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Outsourcing SEM vs DIY SEM For Agencies: Which Is Better?

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In recent years, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) has started to be perceived as a practice that could drive footfalls and fulfill desirable sales.In recent years, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) has started to be perceived as a practice that could drive footfalls and fulfill desirable sales. However, running a successful PPC campaign is no piece of cake. You have two options when it comes to SEM in specific; should you do everything by yourself or outsource your search engine marketing services to an experienced agency? It’s a tough question to crack but a crucial one.

Outsourcing SEM or in-house SEM, both of these options have their pros and cons, and it all depends on which approach is best applicable to your marketing needs. To help you out, in this article we’ll be looking at the pros and cons of each option, as well as offer our take on which of the two is a better option. But before we jump right in, what exactly is SEM? And how is it different from SEO?

SEO vs SEM: A Quick Recap

Google’s search results are divided into two main categories: paid search results and organic search results.

SEO expertise ensures that your website ranks high on SERPs through organic search. (Search that you have not separately paid for)

On the other hand, SEM relates to paid search optimisation. You pay to get traffic and visibility for your website by appearing at the top of SERPs. PPC (pay per click) is another term used to refer to SEM.

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Should you DIY your SEM?

It is important to note that SEM harder than it seems. Only 15% of the traffic on search engines click on an ad, according to a Forbes article. A PPC campaign needs to be exceptional to attract that 15%.

PPC campaigns, thus, come with a massive cost but low RoI (return on investments). This makes in-house or DIY SEM a relatively less ideal option.

Outsourcing SEM: PROS 

1. Access to tools of the trade- Search engine marketers use more than just their minds to perform their jobs – they have many specialised tools that they use to implement and improve specific search engine marketing tasks and efforts.

These tools can burn a significant hole in your pocket and require the proper training to use them in-house. It is better to outsource your search marketing to experts or an agency who use these particular tools daily.

2.  More Efficient Results- Unlike DIY SEM, outsourcing allows you to seek help from google adwords experts  who work dedicatedly on your SEM efforts and produce results more quickly and efficiently.

With the help of a digital marketing agency, your SEM campaign has better chances of producing positive results that too quickly, owing to their experience and human resources.

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3.Lets you focus on other aspects of your business– Outsourcing your SEM, gives you more freedom to focus on other tasks and aspects of your business. You can monitor your SEM campaign as the specialists handle it while you evaluate your results to come up with better strategies for the future.

4. Expertise & Experience- Going the agency route means that the professionals are solely focused on SEM, are up to date with the latest trends and tools in the industry ensuring that the techniques they’re using will bring the most significant benefit to their client.pexels canva studio 3194519 1

Moreover, agencies have worked on a variety of marketing campaigns from different types of business. This means they have more knowledge and exposure as compared to an in-house SEM team. From account structure to conversion optimization and everything else in between, agency PPC specialists are true experts.

5. Agency Support- Search Engine Marketing agencies offer dedicated agency support who assist in everything from escalating ad approvals to providing competitive insights. It can be assuring to know that if something goes wrong, someone has got your back.

6. Affordable– Going the agency route will save you money. It will save you the cost of recruiting and maintaining an in-house employee as well as the equipment costs.

Majority of SEM agencies charge approximately twenty to thirty percent of ad spend. This is a lower cost than that of employing another head and getting the systems in place to make it affordable.

Outsourcing SEM: Cons

1.Compliance and Legal Issues- These issues may hinder the agency’s ability to execute the most optimal search marketing plan on a timely basis.

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2.Quality Control- When you outsource your SEM, you may encounter a problem where the quality of the work would be compromised and you won’t know until it’s too late. This is a significant con. It can result in considerable lost time and money.

You can avoid this by following a rigorous screening process before partnering with an agency. Opt for a reputable agency to prevent such problems.

DIY SEM: Pros

1. Employee Accountability – In-house google adwords experts are ultimately responsible for the success of your PPC efforts. In-house PPC managers are more accountable as the account’s performance can influence his or her employment, salary and advancement. You would expect him or her to give their best.

