outside vendor and consolidating marketing assets and vendors.
Step 3: Find the Right Outsourcing Partner for Your Organization
An advertising agency will take on the creative and strategic work for your company and function as an independent branch outside of your company. While formally skilled at what they do, they also must rely on other companies for the tactical execution of campaigns. In brief, an agency can help you meet growth goals, but with higher associated costs. Outsourcing all or a part of marketing operations can have a very different result, lowering operational cost, while boosting the bottom line and ensuring that you maintain control of the critical strategic direction of your marketing plan.
Having the time and money to field different vendors for each step of your process is a luxury not all companies have the resources to manage. Placing a systematic approach into your marketing operations eases the headaches of coordinating multiple vendors and frees valuable time that your marketing team can use on higher-value functions that impact revenue.
Outside vendors offer an affordable and effective solution to many of the woes faced by internal marketing departments. However, some of these companies have an international scale or location, meaning that they have a hands-off approach to achieving your goals. Consider finding a local partner to allow you higher control and access to see your work first-hand. Working with a local vendor also simplifies interactions and allows for meeting in person to better share objectives and goals. Many efficiencies can be realized quickly with a trusted, local provider who is readily available to collaborate and respond to specific needs.
Finding your local partner might not be too far with ImageMark located conveniently in the Carolinas. If you are searching for a solid partner to support your marketing team, don’t look too far. ImageMark is ready to support your marketing operations needs with marketing asset management, direct mail and print services, and a full suite of promotional products.
We invite you to learn more about ImageMark.