In the course of creating a marketing plan for a client, I was asked to research the ideal candidate for the job. I was provided with a list of keywords and descriptions for the position, as well as an indication of the salary range expected for the role. Armed with this information, I set about investigating the various types of marketers out there.
What I discovered somewhat surprisingly was that there isn’t just one type of ideal candidate; rather, there are several distinct roles that a good marketing lead service must play in order to satisfy the needs of a modern marketer. It is my belief that by understanding the needs of different types of marketers, you will be better positioned to select a lead generation service that will prove effective for your team.
The first type of marketing lead service I came across was what I would describe as a pure marketing expert. I say this because the majority of these providers offer a full suite of marketing services, including strategy, analytics, and program execution. What this means in practice is that they will help you formulate a marketing plan, build a marketing database, and then execute your strategy, whether that’s SEO, PPC, content marketing, or whatever else might be included in your plan. In other words, they take care of the entire marketing process, from strategy to execution.
The advantage of outsourcing this level of strategy and analysis is that it frees up your time to focus on what’s important to you; that is, getting the results you want. The disadvantage is that unless you’re prepared to commit to a long-term, multi-million-dollar contract, gaining maximum value from this type of service might not be viable. You pay a lot, but you get what you pay for.
Next, I came across a service that purported to be a one-stop-shop for all of your marketing needs. Essentially, this type of service offers a mixture of strategy, analysis, and program execution, but doesn’t specialize in any one area. The advantage of this approach is that since it provides these services in-house, you’re getting the best of the best, regardless of what area you might need help with. The disadvantage is that if you’re not prepared to commit to a long-term contract, you might not achieve the best results either. This is where things get a little tricky; in practice, you’re going to have to get a sense of what works best for your company, and then build your plan around that.
The final type of marketing lead service I came across was one that promised to provide you with a single point of contact for all of your marketing-related needs. Essentially, this type of service is going to take care of everything for you, from strategy to analysis to execution. Just provide them with your desired outcome (e.g., new customers, engaged fans, etc.), and they will take care of the rest. The advantage of this type of service is that you’re getting all of the value that you could from it, without having to worry about what’s going on in the background. The disadvantage is that since all of these services are bundled together, you might not be getting the best of the individual services, and could potentially be losing out on opportunities to gain more value. This is why it’s important to do your research before committing.
Once you’ve identified the ideal lead generation service for your needs, how do you go about selecting the right one? To start with, you are going to want to consider the size of your company. Do you have a small marketing team that needs help getting the word out about your products? Or does your company have a larger marketing department, and do you need someone to help take care of the entire department?
Next, it’s important to consider the services you need, and the order in which you need them. Do you need someone to design a fully integrated marketing plan, or are you happy to jump in and fill in the gaps as needed? Designing a marketing plan can be a daunting task; however, it’s important to understand the various components that go into making up a complete marketing program. Begin by designing a strategic marketing plan at the beginning of each year. The advantages of doing this are many; you will be able to track your progress throughout the year, and identify if there are any areas that you need to revisit in light of new insights, products, or technologies. Further, having a fully designed plan will allow you to identify the activities you need to complete each week, as well as the benchmarks you need to meet by the end of the year.
Pricing And Perks
Once you’ve answered the critical question of what makes a good marketing lead service, you can now move on to the important question of how much you are willing to pay for this type of service. To that end, I recommend that you work with a reputable agency that has a history of delivering on time and under budget. With the level of service you are purchasing, it’s important to make sure that you are not being overcharged, as this might indicate that either the provider is not the best or that they are trying to up-sale you without your knowledge. Having a reputable agency on your side is the key to getting the most value for your money.
As for the perks that come with working with a marketing lead service, these will vary from company to company, but in general, you are going to receive some value in return for your investment. Depending on the size of your company, you might receive free office space or employees’ time off to attend trade shows or conferences. Further, you could potentially receive discounted pricing or even free services for key employees, in recognition of your seniority.
As for the disadvantages of working with a marketing lead service, this is more a matter of personal opinion than anything else. Personally, I don’t see any major disadvantages to working with a marketing lead service, as long as you pick the right one for your needs. The biggest downside to working with a lead generation service is doing all of the work yourself; this can be both time-consuming and challenging. It’s not that you can’t do these things, it’s just that they are not designed for individuals who lack in-house marketing experience.
The Bottom Line
In the end, whatever works best for your company, and fits within your budget, is the right decision to make. Just remember to do your research beforehand, so you can be confident that you are making the right decision for your needs. Good luck out there.