2.Understanding of your business- No one knows your business better than your in-house staff- having a solid understanding of how your company operates, its core competencies, unique selling proposition, and most importantly, your customers.pexels lukas 669610

3. Experience SEM first hand– The fundamentals of SEM may be complicated at first, but once you get the hang of it, you will discover that SEM is quite interesting.

4. Flexibility – When it comes to flexibility and control, in-house SEM is the best. It gives you more control over specific aspects of the campaign and allows you to manage the campaigns more efficiently.

In contrast, with an outsourcing agency, you must frequently communicate messages from and to the agency. With in-house SEM, you can simply walk to the next office or even turn to the person next to you in case of any questions or concerns.

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DIY SEM: CONS

1. Lack of expertise

The lack of technical know-how and expertise is a significant con for in-house SEM. If you’re not sure that you can execute or know enough to run an SEM campaign, then you shouldn’t take up that challenge. As they rightly say, do what you do best and outsource the rest.

If you are a novice at SEM, you should avoid in-house SEM as you may waste valuable time, money, and may even set yourself back rather than make progress. You want to avoid making mistakes early on that can cost you big time.

2.  Time-Consuming

Managing SEM without professional assistance is a recipe for disaster. Not to mention that it’s time-consuming as well. You can think of hiring a digital marketing agency to do SEM for you.

3. Lack of Accountability

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Lack of accountability remains a common pitfall for most businesses as their resources may be limited. When you decide to do your SEO in house, it can fall by the curb of other “priorities.”

On the other hand, when you outsource, you can be sure that the agency will deliver by a specific date if they want you to renew with them again.

So The Question Still Remains: Outsourcing SEM vs DIY SEM for Agencies: Which is Better?

I’m sure by looking at the detailed pros and cons of each option; you would have gotten a fair bit of an idea as to which option is better for you. To give you some more detailed insight, here are my 2 cents.

For more than ten years or so, in-house SEM campaigns have taken a back seat to SEM agencies for most small, medium, and large businesses. This is because building an in-house team for every stage of a PPC campaign isn’t optimal or feasible. The solution is partnering with professionals who live and breathe SEM- Outsourcing SEM! Their literal job is to maximize your PPC ROI.

It is also helpful to note that most SEM agencies have a monthly rate, so you pay the same amount every month- saving you the headache of fluctuating costs.

With strategic planning and a dream-team at your disposal – success is bound to happen. Get on board with an SEM agency to start your journey of growth.

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Tinuiti Marketing Analytics Recognized by Forrester

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Tinuiti Marketing Analytics Recognized by Forrester

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By Tinuiti Team

Rapid Media Mix Modeling and Proprietary Tech Transform Brand Performance

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Tinuiti, the largest independent full-funnel performance marketing agency, has been included in a recent Forrester Research report titled, “The Marketing Analytics Landscape, Q2 2024.” This report comprehensively overviews marketing analytics markets, use cases, and capabilities. B2C marketing leaders can use this research by Principal Analyst Tina Moffett to understand the intersection of marketing analytics capabilities and use cases to determine the vendor or service provider best positioned for their analytics and insights needs. Moffett describes the top marketing analytics markets as advertising agencies, marketing dashboards and business intelligence tools, marketing measurement and optimization platforms and service providers, and media analytics tools.

As an advertising agency, we believe Tinuiti is uniquely positioned to manage advertising campaigns for brands including buying, targeting, and measurement. Our proprietary measurement technology, Bliss Point by Tinuiti, allows us to measure the optimal level of investment to maximize impact and efficiency. According to the Forrester report, “only 30% of B2C marketing decision-makers say their organization uses marketing or media mix modeling (MMM),” so having a partner that knows, embraces, and utilizes MMM is important. As Tina astutely explains, data-driven agencies have amplified their marketing analytics competencies with data science expertise; and proprietary tools; and tailored their marketing analytics techniques based on industry, business, and data challenges. 

Our Rapid Media Mix Modeling sets a new standard in the market with its exceptional speed, precision, and transparency. Our patented tech includes Rapid Media Mix Modeling, Always-on Incrementality, Brand Equity, Creative Insights, and Forecasting – it will get you to your Marketing Bliss Point in each channel, across your entire media mix, and your overall brand performance. 

