Marketing strategy aims to increase sales and boost the long-term competitive advantage of a business. A marketing strategy or plan is a composed of actions to be done over time to achieve your marketing goals. This includes activities like internal and market analysis, development, testing, contingency planning, and selection of the right strategy.
Marketing strategy development typically begins with an analysis of your business and market, taking into account economic, political and technological factors, and identification of strategic issues. While most marketing plans cover many years, shorter plans are gaining traction due to a fast-paced merchandising environment. Strategies can be dynamic to allow the firm to adapt to sudden changes while not losing focus on the goals.
The process of coming up with the right strategy for your business can take a lot of time. The right fit depends on the type of market. A marketing strategy that is successful for a new business may not be appropriate for a more established firm in a mature market. Strategy development requires the services of professionals with in-depth understanding of your business and industry.
However, hiring full-time professionals requires a significant investment, especially for smaller businesses or those exploring new markets. Even firms with internal marketing departments may need to offload some strategic marketing functions to be able to focus on more important tasks.
Marketing strategy is a critical but non-core task that an increasing number of organizations, mostly SMBs, are farming out to marketing service providers. For a company that lacks resources or an established brand expanding into new territory, building an in-house marketing team and hiring top marketing strategists can be costly and impractical. Working with a third party saves your business from the expenses of hiring full-time staff, as well as recruitment and training time.
Business owners understand the need to market their products to drive growth, and at the same time keep a close eye on the marketing budget. CEOs are asking their marketing staff to take on more responsibility for improving customer engagement, retention and satisfaction. Marketers today must captivate their target audience using multiple channels, while delivering a seamless, personalized customer buying experience.
This is true for both small and large businesses, but an organization that lacks marketing talent is more likely to experience challenges that limit growth. Many organizations are unprepared for the time and resource investment this entails. The result is a performance gap in strategy, skills and technology. A recent study reported that more than 90 percent of companies lack digital skills, while only 4 percent align their training toward the digital strategy.
Third parties are stepping in to fill this gap through the provision of outsourced marketing services. Third parties work globally, so clients can leverage expertise, technology and talent wherever they may be located. Marketing service providers can give you access to a full-time chief marketing officer (CMO) or an entire team of marketing experts, at a fraction of the cost of doing recruitment in-house.
Accessing Marketing Talent and Technology
Traditional and digital marketers appear to clog the job market, but top marketing talent that fits your business is in limited supply. Forrester research showed that 44 percent of marketing leaders say that they cannot find the right people with the right skills. The majority (96 percent) also believes that the skills required to be a successful marketing professional have increased.
Effective marketing strategists are both creative people and data analysts who have in-depth understanding of marketing metrics and make decisions based on facts. They are able to adapt to an increasingly complex market, changing customer behaviors, multiple engagement channels, and competing business demands. In addition, they are also financially savvy, focusing on ROI with each marketing project.
In the real world, many marketers struggle to deliver ROI-driven marketing activities, such as measuring buying effectiveness as a function of a digital marketing campaign. Too often, the CMO or marketing strategist loses focus on the core marketing activity because they assume multiple roles. Outsourcing marketing strategy transfers the responsibility to an outside expert with defined management guidelines, relieving the business of cost and risk burdens while delivering topnotch results.
Outsourcing marketing strategy means immediate access not only to one skilled person, but an entire team of marketing experts. Along with a strategist, you get content experts, designers, web developers and data analysts who have access to the latest tools and technology. An outsourced marketing model that combines talent, technology and strategy is ideal whether you run a new business or have been in the industry for many years.
Outsourcing marketing strategy to an offshore service provider is a good option for organizations looking for maximum savings. Offshore marketing strategists have the same qualifications as local professionals, but the total cost of hiring them is significantly lower. With flexible solutions, any business can hire permanent or contract staff and scale up or down easily. Another benefit of outsourcing your marketing strategy to an offshore provider is the fresh perspective that comes from an objective viewpoint. A service provider is free to question assumptions and theories without being constrained by bureaucracy.
To ensure the success of your campaign, work closely with an experienced offshore marketing service provider with a proven track record in ROI-driven marketing strategy. Look for an offshore provider that offers cross-sector expertise and in-depth understanding of a wide variety of marketing disciplines, including market research and business intelligence, data/big data analysis, campaign planning, execution and measurement, and budget planning and management.
A leading healthcare company based in the United States realized the benefits of marketing outsourcing when it partnered with an experienced third party to manage its web presence. The company is one of the biggest providers of Medicare in the U.S. It offers healthcare insurance and other health and wellness services using an integrated approach to well-being.
In only five years, the company acquired seven additional brands, which led to a weaker core brand and reduced memberships and renewals. The company wanted to revamp its online presence completely, strengthen the brand, and deliver a personalized customer experience through the integration of its multiple online channels. The firm chose an established marketing outsourcing service provider to redesign and consolidate its web operations and improve customer satisfaction through a more personalized engagement approach.
The service provider leveraged its expertise in digital transformation and user experience management to increase customer satisfaction and reorganize the company's digital assets. The result of the partnership was a unified, customer-centric online experience with an emphasis on personalized content. The healthcare company now has a single online portal for all its products and services, with an improved selling ability and increased customer satisfaction.
An Italian food products manufacturer, operating 16 production plants and employing over 7,000 people, wanted its marketing function to be more dynamic and aligned with the needs and lifestyle of its younger customer base. The company wanted to engage this segment through online marketing and social media as well as improve brand visibility to encourage customer loyalty.
The company worked with a third party marketing services outsourcing provider to create and manage digital content for its multiple mini websites. The interactive minisites promoted food products in a fun way that engaged their target demographic. More content and targeted promotion meant higher traffic, which the project team handled by organizing the site by role and area of interest. The content of the website changes in real time based on visitor selections.
By working with an experienced marketing provider, the food products manufacturer improved brand health monitoring by 100 percent, improved the company's social media presence by 100 percent, increased sales with electronic coupons and increased the speed of communication between the company and its customers. One of the company's project managers said that outsourcing marketing services to a third party helped the business make better use of internal resources and reinvent business-wide customer engagement through the use of innovative technology.
A shipping company based in Quebec used marketing services outsourcing to boost growth and return on investment. The company wanted to generate brand awareness and present their value proposition to their target market. They worked with a third party provider specializing in B2B marketing for an effective and measurable solution.
After an in-depth analysis of the company and industry, including interviews with customers, the outsourced marketing team created a marketing strategy that improved the company's competitive advantage. The team also developed a tactical plan to generate the biggest ROI. By working with a third party, the company increased its new customer acquisition rate by more than 80 percent. It also increased website traffic by over 50 percent and improved SEO ranking for target keywords.
A Toronto-based law firm specializing in employment law worked with a marketing services outsourcing provider to implement an effective marketing strategy that will increase awareness and generate leads. The marketing service provider updated the company's brand identity to ensure a consistent presence. They created a new website, logo, marketing collaterals and a referral program to drive lead generation. With the new collaterals, the company gained a fresh, professional identity and a framework for lead generation activities.
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