The chicken and the egg
What comes first?
In an ideal business world, you can:
1. Have your advertising agency release the ad and pay them from the revenue you realised from the “sales leads”.
2. Get the best marketing research done and have your fortunes foretold; all before starting to sell and get revenue in the door.
3. Grow your business purely organically and funded only through internal accruals.
If this sounds like a dream; too right. It is.
So, you are a start-up and you want to grow the business, add to your portfolio, improve your product quality, set up a customer service department? Bad news. You have few people; motivation is a problem as is quality. And cash flow is tight.
You want sales to grow, but can’t afford a lot of salesmen. And, you certainly want your salesmen to call on customers who have evinced a desire to buy or talk business. You want qualified sales leads. You want to “pull”. Who will run this for you?
Good marketing talent costs money. And, great marketing talent does not want to work for a small company, especially if it is a startup. You want to hire freshers and train them up; problem is, you do not have trainers.
A lot of companies have been outsourcing one of a kind or infrequent activities like building customer databases or gruntwork like posting letters and mailing even now. But, what you might want to consider is getting part-time access to outside talent.
Outside talent can help design your campaigns, customer databases, sales management systems: deadline driven intense activities that require expertise that you do not need inhouse. After all, if you do a yearly planning excercise and you need an experienced marketing head on board for about 15 days to a month, why not look for him/ her outside?
Similarly, tactical implementation of marketing plans can largely be left to outsiders. From profiling the target audience to appropriate messaging to the target audience; from deciding the media choice for communication to creating the communication to capturing the leads and passing the leads on to your sales.
All when you need them.