Right now, that’s possibly the last thing you feel like braving: it has been a helluva year.
As we recover and rebuild from events that no one could have predicted, there is one certainty we all have to face. The strategy, plans, budget and resourcing we laid out for 2020 are not likely to hit the mark for the year ahead.
Tough economic conditions ahead mean we will all need to make our marketing budgets go a lot further.
That’s why now is the time to rethink exactly how you will deliver on your strategies – because you are going to need to squeeze the absolute last drop out of every investment you make in marketing resources.
The resourcing pay-off
We’ve been encouraging business leaders to open up to a different approach to resourcing for some time now. A little less traditional, with a lot more flex.
Resourcing options have changed, giving you the chance to rethink your approach and benefit from cost savings, greater ROI, flexibility and access to a greater breadth of expertise.
A really decent pay-off.
Flexible resources have never been so accessible
If you’ve any doubt about the return you’re currently seeing from your in-house marketers or suppliers, don’t waste another second. Review it – and then rethink it.
Use performance reviews to gain transparency and clarity. You must understand fully your current performance levels before you can address them.
The situation we are in has changed so radically. The way we work has dramatically changed this year, as has the way your business can access services, suppliers and resource.
Flexibility lies at the heart of this change.
The scales are tipping in favour of:
The flexible agency?
Agencies are not set up to accommodate the sort of flexibility that’s described here.
Of course, they can drop their rates and offer more competitive pricing, but that’s likely as far as they can go. Their business model means they’re not able to offer ‘plug and play’ resource that slots in to fill the smaller expertise gaps that nimbler outsourced marketing specialists can.
Committing too early
Despite this turn to flexibility many businesses are still dead-set on locking themselves into long-term resource commitment.
Even businesses in their early stages who are still unsure what marketing actually works for them are still resting on learned behaviour and recruiting for this or that role – fulltime and in-house.
Using recruitment to resource marketing costs. And it’s not just salaries.
- Recruiter and job advertising fees
- The hidden cost to the business of the hours spent reviewing CVs, interviewing candidates and onboarding employees
- HR costs such as national insurance, pensions, bonuses, perks…
For early stage businesses, these extra costs can really impact on the bottom line. Revisit your recruitment, staffing and salary spends and ask yourself if a full-time employee is something you can afford right now.
Then, if you’re open to the idea of change, look around you will see some very attractive, flexible options waiting on your doorstep.
That’s not to say you won’t need to invest time and effort into finding the perfect resource. But it won’t come at anything near the cost of traditional recruitment and onboarding.
A market rich in marketing resource
The unfortunate background to this market rich in flexible resources is the effect of the pandemic on employment. Many marketers have found themselves out of a job.
For business owners looking to plug marketing gaps, this means there’s more choice and more talent out there.
Why marketing resources need a marketing lead
When bringing in flexible marketing support, however, managing their performance is key. An experienced marketing lead should be tasked with getting them quickly aligned to your overarching objectives and creating clear measures and milestones to track progress.
This is often where growing businesses fail. Marketing resources are often overseen by the founder or sales director, who have limited experience of marketing.
We see this time and time again. Busines leaders burned, trying to steer marketing resource success, without knowing what good performance actually looks like.
The key resourcing gap to fill
Of all the marketing expertise you’ll look to resource, the one with the biggest price tag will come in the form of a CMO or Marketing Director.
For fast growing businesses, you’ll 100% need someone you’re confident can drive marketing forward – at pace – with the right strategy and resource.
But ask yourself, does that person need to fill a full-time role?
We challenge you it does not. For over a decade, we’ve supported businesses in a flexible, part-time capacity, successfully building their marketing engine and increasing ROI, while working as part of their leadership team.
We just so happen not to do this full-time. And (pre-Covid) through a smart mix of on-site and remote working.
The situation has changed and budgets are severely squeezed.
Flexible resourcing has never been more available or more attractive.
It offers agility and significant cost-savings and – arguably – also opens out a wider pool of talent for your team.
Is it radical to suggest that a more outsourced, flexible marketing team may deliver better ROI*?
* We think not. For scaling businesses in the current climate, it can be a game-changer.