Is it time to bring more marketing in-house? As your company scales, this question becomes inevitable, and – if you’ve been working with the right agency – it will be a managed and sustainable process.
For anyone considering the transition, we’ve pulled together our top tips for making that daunting leap – so you can be sure you end up with a flourishing marketing department that will continue to scale.
Build from your marketing strategy
Your marketing strategy is a crucial foundation for success. It steers your long-term efforts; defining who you are as a company, how you communicate and where you want to go. But it shouldn’t be a static document.
When you take your marketing in-house it’s important to make sure your strategy is being reviewed and refined on a regular basis, adjusting it appropriately as markets change and your business grows.
Reviewing your marketing strategy should include reflecting on:
- Market trends
- Competitor analysis
- Designed perception
- Company messaging
- Target audience
- Alignment of marketing/company objectives
- Marketing KPIs and metrics
- Go to market strategy
This should be used as the marketing bible that all activity ties back to. A consistent, well-researched and authentic marketing strategy ensures all elements going forwards are working in harmony to build a stable structure.
Choose a focus
As you’re building your team, you don’t want to spread yourself too thin. In fact, even with a large marketing department it wouldn’t be recommended.
Identify which channels or techniques will be best for you and your strategy, considering what’s worked for you before and what your objectives are moving forwards
If website traffic is your metric of choice, maybe SEO content paired with paid Google Ads are the two efforts you should focus on. Or for lead nurturing, email marketing and lead magnet downloadable assets shared via LinkedIn may be more appropriate.
Deciding which channels are your focus will inform the skills you need to hire for and the tools you’ll need to manage activity.
Create a marketing infrastructure
Marketing doesn’t have to be a shot in the dark. With so many tools at our disposal, it’s actually quite scientific.
A solid infrastructure starts with the right team and processes, but it ends with integrating your platforms into your every day. They not only take out the pain of manual tasks, but they also take the guess work out of your activity.
Which audience will be most receptive to this message? Which ad is performing better, and why? What happens when I edit the copy on this landing page?
If you listen to your tools and optimise accordingly, there’s no reason you won’t see an upward trend for your results. You can be more sustainable with your marketing, taking considered action that you know is relevant to your target audience, rather than bombarding the masses with noise.
Here’s a simple workflow to follow to ensure you’re following a sustainable marketing infrastructure:
- Set KPIs
- Take baseline measurements
- Assign responsibilities
- Research audience, market, and competitors
- A/B test
- Track performance
- Optimise continuously
Here are some types of marketing tools that will help:
- Data analytics
- Task and project management
- Social listening
- Market research
- SEO analysis
Long-term marketing activity plan
Think long-term. Marketing takes a lot of time and consistent action before it starts to take effect. Looking further ahead means creating a more connected plan of activity, all moving towards a shared goal. It gives you, your business, and your audience the clarity to see the big picture. This approach will have much greater impact than several months of disjointed activity.
This doesn’t mean you have to plan out every detail for years in advance, but having a core narrative framework in place is important.
A long-term planner also helps you prioritise and stay on track with your strategy.
You may have millions of ideas, but most of them won’t contribute towards your primary objective or strategy. Make sure you stick to a central narrative that your plan feeds into.
Plus, many of your co-workers will have suggestions, often great, but not relevant to your objective. Holding fast to your long-term plan will help you keep sight of when to adapt or make room for new ideas.
We recommend planning marketing activity for up to 6 or 12 months. Each quarter you should reassess your priorities and overall objectives to see if anything needs changed.
Be open about delivery
Despite their sometimes-unwanted-ideas, your team are a great resource. They are the DNA of the business. When bringing your marketing in-house, draw on their insights, ask their opinions, and keep communicating about the strategic direction.
This doesn’t mean you have to take every idea to heart, but working collaboratively will benefit everyone. The more your team know about why your plan is what it is, the more they will value and support it. And the better their suggestions will become!
Keep collaborating and learning
Marketing is a fast-paced industry. Combine that with the technology industry, and there’s a lot to keep up with.
Part of your marketing infrastructure should include dedicated time for training. For example, at EV, we host lunch and learns internally, we regularly share best practice learnings and make continuous development a priority.
Something as simple as getting your team together to brainstorm new ideas and share industry updates can be a game changer.
Consider a hybrid marketing approach
If you’re working with an outsourced team currently, you don’t have to say goodbye right away. Make your marketing agency part of the family. They can share knowledge across your organisation, either supplementing your resources as you grow or supporting you with training new team members.
This makes it easier to bring marketing in-house at your own pace and scale in the right way.
Here’s a guide on finding the right marketing agency for you.
Other things to consider when moving marketing in-house:
- Skills and roles
- Time (to set up your team, infrastructure, technology)
- Scalable and sustainable practices
Sustainable outsourced marketing with EV
When we partner with you, our aim is to provide a sustainable infrastructure for scale. We understand the pressures to scale as a growing company, so we can give you the marketing foundation on which to build your brand and make an even greater impact.
Once you’re ready to take your marketing in-house, we’ll support you to build the skills in your team and confidently take your strategy into your own hands. Most importantly, to do so with sustainability and longevity.
To learn more about our approach and how we partner to support scale, get in touch.