What is marketing support?
Marketing support is a service designed to assist a business with its marketing. This can be for analysis, content creation, social media management or paid advertising.
Businesses might need marketing support for a variety of reasons.
For example, if you have an in-house marketing department that covers all areas but doesn’t have the time to do a specific project or needs further assistance to lighten the burden, you would seek out marketing support from freelancers or agencies.
Another example is a growing business that doesn’t have the cash flow to hire in-house. Looking to an agency will help take the burden of marketing away from the multiple roles you have to manage.
No matter the reason, getting support for your marketing can help reduce stress and lighten the load, assisting with business growth and gaining access to expert advice.
We explore the options, the pros and cons of each delivery method, and which one might suit your business the best.
Freelancers are a flexible, cost-effective option that many businesses utilise, especially within the marketing industry. They are self-employed, which means they aren’t your responsibility so no particular employer obligations, and you hire them for a specific service for a finite period of time.
There are a vast array of marketing freelancers (especially near us in Sussex), so it is relatively easy to find one to hire. They are a great way to outsource your marketing, quickly and fairly cheaply to fulfil an immediate marketing need.
One of the downside though, using a freelance marketer means their time might be divided between you and other businesses. Unless you manage to hire a freelancer on a mutually exclusive contract, they are free to work with whoever they like including possibly a competitor, or at least with another business that has competing deadlines to the work you need doing.
This can lead to periods of radio silence if they are busy with another client and not the best option to go for if you want to create reactive marketing.
While they can be a less expensive option, if you hire a freelancer who isn’t suitable for your company, this can become an unnecessary cost. Finding the right freelancer with the skills and capacity therefore can very quickly narrow down the pool of people who are right for your business.
Additionally, if it is a complex project, such as a website redesign which requires multiple freelancers to be working together, from experience, this can be a bit of a headache in terms of briefing and coordinating. The aim is to lessen the pressure business owners feel and reduce their time commitments. Where there are multiple freelancers needing to work together and joint briefings and dependencies, less stress and freeing up business owners’ time are unlikely outcomes.
Overall, we would recommend freelancers for small projects or as temporary cover for sickness and maternity, and use between hires.
There are lots of pros to having your marketing in-house. The first being your marketing department will know your company values, tone of voice and how exactly you want to execute your marketing like the back of their hand (once they’ve been recruited, trained and induced fully into the business).
Another advantage is that you can control what marketing activity goes out, at what time and where. This is especially helpful for reactive content as you have all the resources you need in-house. There is no need to brief someone on what you want produced, and no to and fro with revisions.
However, the biggest issue with having in-house marketing is the cost. Not just for the person doing the marketing in terms of their salary and benefits, but any marketing tools they may need can add up to a costly bill.
Recruiting the right person for your team can also take a lot of time and money. If someone doesn’t fit in with the company culture or isn’t as skilled as you first thought they were, it can result in them being a financial burden.
The other challenge with hiring in-house is what marketing skillset are you looking for? Do you want a website designer and/or developer? A graphic designer? A social media expert? A content writer? Each of these areas, and there are many more, of marketing are specialist skills. Do you try and hire someone who can do a little bit of each of them but none expertly, or do you focus on one particular area? It depends very much on your marketing strategy. But equally, someone who can put a marketing strategy together, isn’t necessarily the best skilled at delivering on it. This is all assuming you aren’t planning on hiring an entire team of marketers!
Agencies are a great way to deliver your marketing as they carve out specific times for your content. With this, you know exactly when you can expect work to be completed and that it will be to a high standard. And if it isn’t, you’ve a clear line of communication to get it sorted asap without sucking up any of your time!
Agencies usually work on a package basis, offering marketing support solutions for various areas. Some specialise in particular areas such as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC), whilst others offer a whole series of solutions, factoring in any kind of marketing you may need. These can be upscaled and downscaled each month depending on forward notice and the agreed marketing strategy.
The agency team will have access to many resources, tools and platforms that would be too costly for a small business to have access to, enabling them to provide quality marketing for your business.
The main downsides to an agency is that you have to find the right one for you, not just in terms of service but also the people within the agency and their culture. It makes your life as a business owner much easier and more enjoyable! An agency does still need to be onboarded, like a new recruit, but their experience and expertise should make that a quick process as they only need to know your business rather than marketing itself. The other consideration is the budget you have available, if it’s too small, you are unlikely to see the return on your investment sufficiently.
Are you looking for marketing support? Request your free marketing review today, and let’s see where we can help.