What comes to your mind when someone mentions a market? Of course, you will visualize a place where suppliers have brought their wares for sale and consumers flock to pick and buy what they need. That is as far as a non-specialist would go. From a professional marketing perspective, the marketplace involves more than buying and selling. A marketer should not only know their product and target consumers but also be able to outsmart the competition. Marketers of the future must be well conversant with emerging trends, changing cultures, working without barriers and this is the point where virtual marketing enters the foray.
Why are these departments the future of advertising? Below are the specifics.
Independent thinkers not constrained by space
People who work independent of in-house marketing departments have better thinking and problem-solving ability. Their exposure to working with different clients helps them develop an unusual understanding of concepts. Working from a remote location enables you to use your mind without barriers or constraints. You do not get stuck in a cubicle sitting and waiting for instructions. Besides, sitting in surroundings that inspire creativity yields more fruits than one would ordinarily expect when working from an office. Virtual marketing departments helps a professional touch base with marketplaces and interact with technology that makes it happen.
Fearless and open-minded risk takers
Established companies are now adopting the approach of harboring virtual marketing departments where no employee needs to come to the office. Remotely working people are productive since:
- They have more exposure than their indoor peers
- They can take risks without fear
- Work in a stress-free environment
- They are an open-minded lot
Look at in-house marketers, do they have time for learning about the latest brand promotion, content curation, SEO or social media interaction? You bet they do not. How can they when there are mountains of daily tasks that leave them with little room to evolve, change and grow?
Massive investment in trending and current tools
On the contrary, virtual marketing deparments allows agencies the opportunity to invest their time and monetary resources in learning about trends, technologies and existing options. They have endless learning opportunities and do not charge you anything extra for this. Recall that at the onset, we mentioned something to do with working remotely. Not having a physical office helps channel the resultant savings to clients.
No fretting over marketers’ salaries and benefits
Looking at marketing from a cost perspective, marketing professionals do not come cheap. If you decide to hire a fully-fledged team here’s a sneak peek of what you might need:
- Web designer
- SEO marketer
- Graphic designer
- Marketing manager
- Social media manager
- Content writer
If you decide to pay these professionals a salary, you cough up to between $300,000 and $400,000 a year. Mark you, these are only the basic emoluments. There are other staffing costs such as training, paid vacation and health care. Hey, do not forget days where you lose productivity when employees call in sick and those that go on maternal leave. Virtual marketing department professionals do not cost this much. Instead, an agency will negotiate a retainer or stick with agency commission.
Tapping into the hitherto discovered internet potential
Much of brand promotion these days takes place online; that is an undeniable fact. Here then comes the problem; the internet is home to billions of websites and a similar number of information-hungry consumers. How do you draw their attention? Some of the tactics you need include:
- Posting key-word optimized blogs
- Banner Ads
- Running online events to gauge customer interest
- Creating content that links your URL
- Converting leads to sales
The result is that you not only get traffic but you also need to use it valuably and quickly. In-house marketers may find it overwhelming since they must keep shunting from strategy to monitoring and evaluation. However, leave this task to a virtual team, and you will be surprised at the results.
Virtual marketers as a one-stop shop
For any campaign to succeed, you cannot separate marketing and strategy. A virtual marketing department offers you:
- Top-notch Communication
If you want to grow your customer base and increase sales, you must keep differentiating your value. Sadly, if customers are unaware of the added benefit, they remain adamant. Assume that you are in the soft drinks industry and would like to offer your product in a slightly higher quantity but at the same price. Your target consumers need to know this, and it can only come from a carefully executed strategy.
- Analysis of the market
To understand your market, you must go out of your way and conduct market research. Part of it involves interviews, questionnaires and brand activations. If done intensely, the feedback helps in understanding what customers want. Moreover, you can use this information in tailoring your strategy in future.
- Development of advertising tools
One of the principles of marketing is to keep bombarding your prospects with brand images and information. You could use print or TV ads, digital signage, billboards and online banners. As the people on the ground, virtual marketing departments help you create content that targets your niche or audience explicitly.
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
Building a website is a step in the right direction. However, you should not sit comfortably thinking that you have now hit a goldmine. The site needs optimizing, i.e. getting the consumer to find it in an online search. Marketing professionals use different approaches for this, but the most basic is by use of keywords.
- Management of advertising budgets
Usually, businesses set aside enormous budgets for marketing purposes. Unfortunately, much of this ends up getting wasted owing to poor strategy, using unnecessary media and targeting the wrong people. However, virtual marketing departments help cut you the slack by devising well-researched and meaningful advertisement. You may have good ideas but fail to capture the right channels. Part of the dilemma could be:
- How do you get your ad to run on TV?
- Must the advertisement be on TV, why not radio?
- Is internet a better option than other channels?
- Would a billboard do any better?
To answer these questions, professional marketers have in their stable media managers, planners, executives and buyers. Since they engage with media platform owners on a day-to-day basis, they can expertly identify what serves you best. Besides, you stand to benefit from discounted rates and well-placed ads where target audiences will see them. Such an approach saves you money and yields better returns on investment.
Independent contractors, reduced operating costs
With a virtual marketing agency running your advertisement needs, you save a great deal of business operating costs. First, there are no full-time employees to keep in mind. Second, you do not have to worry about salaries, medical care and other benefits. Running an advertising campaign involves other costs like the use of graphic design software, shooting a TV commercial, photography and so on. Marketing agencies either have these resources or know where to find them cost-effectively. Since they engage these services on a large-scale basis, you do not spend much money as compared to what you could have paid if you went out solo.
The fact that virtual marketing departments are the future of advertising is not in dispute. Remotely working marketers are free-minded people who are not held back by rigid rules in an organization. They are free to brainstorm and try different things before finding out what works. At the same time, they are not afraid of taking risks. You have nothing to lose here since you are a recipient of the final product.
The future of marketing belongs to those entrepreneurs that have invested in the right tools that have kept up with the present times. Moreover, rental office space can be costly and inconvenient. Virtual marketers are flexible enough and can work from anywhere if they have laptops and fast internet connectivity.
Regarding remuneration, marketers command high rates. Hiring your in-house team is costly and could pose an organizational challenge. However, with an independent group for your assistance, it is none of your business how they manage their affairs. All you care about is that they deliver on the agreed objectives.
The internet remains mostly untapped. From where you sit as a business owner, there are areas you have never ventured into and perhaps, never will. A virtual marketing department brings together talented individuals who are at the top of their game. Each one is a specialist in SEO, social media, graphic design, ad placement, analytics and so on.
Besides, these professionals are like a one-stop shop where you get everything you need under one roof. Once you hire them, you not only enjoy economies of scale but also stand to benefit from a wealth of experience in a cost affordable way.
You can, therefore, see why virtual marketing departments are the future. Advertising is dynamic such that what works today may not be viable tomorrow. You need people that keep adapting to change and innovation. Of primary concern is getting value for money without spending more than you had initially budgeted.