As a marketing leader you may ask yourself: 

  • How much of our marketing budget should we allocate to driving store traffic versus e-commerce traffic?
  • How should we allocate our budget by channel to generate the most traffic and revenue possible?
  • How many customers did we acquire in a specific region with our media spend?
  • What is the impact of seasonality on our media mix?
  • How should we adjust our budget accordingly?
  • What is the optimal marketing channel mix to maximize brand awareness? 

These are just a few of the questions that Bliss Point by Tinuiti can help you answer.

Learn more about our customer-obsessed, product-enabled, and fully integrated approach and how we’ve helped fuel full-funnel outcomes for the world’s most digital-forward brands like Poppi & Toms.

The Landscape report is available online to Forrester customers or for purchase here

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Ecommerce evolution: Blurring the lines between B2B and B2C

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Ecommerce evolution: Blurring the lines between B2B and B2C

Understanding convergence 

B2B and B2C ecommerce are two distinct models of online selling. B2B ecommerce is between businesses, such as wholesalers, distributors, and manufacturers. B2C ecommerce refers to transactions between businesses like retailers and consumer brands, directly to individual shoppers. 

However, in recent years, the boundaries between these two models have started to fade. This is known as the convergence between B2B and B2C ecommerce and how they are becoming more similar and integrated. 

Source: White Paper: The evolution of the B2B Consumer Buyer (ClientPoint, Jan 2024)

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What’s driving this change? 

Ever increasing customer expectations  

Customers today expect the same level of convenience, speed, and personalization in their B2B transactions as they do in their B2C interactions. B2B buyers are increasingly influenced by their B2C experiences. They want research, compare, and purchase products online, seamlessly transitioning between devices and channels.  They also prefer to research and purchase online, using multiple devices and channels.

Forrester, 68% of buyers prefer to research on their own, online . Customers today expect the same level of convenience, speed, and personalization in their B2B transactions as they do in their B2C interactions. B2B buyers are increasingly influenced by their B2C experiences. They want research, compare, and purchase products online, seamlessly transitioning between devices and channels.  They also prefer to research and purchase online, using multiple devices and channels

Technology and omnichannel strategies

Technology enables B2B and B2C ecommerce platforms to offer more features and functionalities, such as mobile optimization, chatbots, AI, and augmented reality. Omnichannel strategies allow B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses to provide a seamless and consistent customer experience across different touchpoints, such as websites, social media, email, and physical stores. 

However, with every great leap forward comes its own set of challenges. The convergence of B2B and B2C markets means increased competition.  Businesses now not only have to compete with their traditional rivals, but also with new entrants and disruptors from different sectors. For example, Amazon Business, a B2B ecommerce platform, has become a major threat to many B2B ecommerce businesses, as it offers a wide range of products, low prices, and fast delivery

“Amazon Business has proven that B2B ecommerce can leverage popular B2C-like functionality” argues Joe Albrecht, CEO / Managing Partner, Xngage. . With features like Subscribe-and-Save (auto-replenishment), one-click buying, and curated assortments by job role or work location, they make it easy for B2B buyers to go to their website and never leave. Plus, with exceptional customer service and promotional incentives like Amazon Business Prime Days, they have created a reinforcing loyalty loop.

And yet, according to Barron’s, Amazon Business is only expected to capture 1.5% of the $5.7 Trillion addressable business market by 2025. If other B2B companies can truly become digital-first organizations, they can compete and win in this fragmented space, too.” 

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If other B2B companies can truly become digital-first organizations, they can also compete and win in this fragmented space

Joe Albrecht
CEO/Managing Partner, XNGAGE

Increasing complexity 

Another challenge is the increased complexity and cost of managing a converging ecommerce business. Businesses have to deal with different customer segments, requirements, and expectations, which may require different strategies, processes, and systems. For instance, B2B ecommerce businesses may have to handle more complex transactions, such as bulk orders, contract negotiations, and invoicing, while B2C ecommerce businesses may have to handle more customer service, returns, and loyalty programs. Moreover, B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses must invest in technology and infrastructure to support their convergence efforts, which may increase their operational and maintenance costs. 

