3 Questions to Ask Before You Outsource Your Marketing
If you feel overwhelmed by the process of starting a relationship with a new creative partner to outsource some of your marketing, you’re not alone. It’s a big deal and requires attention and due diligence. You know this business-enhancing partnership needs to be, as with all partnerships, entered with open eyes and clear expectations. Especially if you’re ready to go all-in to take your business to the next level.
But where do you start? What questions need to be asked? How do you offer the right creative partner a seat at the table?
Unfortunately, we can’t give you all the questions, as many of them will be unique to your needs, but this list of three must-ask questions will help get you started down the path of great collaboration and growth.
1. Will you provide regular reports? If so, what will be tracked and how will it be delivered?
Regular reporting and analytic review are essential elements in ensuring that everyone is working toward the same goals and that those goals are still in line with top-line business goals. Creative partners typically work in their own office, away from your business which makes it especially important to keep in touch and everyone in sync.
You can request a generic or sample report, but keep in mind that your actual report should be tailored to your business and its unique needs. Be open about discussing options for reviews and tweaks. Monthly reporting and review sessions may be a fit or you may prefer to be given a monthly report with a quarterly review. However the details shake out, make sure it’s a routine part of the process.
2. What is handled in-house? What services (regular or one-time) will you outsource?
Creative agencies and ongoing marketing support teams often outsource for specific projects and have a list of freelancers that can help keep large projects on track during busier times. This is not cause for alarm, rather it always enables the organization to provide excellent service, regardless of what else is on their collective plate. For example, if you need things like swag made or banners printed, your creative partner can – and should – handle the design (within your parameters, of course) but will outsource the physical manufacture and printing of the items ordered.
Similarly, as with all things, there are times when projects are simply overflowing and having a few flexible team members to lean on and ensure high-quality output is essential.
The key here is knowing what you’re getting and that your creative partner can ensure that, even when outsourced, quality is maintained with a well-vetted, tried and true auxiliary team.
3. Who is my point of contact and what is the best way to reach that person?
Communication is always key and making sure best practices are as clear as possible up front will alleviate unnecessary confusion and possible tension. If possible, we recommend meeting your key point person face to face or, at least, having a video call early in the relationship. Putting a face with the name is a great, mutually humanizing practice to jump-start the clearest, most open communication possible.
That’s a lot to consider. We’re going to let that marinate a bit. Stay tuned for our next post of questions to ask when bringing on a creative partner.