By Todd Lebo
Resource decisions are some of the most important and difficult decisions that a marketing leader must make. Do I have the right people doing the right things? Should I use in-house resources, external resources, a combination of the two, or just punt that great idea into another quarter and hope that the decision magically takes care of itself?
Planning and deploying a marketing strategy will benefit from an objective point of view and skills that may not be available in-house.
But how will you choose the right resources to optimize results? A new Ascend2 research study, Marketing Resource Effectiveness Survey Summary Report, provides valuable insight to help companies make critical resource decisions in 2019.
Here are a few noteworthy findings from the research study:
Finding #1: Collaborate on Planning and Deployment
About three-quarters of marketing professionals consider a collaboration between outsourced and in-house resources a valuable combination of objective and subjective insights for both planning and deploying a marketing strategy.
There is great value in having a fresh perspective as you create your marketing plan. To get the most value from the ideas and input from external resources, make sure to have an open mind when you receive their contribution. It is also important to get data and input from your audience on what they want and how they want it. But make sure you do more than ask; it is critical that you listen.
Finding #2: Begin by Determining Your Objectives
To determine the appropriate resources you need, you should first determine your primary objectives. Increasing the number of leads, sales prospects and customers acquired, and improving brand awareness, are all primary objectives for a marketing strategy according to a majority of marketing professionals.
Finding #3: Most Effective Tactics Used
With so many marketing tactics that you can do, an important step is to determine what you should do based on what works. Social media marketing, content marketing, and SEO are effective tactics for 53%, 48% and 47% of marketing professionals respectively. While email has been integrated into virtually every form of digital marketing, it no longer tops the chart as a stand-alone tactic.
When deciding on the resources that you need, consider how your resources understand the individual tactics that they will work on as well as how all the pieces fit together. You want your resources to be flexible and strategic.
Finding #4: Seek Outside Resources to Lead Your Most Difficult Tactics
While the previous chart shows only 25% of marketing professionals consider data and artificial intelligence-driven marketing to be a most effective tactic, 49% consider it a difficult tactic to deploy. This may be a case of difficulty impacting effective use. You may need to seek outside resources to lead your most difficult tactics, as compared to not doing those tactics.
Finding #5: How Effectiveness is Changing
As marketers become more proficient in all forms of digital marketing practices and technologies, the effectiveness of the tactics used is increasing. A total of 94% of marketing professionals believe that the effectiveness of tactics is improving to some extent. A key reason that effectiveness is improving is the improved skills of marketing professionals, continuing education (online courses, certification courses, webinars, reading online resources, etc.), and advancements in technology.
When faced with a difficult decision, I always look for research that can help guide my decision. Research can also be used to sell my plan to the management team, and make an adjustment to my current strategy.
Get more research insights by downloading the entire study, Marketing Resource Effectiveness Survey Summary Report.