Managed Marketing: Essential for SMBs in 2023

The world of business has undergone significant changes in recent years. Technology has transformed the way consumers interact with brands, and businesses have had to adapt quickly to keep up. In this rapidly changing environment, marketing has become more important than ever. The fact of the matter is, if you want to succeed in 2023, you can’t think of marketing as an optional expense or a “nice-to-have.” The small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) that treat marketing like an essential and strategic business unit are the ones that will rise to the top.

Over the years, I have seen firsthand how most successful businesses are leveraging new marketing technologies, strategies, and tactics to reach their goals, improve their culture, and drive stakeholder value. Utilizing the latest marketing technologies is more important than ever. Knowing what to use and how to use it efficiently can shape everything, from consumer research and media planning to brand tracking and website measurement. Tools like these allow SMBs to reach their full potential by creating more effective marketing materials and providing the ability to track marketing performance. Effective marketing goes way beyond just launching a website or creating a logo. Having the ability to track results in-market, learn from them, and adapt is how you stay ahead of the competition.

It’s the SMBs that have changed the way they talk to customers and navigate the marketplace, the ones whose marketing aligns with sales and their overall business strategy, that succeed. Marketers with this mindset are the ones taking their organization to the next level. People invest in marketing for a multitude of reasons: lead generation, cross-selling, recruitment, market expansion, and brand awareness. Managed marketing is the best way for companies to see results in any and all of these areas.

The real marketing expert is the market itself

When I look at the ways businesses work today, it’s the top marketers, the ones that are getting ahead, that are adopting this managed marketing approach. Managed marketing is a strategic approach that combines sales and marketing efforts and puts the consumer at the center of everything. It’s about creating a marketing strategy that aligns with the overall business goals and objectives, and then executing that strategy through a coordinated set of tactics that are designed to achieve specific outcomes. A lot of agencies and marketing companies consider themselves “marketing experts.” But the real expert is the market itself. Managed marketing studies what consumers respond to, creates messaging based on that research, studies the results, then makes adjustments to the work in order to maximize the results. This is the ongoing process that makes managed marketing so effective.

Customer-centric agility

At its core, managed marketing is about being agile. It’s about being flexible and adaptable to the changing needs of the marketplace. It’s about creating a long-term partnership between the business and its marketing team, so that both sides can work together to achieve shared goals and objectives. Basically, agile marketing is a customer-centric approach to marketing that emphasizes quick iterations, continuous improvement, and flexibility. One of the main benefits of agile marketing is that it allows SMBs to move faster toward their goals. Traditional marketing campaigns often take months to plan and execute. With agile marketing, SMBs can work in short sprints and quickly iterate on their marketing campaigns. This means that they can get to market faster and start seeing results sooner. By reducing the time it takes to get to market, SMBs can be more responsive to market changes and stay ahead of the competition. With traditional marketing, different teams typically work in silos, with little interaction or communication between them. But agile marketing utilizes cross-functional teams that work together on short sprints, sharing ideas and feedback along the way. This collaboration allows SMBs to leverage the strengths of each team member and deliver better results. It also fosters a culture of continuous improvement, where team members are encouraged to share feedback and ideas for how to make marketing campaigns even better.

Assumptions fail. Answers succeed

A lot of marketing companies just jump right into tactics. Managed marketing doesn’t work that way. The first course of action is research. Interviewing the consumer, looking at the competitive landscape, and gaining a deep understanding of the industry within the marketplace. Is it expanding? Is it contracting? Is it seasonal? What’s different about it? Marketing companies that are moving the needle for their clients are taking a deep-dive into their client’s business, getting to the heart of what they’re doing, and then identifying where the opportunity lies. They look for the opportunity they can leverage. Where they can employ a very specific marketing strategy in order to achieve business growth. Assumptions and best guesses don’t work anymore. You must constantly ask the right questions to get the answers that lead to actionable insights.

Scalability amplifies results

Another key benefit of managed marketing is the ability to scale campaigns as needed. As a business grows, its marketing needs will also evolve. With managed marketing, businesses can quickly and easily scale their marketing efforts to meet changing demands. For example, if a business suddenly sees a surge in website traffic, its managed marketing team can respond by increasing its PPC ad spend or launching a new social media campaign to capitalize on the increased exposure.

Expertise and technology combined

Companies that implement a managed marketing infrastructure invest in a team of experienced marketing professionals who will understand every aspect of their business. These professionals have expertise in a wide range of marketing channels and techniques, including PPC advertising, SEO, social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, and more. By leveraging the skills and knowledge of these professionals, businesses can ensure that their marketing efforts are effective and efficient, and that they are reaching their target audience in the most effective way possible. When you combine the right people with the right tools and technology, efficiencies are optimized, and the work speaks to the consumer on a human level. That’s what motivates people to action and builds brand loyalty.

Today’s results are tomorrow’s successes

One big advantage of managed marketing is the ability to track and measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Managed marketing teams use advanced analytics tools to track key metrics such as website traffic, engagement rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. This data provides valuable insights into how well marketing campaigns are performing and allows businesses to make data-driven decisions about future marketing efforts. This can help businesses to optimize their marketing strategies over time, leading to better results and higher ROI.

Outsourcing for better efficiency

In addition, managed marketing can also save businesses time and money. By outsourcing marketing efforts to a managed marketing team, businesses can avoid the time and expense of hiring and training an entire in-house team. Managed marketing teams have access to advanced marketing tools and technologies, which can be expensive to implement and maintain in-house. By leveraging the resources and expertise of an outside managed marketing team, businesses can achieve better results while keeping costs under control. Traditional marketing campaigns typically require a significant investment of time and resources upfront. And once that plan is in action, making necessary adjustments is virtually impossible. With managed marketing, SMBs can work in short sprints and adjust their marketing campaigns based on customer feedback and results. This means that they can avoid wasting resources on ineffective marketing campaigns and focus on the activities that are driving results. Reduce or eliminate what isn’t working, and lean into what is working. By being more efficient and targeted with their marketing efforts, SMBs can get more out of their marketing budget and achieve better ROI.

Staying ahead of an ever-changing market

Finally, managed marketing can help businesses stay competitive in today’s fast-paced business environment. With the rapid rate of technological change and evolving consumer preferences, businesses need to stay on top of the latest marketing trends and techniques in order to remain competitive. By partnering with a managed marketing provider, businesses can stay up to date on the latest marketing developments and ensure that their marketing efforts are always in line with the latest best practices.

Managed marketing offers a wide range of benefits for businesses of all sizes and industries. By outsourcing marketing efforts, businesses can access a team of experienced marketing professionals, leverage advanced marketing tools and technologies, scale campaigns as needed, track and measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, save time and money, and stay competitive in today’s quickly evolving business environment. Now that we’re in 2023, there will be an emphasis on developing comprehensive strategies that focus more on the benefits for the consumer. People aren’t so much looking for a product or service as they are for the outcome — or benefit — of that product or service. To get down to that level of insight, you have to have the right people, and the right technology, working together. This year, consumer-centered strategy, coaching, technology, and data-driven insights are going to drive real, tangible results for clients.  

Aaron Dyck is president, Impact Managed Marketing at Impact Networking.