How to win

Here are a few ways companies can get ahead of the game:

Adopt B2C-like features in B2B platforms

User-friendly design, easy navigation, product reviews, personalization, recommendations, and ratings can help B2B ecommerce businesses to attract and retain more customers, as well as to increase their conversion and retention rates.  

According to McKinsey, ecommerce businesses that offer B2C-like features like personalization can increase their revenues by 15% and reduce their costs by 20%. You can do this through personalization of your website with tools like Product Recommendations that help suggest related products to increase sales. 

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Focus on personalization and customer experience

B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses need to understand their customers’ needs, preferences, and behaviors, and tailor their offerings and interactions accordingly. Personalization and customer experience can help B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses to increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy, as well as to improve their brand reputation and competitive advantage. According to a Salesforce report, 88% of customers say that the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services.

Related: Redefining personalization for B2B commerce

Market based on customer insights

Data and analytics can help B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses to gain insights into their customers, markets, competitors, and performance, and to optimize their strategies and operations accordingly. Data and analytics can also help B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses to identify new opportunities, trends, and innovations, and to anticipate and respond to customer needs and expectations. According to McKinsey, data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, six times more likely to retain customers, and 19 times more likely to be profitable. 

What’s next? 

The convergence of B2B and B2C ecommerce is not a temporary phenomenon, but a long-term trend that will continue to shape the future of ecommerce. According to Statista, the global B2B ecommerce market is expected to reach $20.9 trillion by 2027, surpassing the B2C ecommerce market, which is expected to reach $10.5 trillion by 2027. Moreover, the report predicts that the convergence of B2B and B2C ecommerce will create new business models, such as B2B2C, B2A (business to anyone), and C2B (consumer to business). 

Therefore, B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses need to prepare for the converging ecommerce landscape and take advantage of the opportunities and challenges it presents. Here are some recommendations for B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses to navigate the converging landscape: 

  • Conduct a thorough analysis of your customers, competitors, and market, and identify the gaps and opportunities for convergence. 
  • Develop a clear vision and strategy for convergence, and align your goals, objectives, and metrics with it. 
  • Invest in technology and infrastructure that can support your convergence efforts, such as cloud, mobile, AI, and omnichannel platforms. 
  • Implement B2C-like features in your B2B platforms, and vice versa, to enhance your customer experience and satisfaction.
  • Personalize your offerings and interactions with your customers, and provide them with relevant and valuable content and solutions.
  • Leverage data and analytics to optimize your performance and decision making, and to innovate and differentiate your business.
  • Collaborate and partner with other B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses, as well as with other stakeholders, such as suppliers, distributors, and customers, to create value and synergy.
  • Monitor and evaluate your convergence efforts, and adapt and improve them as needed. 

By following these recommendations, B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses can bridge the gap between their models and create a more integrated and seamless ecommerce experience for their customers and themselves. 

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Streamlining Processes for Increased Efficiency and Results

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Streamlining Processes for Increased Efficiency and Results

How can businesses succeed nowadays when technology rules?  With competition getting tougher and customers changing their preferences often, it’s a challenge. But using marketing automation can help make things easier and get better results. And in the future, it’s going to be even more important for all kinds of businesses.

So, let’s discuss how businesses can leverage marketing automation to stay ahead and thrive.

Benefits of automation marketing automation to boost your efforts

First, let’s explore the benefits of marketing automation to supercharge your efforts:

 Marketing automation simplifies repetitive tasks, saving time and effort.

With automated workflows, processes become more efficient, leading to better productivity. For instance, automation not only streamlines tasks like email campaigns but also optimizes website speed, ensuring a seamless user experience. A faster website not only enhances customer satisfaction but also positively impacts search engine rankings, driving more organic traffic and ultimately boosting conversions.

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Automation allows for precise targeting, reaching the right audience with personalized messages.

With automated workflows, processes become more efficient, leading to better productivity. A great example of automated workflow is Pipedrive & WhatsApp Integration in which an automated welcome message pops up on their WhatsApp

within seconds once a potential customer expresses interest in your business.

Increases ROI

By optimizing campaigns and reducing manual labor, automation can significantly improve return on investment.

