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The 4 Common Mistakes VARs Make When Outsourcing Their Marketing

Right & Wrong Way Signs_istockIn my previous blogs I talked about the need for outsourcing some elements of your marketing collateral.   Hopefully you’re ready to make the investment and reap the investments of adding an expert resource to your marketing team. Unfortunately, like anything else, there can be some “pitfalls” to outsourcing. Before you decide what to outsource and select a vendor, read this…

  1. Not staying the course. The number one reason for all outsourced project failures is the expectation of an immediate (or short term) result such as “my blog post should generate 10 leads in 10 days”. Not getting that result, many VARs who outsource will shut down the project long before any results can be achieved. Trust your vendor and really LISTEN to what they say relative to the expected timeframe for you to see results. If you can’t commit to that you may not be ready to invest.
  2. You think marketing is an expense. Marketing is an investment. With the advent of inbound marketing (website, blogging, social media, etc.), your marketing department (person) has added a pre-sales role to their responsibilities. They are responsible for finding, qualifying and nurturing your leads.  Outsourcing in support of this critical role is the same as investing in your sales team. If you think it’s an expense you’re likely to either under invest or put the brakes on too quickly to be successful.
  3. Not recognizing inter-dependencies. My biggest challenge is potential clients who come to me and want help with (for example) a lead generation campaign. As we discuss the various elements, we’ll discover that there are fundamental pieces missing from their marketing. This could be anything from a poorly segmented database to a horrible website or no offers. Too often, my potential client is not willing to make that additional investment in spite of my warning that it will impact the results of the campaign. What’s more troubling is that the reseller KNOWS those things are a challenge – they just choose not to address them. No marketing tactic is completely stand-alone. If you’re not ready to address all the elements that might impact your outsourced project, be ready for less than stellar results.
  4. Insisting that your vendor know every detail of your business. YOU are the experts on your business. Your marketing firm doesn’t need to be (for the most part). Although you probably don’t want to hire a B2C (business to consumer) company or your mother-in-law to market your software solutions, you also don’t need experts in the specific technologies and industries you are targeting. You do need experts that understand the basic buying habits of people in your target market, who can research your marketplace, and can work closely with you to understand your customer’s concerns and how your solutions can address them.

So are you ready to outsource?

By Barbara Pfeiffer, Senior Consultant at The Partner Marketing Group and an outsourcing advocate (especially when it comes to washing windows and painting the house).

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