To face the challenges and opportunities of our time, the ability of companies to gain visibility, a clear and determined commitment to customer orientation, the constant creation of value and continuous innovation have become essential aspects to survive and thrive in a hyper competitive market like the current one.
Probably the smallest companies are the ones that have to face all these challenges with a greater degree of difficulty. For these companies marketing has to become an essential ally that contributes to gain competitiveness
Probably, one of the most important transformations that has occurred in the business world has been the spectacular increase in competition. This growth has been favored by an increasingly global market, by the growing incorporation of new information and knowledge technologies, and by the increasingly enterprising spirit of the new generations, especially the so-called “creative class” .
But this is not the only challenge that companies have to face, especially the smaller ones. To the current hyper competitive market we must add other critical factors that increase the degree of difficulty to compete successfully, among these stand out: the increasing power of the clients, the productive overcapacity, the increasing focus on the price variable, the speed of the change and a media environment oversaturated. All these variables, and some more, make up an extremely demanding battlefield that companies have to face.
Marketing, with or without?
In order to face this scenario, one of the strategic questions that a small company should consider is: with or without marketing ?. From a business management point of view the answer is clear and forceful: marketing SI.
The reason is very simple, at present there is no better recipe for the sustainability of a business project than having a well-known and recognized brand, and a portfolio of loyal customers who not only trust our brand and buy our products and services repeatedly. , but also speak well of it. The capacity for growth and health of our income statement depends to a large extent on this, essential aspects to survive and prosper.
Thus, in the age of abundance, where power has been transferred from those who sell to those who buy, customer orientation, the ability to capture their attention and a clear and determined commitment to the creation of value, offering them the best experience, have become essential strategies to survive and thrive.
Once the first question is resolved, now it is time to ask the following question: What is the best solution for a small company to efficiently invest its resources in the marketing area? Also here the answer from the point of view of the current management is quite clear, and it is called outsourcing.
Outsourcing, an efficient solution for small businesses
Outsourcing processes were born some decades ago. Initially, outsourcing took place in the processes of lower added value such as cleaning, maintenance and security. Subsequently, others were added such as logistics, payroll management or call centers. It is currently when outsourcing is extending to the most strategic areas of an SME, such as marketing or finance. A trend that the current crisis does nothing but accelerate.
In despite the fact that outsourcing in SMEs in strategic areas has evolved considerably, we still have a long way to go if we want to reach Anglo-Saxon countries with a much longer track record in this type of business management processes.
The current crisis is accelerating the processes of outsourcing of SMEs
But it’s only a matter of time, all indicators point to these outsourcing processes in the area of marketing in small businesses have a future with very promising prospects.
Thus, according to a study by Ernest & Young, 77% of companies already subcontract some of their activities, with a clear tendency to growth of outsourcing in areas of higher added value, closer to the epicenter of the takeover. decisions.
Outsourcing, higher quality, better cost
The advantages that a small company can obtain by outsourcing its marketing activity could be summarized in this simple phrase: higher quality with lower cost.
Thus, a small company can have, for a reasonable and affordable “monthly fee” for this type of organization, a multidisciplinary team of professionals, with great experience, who work as a team to design, implement and manage their marketing projects.
Imagine what the cost would be only in payrolls if a small company wanted to have an internal department formed, for example, by an expert in marketing, design, technology, social networks and communication. Undoubtedly, all this would imply a totally unviable cost for practically all of this type of companies.
At the same time, the fact of outsourcing the marketing department allows, in addition to reducing costs to an accessible level for the company, convert them into variables, thus improving the structure of the income statement thanks to the decrease in fixed costs .
Another remarkable advantage is that in this type of company the marketing direction is usually assumed by the manager or the commercial director, without doubt managers whose variable “availability of time” is very scarce. The result is that the marketing activity can be left unattended on many occasions, with the subsequent damage to the good running of the business. Thus, having an external team allows these executives to focus their time on the development of their main activity, without neglecting the company’s marketing projects.
Partners, 360º marketing and technology
Finally, we enter the phase of choosing between the different options. Here it is important to take into account different considerations that will help us make the right decision. These are, in our opinion, the three main criteria that we will have to evaluate in the selection process of the company to which we will entrust the marketing area of our company.
1) Better a partner than a traditional supplier
One of the changes that management is also experiencing is the replacement of the figure of the traditional provider with the most recent partner. Thus, it is essential to find a traveling companion, who proactively commits to achieving business objectives in the short, medium and long term, actively engaging in the daily operations of the company.
Generally the good functioning of this type of interdependent relationships are based on mutual trust, collaboration and teamwork.
2) A current and 360º marketing approach
It is essential that this partner is also a company specialized in marketing, which is a science that covers much more than the simple design of a traditional advertising campaign, and that has, at the same time, the ability to give a global response to Marketing needs of clients, including the following areas: consulting, design and creativity, project management, content management and technology solutions. In this way, it is possible to group and manage all these needs in a single provider, thereby achieving significant savings in costs and time.
On the other hand, it is important to partner with a partner that provides solutions oriented towards the new marketing, since otherwise there is a high risk of not aligning with the current interests and needs of the clients.
3) Technology is an essential aspect
At present, companies compete in the field of knowledge, which has become a key factor in the competitiveness of companies and organizations. It is in this sense where technological solutions acquire a leading role in the development of our marketing activity, becoming an essential tool for their development, regardless of the size of the company. In a way, we could distinguish between companies that opt for technology and those that stay on the road.
Thus, it is vitally important that the chosen partner has the appropriate technological solutions that contribute to the start-up, management and monitoring of their marketing projects and, all of this, in an efficient and economical way.