Leveraging automation enables businesses to scale their marketing efforts effectively, driving growth and success. Additionally, incorporating lead scoring into automated marketing processes can streamline the identification of high-potential prospects, further optimizing resource allocation and maximizing conversion rates.

Harnessing the power of marketing automation can revolutionize your marketing strategy, leading to increased efficiency, higher returns, and sustainable growth in today’s competitive market. So, why wait? Start automating your marketing efforts today and propel your business to new heights, moreover if you have just learned ways on how to create an online business

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How marketing automation can simplify operations and increase efficiency

Understanding the Change

Marketing automation has evolved significantly over time, from basic email marketing campaigns to sophisticated platforms that can manage entire marketing strategies. This progress has been fueled by advances in technology, particularly artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, making automation smarter and more adaptable.

One of the main reasons for this shift is the vast amount of data available to marketers today. From understanding customer demographics to analyzing behavior, the sheer volume of data is staggering. Marketing automation platforms use this data to create highly personalized and targeted campaigns, allowing businesses to connect with their audience on a deeper level.

The Emergence of AI-Powered Automation

In the future, AI-powered automation will play an even bigger role in marketing strategies. AI algorithms can analyze huge amounts of data in real-time, helping marketers identify trends, predict consumer behavior, and optimize campaigns as they go. This agility and responsiveness are crucial in today’s fast-moving digital world, where opportunities come and go in the blink of an eye. For example, we’re witnessing the rise of AI-based tools from AI website builders, to AI logo generators and even more, showing that we’re competing with time and efficiency.

Combining AI-powered automation with WordPress management services streamlines marketing efforts, enabling quick adaptation to changing trends and efficient management of online presence.

Moreover, AI can take care of routine tasks like content creation, scheduling, and testing, giving marketers more time to focus on strategic activities. By automating these repetitive tasks, businesses can work more efficiently, leading to better outcomes. AI can create social media ads tailored to specific demographics and preferences, ensuring that the content resonates with the target audience. With the help of an AI ad maker tool, businesses can efficiently produce high-quality advertisements that drive engagement and conversions across various social media platforms.

Personalization on a Large Scale

Personalization has always been important in marketing, and automation is making it possible on a larger scale. By using AI and machine learning, marketers can create tailored experiences for each customer based on their preferences, behaviors, and past interactions with the brand.  

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This level of personalization not only boosts customer satisfaction but also increases engagement and loyalty. When consumers feel understood and valued, they are more likely to become loyal customers and brand advocates. As automation technology continues to evolve, we can expect personalization to become even more advanced, enabling businesses to forge deeper connections with their audience.  As your company has tiny homes for sale California, personalized experiences will ensure each customer finds their perfect fit, fostering lasting connections.

Integration Across Channels

Another trend shaping the future of marketing automation is the integration of multiple channels into a cohesive strategy. Today’s consumers interact with brands across various touchpoints, from social media and email to websites and mobile apps. Marketing automation platforms that can seamlessly integrate these channels and deliver consistent messaging will have a competitive edge. When creating a comparison website it’s important to ensure that the platform effectively aggregates data from diverse sources and presents it in a user-friendly manner, empowering consumers to make informed decisions.

Omni-channel integration not only betters the customer experience but also provides marketers with a comprehensive view of the customer journey. By tracking interactions across channels, businesses can gain valuable insights into how consumers engage with their brand, allowing them to refine their marketing strategies for maximum impact. Lastly, integrating SEO services into omni-channel strategies boosts visibility and helps businesses better understand and engage with their customers across different platforms.

The Human Element

While automation offers many benefits, it’s crucial not to overlook the human aspect of marketing. Despite advances in AI and machine learning, there are still elements of marketing that require human creativity, empathy, and strategic thinking.

Successful marketing automation strikes a balance between technology and human expertise. By using automation to handle routine tasks and data analysis, marketers can focus on what they do best – storytelling, building relationships, and driving innovation.

Conclusion

The future of marketing automation looks promising, offering improved efficiency and results for businesses of all sizes.

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As AI continues to advance and consumer expectations change, automation will play an increasingly vital role in keeping businesses competitive.

By embracing automation technologies, marketers can simplify processes, deliver more personalized experiences, and ultimately, achieve their business goals more effectively than ever before.

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