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  • Writer's pictureCKJ

I wake up and read...Gartner

I wake up and read, just like Jamie Dimon does every morning. He claims to read all day, receives the top five newspapers in his driveway. I spend so much time reading, and I realize this shapes almost everything I do at work. The value of reading impacts your journey as an entrepreneur. Running your own business can be a tireless and thankless task—particularly if you’ve launched that business, and you’re working on your own, or with only a small team to help you get it off the ground. Taking the time to read briefs from analyst firms Gartner, Forrester Research , and Everest Group provide a lens into possible business strategy. My take, any help is worth taking when we talk about business strategy.

Over the weekend I read "The State of Marketing Budgets 2021 Insights From Gartner’s Annual CMO Spend Survey". Make sure to find time to look through the brief, and pay close attention to the number of times Digital Commerce is mentioned.

As the head of a company, there is such a wide range of tasks for you to handle—from developing company branding to ensuring high-quality customer service to organizing the physical delivery of products and services—and beyond. One essential aspect of growing a business that entrepreneurs can’t overlook—but often fall short on—is marketing.

Marketing is a vital task for growing any new company, yet it is also somewhat amorphous: there are so many ways to get the word out about your company, and it's hard to know where to invest your time, money and effort. This is especially true as the entire world shifts because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many entrepreneurs who wanted to master marketing in the past may have been tempted to hand their marketing over to a larger marketing company or agency, which could handle the marketing from outside of the company.

Marketing in the Time of COVID

Thanks to COVID, however, and the need to reduce organizational costs across the board, one important thing companies have realized is: the best marketer for your company is going to be you and your in-house marketing team, no matter the size of your business. Teams who learned digital marketing technologies, and who used their creative vision and knowledge of their brand, ended up discovering they could execute company marketing just as well as an agency—or even better than an agency could.

If you’re not certain about your company’s ability to handling its own marketing or wonder how many companies actually stopped relying on agencies, check out the following statistics from Gartner's latest, “The State of Marketing Budgets 2021.” This recent survey shows how many people decided that the best marketers might just be in the people who work on the in-house marketing or leadership team, and that not only do company team-members best understand how to promote their own company, they also are able to free up vital organizational funds when every company dollar matters.

If you want to shift to in-house marketing, you shouldn’t feel alone. According to Gartner’s latest report, over the last 12 months, 26 percent of work that was previously carried out by external agencies has now been moved to teams that are in house. Companies experienced budget decreases and needed to make the cut—but many realized that all the business tasks that had to get done, marketing was actually one that in-house teams were capable of handling because they know their company’s offerings, audience and branding/tone better than anyone who works outside of the company.

In-House Shifts Happen Thanks to Budget Cuts—But Prove Marketing Can Be Done More Affordably

In the Gartner report on the state of marketing budgets, research showed that this year’s that across all industries and companies, the proportion of organizational revenue allocated to marketing had fallen from an average of 11 percent in 2020 to just 6.4 percent in 2021.

These cuts impacted the marketing landscape of a wide range of industries. During the COVID-19 pandemic, business leaders decided to give the majority of funds to expanding business capabilities—which makes sense since there was a dire need to shift remote, and every business needed to be able to operate effectively via technology, computers and the internet. These funds were reallocated from marketing, however, since many business execs realized and believed that in-house teams and leaders could effectively do marketing and promotion for their company and that they probably didn’t need too much special training or technology to do it well. Lets remember who wins here: Finance 💰💰

💰CFOs have become comfortable with the lower cost base that spending cuts in marketing, alongside savings on real estate and travel costs, have yielded.

Marketing Agencies Reported Losses, Too

This new belief in in-house team members’ ability to handle marketing was further reflected in the fact that marketing agencies’ share of total marketing budgets declined last year—a tangible sign that companies know that marketing can be done (and done well) by their own people. In the Gartner report, survey respondents reported that 29 percent of all work previously carried out by agencies was now being handled by business leaders and their fellow team members. The fact of the matter is: marketing is best done by YOU and it gives you funds previously paid to other companies to invest in your own business.

Want to Handle Your Own Marketing? You’ve Got This.

In Gartner’s survey, marketing execs revealed that they deliberately shifted parts of marketing in house and felt confident about handling them. These three include:

  • Brand strategy

  • Innovation and technology

  • Marketing strategy development

Ultimately you and your team members understand that you have the knowledge and know-how to promote your business strategically—and you don’t need to waste precious funds to have someone do it for you.

The below shows everyone where marketing budgets are being invested.

Get Started Today by Creating Your Own Marketing Plan and Task Sheets

So, are you ready to make a similar move and shift marketing in-house to be handled by you or your team, but feel overwhelmed at the prospect of getting the marketing done (and done it well), one good way to start is by planning. It’s tempting for businesses leaders to just jump in and try various marketing ventures that seem exciting, or familiar, but without really taking the time to see what makes techniques make sense to invest in, you might be investing time and money into a fruitless venture.

The first way to start with marketing in-house is to create an intentional marketing plan and task sheet. By coming up with a step-by-step marketing plan, you can understand everything you need to do to get marketing done well and reduce the cost of relying on an agency to do things that your team is perfectly able to handle competently. Also, a sheet that breaks down tasks into manageable, bite-sized chunks ensures you don’t get overwhelmed with the prospect of executing your marketing plan on your own and that you don’t forget anything important. At the end of the best day, the best marketer for your company is you—so make it easy for yourself by being organized and intentional about the process.

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